I’m sure you have noticed an ever increasing number of people who are either aware of, or suspect they have hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance causes symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, insomnia, depression, irritability, mood swings, PMS, headaches, and the list goes on. You yourself may be one of these people. Have you ever asked yourself, why are all these people dealing with the issue of hormonal imbalance in the first place? The answer to this question is not so simple, as the causes are often numerous and multi-factorial.
Xenoestrogens (Artificial Estrogens):
One of the main culprits for estrogen dominance are called Xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are endocrine disruptors that have estrogen-like effects. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen in your body, resulting in a phenomenon called estrogen dominance.
Coming in contact with small amounts of Xenoestrogens for short periods of time are not likely to cause much of an issue, and is largely unavoidable. However, due to the rapidly increasing amounts of these chemicals being introduced into our environment, water supply, skin care products, plastics, and household products, we are constantly exposed to a large amount of these chemicals. Over the course of many years the cumulative affect of these chemicals is capable of throwing the delicate balance of our hormones off.
I thought it might be an eye opener to list out some of the many Xenoestrogens and hormone disruptors we face in the modern age. As scary as this list is, unfortunately it is only a small sample of the growing number of hormone disrupting chemicals out there.
- Chemical Fertilizers
- Genetically Modified Foods (GMO)
- Non-Organic Meats (hormones & anti-biotics)
- Non-Organic Dairy (hormones & anti-biotics)
- Non-Organic Fruits & Vegetables (pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers)
- Bleached Paper Products (such as coffee filters & tampons)
- Solvents (like nail polish & paint remover)
- Styrofoam (particularly with hot fluids like coffee)
- Extreme Exercise
- Excess Body Fat
- Refined Sugars
- Processed Foods
- Chemicals in Sunscreen (such as 4-MBC, 3-BC, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone & Benzophenone)
- Parabens Found in Many Beauty Products (such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben & butylparaben)
- Plastics (not just BPA, but all platics contain Xenoestrogens)
- Flame Retardants (Polybrominated Biphenyl Ethers, used in pajamas, pillows, furniture, carpet padding & more)
- Food Dyes (especially FD&C Red No. 3 & Phenosulfothiazine)
- Pentachlorophenol (a preservative used in wool)
- Chlorine & Chlorine By-products (in our water supply)
- Alkylphenol (used in cleaning detergents)
- Arsenic (in food and drinking water)
- Heavy Metal Exposure
- Chlorine in Water Supply
- Perfluorinated Chemicals (used in non-stick cookware)
What are some things you can do to reduce your exposure to Xenoestrogens?
Whenever possible, buy organic foods, especially meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables. If you must buy fruits that are non-organic, select ones that have a thick peel such as bananas and oranges.
Avoid using plastic and Styrofoam containers whenever possible. Opt for glass or ceramic, especially for hot foods and liquids and the heat will increase the amount of Xenoestrogens that are leaching into your food.
When buying cleaning products, opt for a non-toxic brand such as Seventh Generation. When buying beauty products, read the labels and look for anything that includes the word paraben, such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben & butylparaben.
Some Other Causes of Hormonal Imbalance:
Aside from Xenoestrogens, there are many other things that can contribute to hormonal imbalance, including: Birth Control Pills, Childbirth, Poor Sleep, Chronic Stress, and Genetic Predisposition. The bottom line is that hormonal imbalance, and it’s life altering affects, are on the rise and will be a reality that most of us will face at some point in our lives.
As a firm believer in empowering people to take control of their own health, I would like to invite you to use my free self-evaluation tests to help you determine if hormonal imbalance is likely the cause of your symptoms.