Estrogen Disrupting Chemicals may be to blame... Environmental hormones are so commonplace in modern society that there is no way to completely avoid them. They come from pollutants, hormone-injected meats and dairy foods, plastics, pesticides, and hormone replacement drugs for both sexes. Only in the last ten years has anyone realized how common environmental estrogens are in today’s world. Nearly 40% of the pesticides used in commercial agriculture are suspected hormone disruptors. All of the Earth’s waterways are connected, so chemical pollutants containing environmental hormones reach your food supply wherever you live.
Hormone disrupters can affect your entire endocrine system, including the system of your glands, hormones and cellular receptors in your body. They alter the production and breakdown of your own hormones, and the function of your hormone receptors — disrupting hormone balance at its developmental core. They can compete for hormone receptor sites in the body and bind to them in place of natural hormones, causing fluctuations in your hormonal levels. They are a serious concern for women in early pregnancy because a developing embryo is highly sensitive to estrogen disruptor toxicity.
Hormone imbalance disorders are epidemic through this country. We see hormone imbalance in women’s disorders like PMS, endometriosis and fibroids. Further, women with hysterectomies are only beginning to see the harm that removing delicate glands, or treating fragile hormones with drugs can do. Bone loss is clearly related to hormone imbalance. ). A poorly functioning liver (the liver metabolizes excess estrogen), and a high fat, processed foods diet (excess fat harbors hormones) are almost always implicated.
Environmental estrogens can wreak havoc on male and female fertility. Multiple exposures to environmental estrogens disrupt conception efforts for both partners, affecting ovulation, and lowering sperm count and viability.
Other women’s diseases associated with long exposure to estrogen mimics in the environment: 1) reproductive organ cancer; 2) breast and uterine fibroids; 3) polycystic ovarian syndrome; 4) endometriosis; 5) PID (pelvic inflammatory disease); 6) gallbladder disease; 7) blood clots, stroke.
Are Hormone Disruptors Impacting You? Signs that you may have estrogen disruption:
- Breast inflammation and pain that worsens before menstrual periods, usually followed by heavy, painful periods.
- Weight gain: especially in the hips. Bloating, mood swings, low sex drive or vaginal dryness.
- Head hair loss/facial hair growth. Dry skin or premature wrinkling.
- Hot flashes: or early perimenopause.
- Endometriosis: now linked to dioxin, an airborne hormone disrupter.
- Breast and uterine fibroid development, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Breast, uterine and reproductive organ cancer: up to 60% more DDE, DDT and PCB’s, known estrogen disruptors, in women with breast cancer.
- Early puberty: nearly half of African-American girls and 15% of Caucasian girls now begin to develop sexually by age 8, a clear indicator of estrogen disruption.
Are You At Risk Of Exposure To Estrogen Disruptors? You may be especially exposed if: 1) you live in a high agricultural area; you eat a high fat diet (fatty areas of your body store pesticides and other agricultural chemicals); 2) you eat hormone-injected dairy foods or meats regularly; 3) you’re on prescription HRT drugs or birth control pills.
To Life-long Health,
Linda Page, Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath