Hormones play a big role for women, they influence just about every aspect of our health. Synthetic chemicals in products like plastics and fragrances can mimic hormones and interfere with, or disrupt the fragile endocrine dance.
BY MARIZA HALLIDAY
Pollution is a global issue without a readily apparent solution, though taking steps to avoid exposure can help. In addition
to the environmental effects, pollution can affect your hormones in some surprising ways. The endocrine system—a network of hormoneproducing glands—plays a vital role in all phases of development, metabolism, and reproduction.
We sat down with Elenia Kolokotronis, a clinical nutritionist specializing in natural female fertility to take a look at how external and
internal elements affect your hormonal health. “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are compounds that bind to a certain matter. Some EDCs include compositions of plastics such as bisphenol A, phthalates and other harsh chemicals. As we are living beings that need clean fresh air for our entire body to function properly, our lungs are the most dependant on this for obvious reasons. But what we might not know or understand is how our hormone functions are disrupted by breathing in polluted air or living in a toxified environment” says Elenia.
When asked why conventional health care practitioners seldom address pollution as one of the worst hormone offenders, Elenia feels that health care practitioners are backed into a corner. Their primary concern is to assist and treat the patient as swiftly as possible and they do so with what they can manage at hand.
HOW TO AVOID THE MOST COMMON HORMONE DISRUPTORS:
Wash Your Hands
In the time of Covid-19, we have heard this phrase time and time again. When you wash your hands with fragrance-free soaps you will rinse a substantial amount of chemical residue down the drain. This should especially be done before eating.
Vacuum and Dust Often
Even though they’re linked to hormone disruption (and cancer, too), flame retardant chemicals are utilized in many common household products. Research shows that these chemicals collect in your household dust from various surfaces. Dust with
a damp cloth and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which traps small particles of dust instead of blowing them around the house.
The word fragrance on a label signifies a mixture of various ingredients, without further specifying what those ingredients are. But we do know that phthalates, one class of chemicals typically found in fragrance, can disrupt hormones. Choose fragrance free creams, cleaning products and laundry detergents. Fragrances can show up in unexpected places, such as diapers or garbage bags.
Say No To Plastics
We’re surrounded by plastic. It’s wrapping our food, bottling our conditioner, encasing our phone. Some plastics contain hormone disrupting chemicals. One commonly used shatterproof plastic (PC #7) can contain bisphenol-A, commonly called BPA, and flexible vinyl (PVC #3) contains phthalates. Reduce your plastic use wherever possible. Swap plastic food storage containers with glass or stainless steel. When using plastic containers, don’t use them to store fatty foods, and never microwave them. Replace plastic
baggies with reusable lunch bags, and plastic cling wrap with a beeswaxcoated cloth.
Avoid Tinned Products
Tinned foods can make meal prep a breeze, but those cans are likely lined with BPA to keep them from corroding. Try to use fresh, frozen or dried foods instead.
Watch What You Eat
Certain pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption. Try to opt for organic food where possible. Consider how you prepare food as well. EDCs can hide in non-stick pots and pans, so cook in chrome steel or forged iron instead.
Filter Your Tap Water
Running water from the faucet through a proper filter can decrease the amount of some endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Improving our diet and nutritional status and reducing our exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals are pivotal changes that will profoundly impact our overall health.