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Indocrine disruptors, insidious insiders

Updated: Apr 29, 2022




So many dangers lurk in the products we use. They are all over our home, in our gardens, our food, the air and water supply. Not all affect our hormones but they affect our health and make us sick still. Have you considered the causes of your poor conditions, health, or disorders could be related to your lifestyle?


Nowadays with the ongoing pandemic I often spend time to browse the daily headlines. One day in July of 2020 I noticed a headline that read “FDA list of toxic hand sanitizers expands to more than 80”. Just a day later I saw another story listing the number to be 150+. Apparently some companies replaced ethyl alcohol with methanol, a common ingredient in antifreeze, as an active ingredient. The sanitizers do not always list Methanol as an ingredient on their packaging. Many of the brands were pulled from the market. Methanol, when absorbed through the skin or ingested can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, seizures, blurred vision, or even permanent vision loss.


The sanitizer issue made me think about all the chemicals we put on our bodies on a daily basis. What are they really doing to us? To our children? As a mom this really caused concern. Have you seen articles or news reports that mention endocrine disruptors? Maybe not. While they are not a new discovery they do not seem to get as much press or advertisement as the latest wrinkle creams or lip plumping – sticks- around- all- day glosses and the comings and goings of the Kardashians.


Chemical Compounds


Endocrine disruptors are chemical compounds that when ingested, inhaled, or applied to your body alters or disrupts your cellular response, hormone function or production. Some are great imitators -so similar in chemical composition to natural hormones that your body can’t distinguish – they mimic. They are everywhere. It has been shown in studies all these concoctions absorb through the skin. A list of these compounds can be obtained by visiting the Environmental Working Group website listed at the bottom of this blog.


Many of the toxins behave like fats in our body. Fats do not dissolve in the blood. Instead, they accumulate and store in our fat tissue. You cannot wash them out by drinking water. The chemicals sit in the fat tissue until they are metabolized into something that will dissolve thereby making it possible to rid them through urine, sweat, or feces. Many organs are involved and many nutrients are necessary to get the job done efficiently.


Consequences?


Exposure to disruptors can change the way our body reacts and how our hormones function. And as women they do not just affect us. Exposure affects our children as well. If you are pregnant or nursing, what you expose your body to has potential to affect your developing baby. Consequences of exposure include birth defects, developmental delays, cognitive disorders (ADHD, Autism), precocious puberty, and a propensity to obesity during their entire life.


Some chemicals are appropriately called Obesogens. According to the National Institute of Health, Obesogens such as Phthalates, pesticides, flame retardants, and cigarette smoke to name a few, are involved in excessive weight gain as a result of ones exposure during fetal or early development. This could explain the increasing obesity and Type II Diabetes among our children over the past 25-30 years.


Studies have shown long-term animal exposure to even low levels of toxic chemicals increased such things as nervous system diseases, Parkinsons, and Alzheimer’s. Those with deficiency in nutrients demonstrated significantly more negative experiences.

Our hormones have the very important job of regulating growth and development, reproduction, metabolism, immunity and behavior. In some instances, these chemicals can change the way our genes express themselves. Think precocious puberty, Infertility (Male and Female), Unexplained cancers, rashes, hair loss, PCOS, fibroids, disturbed lactation, breast cancer, and cognitive dysfunction.



A study of hand sanitizer use by healthcare workers published in 2018 showed alcohol metabolites in nondrinker participant hair and urine samples.


Signs of disruption


You may be wondering if your kids behavior, your chronic skin condition, chapped lips, thyroid issue, fatigue, foggy brain, poor memory, inability to lose weight, anxiety, headaches, difficulty nursing or conceiving is linked in some way to these chemicals. It is a real possibility. We are literally bathed in chemicals on a daily basis just by living our daily lives.


Skin doesn’t stop and start. It continues into the mouth/nose or any other opening into the internal linings of the GI tract and organs. One big continuous organ. Most everything is absorbed through our skin whether it be on our face, scalp, body, lungs, or in our GI tract. Choose your products with care. Maybe there are some you can do without.


What to do?


Consider for a moment the constant assault your body is defending against when you are routinely exposed to environmental pollution, synthetic fragrances (candles or plug-ins), plastic food storage that leaches chemicals, applying layers of fragrances in the form of cosmetics, soaps, lotions and shampoos, oral care products laden with unnecessary chemicals, and eating poor quality food with processed synthetic ingredients.


You cannot control the rest of the world but you can reduce your exposure.


  1. Pick products without harmful chemicals or fragrance. Visit EWG.org

  2. Get adequate B vitamins, Vitamins C, A, E, Selenium, Copper, zinc, Manganese, and Co Q10. All are necessary for the natural detox and healing.

  3. Strive to eat a diet of whole food; organic is best when able.


Remember Food Is Medicine.


You want your medicine to be high quality. It is cheaper, more effective for long-term health, and more enjoyable than say, chronic disease care, costly prescriptions, hospitalizations, and long-term care.


Benefits


The pandemic has forced many to work from home and reduced environmental exposures from commuting as well as daily regimen of make up, lotions, and fragrance use for some. It has also aided in reducing frequent eating out. I empathize with the restaurant industry but I can see my health and that of my family has improved substantially over the past 12 months since it all began. You can expect an increase in energy, improved cognitive focus, clearer skin, and weight loss just to name a few.


Most of us trust the products and their ingredients because we feel if they were harmful they wouldn’t be allowed. Not true. Many fortified food products and chemical cosmetic additives are banned in other countries due to risk of harm.


It’s about more than beauty; it is about health and longevity. If you don’t recognize ingredients, it’s likely your body won’t either. Please let your healthcare professional know of any concerns you may have. They can advise and guide you on lifestyle changes, treatment options, and make recommendations for supplements if needed.


Resources

https://www.ewg.org/californiacosmetics/toxic12 https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/contents/notice-of-2020-annual-toxicology-review/ https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-methanol accessed 7/28/2020 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726844/ accessed 8/13/20 https://www.niehs.nih.gov accessed 7/27/2020 https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/05/30/727914874/safe-or-scary-the-shifting-reputation-of-glyphosate-aka-roundup

Salomone A, Bozzo A, Di Corcia D, Gerace E, Vincenti M. Occupational Exposure to Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers: The Diagnostic Role of Alcohol Biomarkers in Hair. J Anal Toxicol. 2018;42(3):157-162. doi:10.1093/jat/bkx094 accessed 7/29/2020

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