As women, we are constantly bombarded by toxic chemicals in our environment and the food we eat. From the moment we shower, brush our teeth, and apply lotions and makeup, to the time we commute from work back home during 5 o’clock traffic, we are exposed to a conveyer line of chemicals. Our home is meant to be a clean space but it is one of the most toxic environments we spend our time in. Keeping our homes looking neat and tidy often means making them “dirtier.” Sure, if we wipe our countertops with cleaning spray, they may look clean but what you don’t see is a film of chemicals left behind, which end up on our skin and in our food. And that fresh smell we all love? It is none other than chemical fumes clouding our lungs and being sent straight to our brains. My cleaning lady came to me one day with concerns about acne. She said since she started her cleaning business, her skin broke out in pimples and her periods became very heavy, sometimes coming twice in one month. It only made sense. She was being exposed to toxic cleaning products all day, every day, which were interfering with her hormones. I told her that she should charge a little more and offer an organic cleaning service, that it would be good for both her and her customers.
Exposure to toxic chemicals is the real deal. I once heard a radio ad for a weight loss program that promised the use of no medications, no counting calories, and you could apparently lose up to 30 pounds in 30 days (which, by the way, I don’t actually recommend to anyone unless you are highly supervised by a medical provider). I wanted to know how their weight loss program worked. So, I contacted my friend, Virginia, who had been a patient of theirs, and she shared the diet plan that they gave her with me. Part of their plan was to throw out all shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and pretty much every other product the skin comes in contact with and replace them with products from a provided list. Through my research, I discovered that this entire weight loss program was based on one confining principle: Toxic chemicals are metabolism blockers and if you avoid them, your hormones will become better balanced which will fix your metabolism and you’ll lose weight.
Androgen Disruptors. These are endocrine disrupting chemicals that raise testosterone (an androgen hormone) in women but lower it in men. Women with PCOS have been found to have higher levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies. Boys exposed to (yes, even from that seemingly innocent swimming pool in the backyard) have been found to have lower levels of testosterone.
Common Sources of Endocrine Disruptors:
Poor liver function and sleep quality can affect the way we eliminate endocrine disruptors from our bodies. The liver is our main detoxifying organ, which means that a malfunctioning liver means less detoxing and a buildup up of toxins.