Environmental toxins can be endocrine disrupting, this means that they can disrupt the normal functioning of our hormones and result in hormone imbalance. Toxins can be in our homes, workplace, food or general environment and cause havoc to our hormones without us even realising.
In this article we will explore 3 common endocrine disrupting environmental toxins that may be causing or contributing to your hormone imbalance and symptoms.
Symptoms of High environmental toxin Load
If you are experiencing some of the following symptoms then environmental toxins may be a cause or contributing factor to your hormone imbalance:
- Increased weight gain (without changes to diet or exercise)
- Low functioning thyroid or thyroid imbalance
- Signs of oestrogen dominance such as PMS or heavy and painful periods
- Fertility struggles
- Irregular periods or lack of ovulation
- Headaches or migraines
- Dizziness or low energy levels
How do environmental toxins impact hormone health?
Environmental toxins, whether they are inhaled, digested or absorbed through the skin, disrupt cellular function. This means that the hormonal process can be disrupted at any point, from the production of the hormones, to the transport of the hormones, to the detoxification of hormones too. Environmental toxins therefore have a huge impact on the entire hormonal process in the body.
One of the most common hormonal imbalances that can present from environmental toxins is excess or unopposed estrogen. This is due to environmental toxins causing disruption to the healthy detoxification and removal of estrogen from the body.
3 environmental toxins that impact hormone health
Eliminating environmental toxins can feel really overwhelming at first. So let’s look at 3 of the most common endocrine disrupting environmental toxins that may be causing or contributing to your hormone imbalance and symptoms.
1. Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is found mainly in plastic such as plastic drinking bottles, baby bottles and food containers. It is also found on cash register receipts which are handed to us almost daily! BPA’s are one of the most common environmental toxins linked to hormonal disorders and imbalance.
Dioxins are highly toxic persistent environmental pollutants and can cause disruption to your hormones, as well as your immune system.
Dioxins are environmental pollutants that commonly found in bleached products such as tampons and toilet paper as well as our food sources due to being present in the soil. Therefore it is important to use and eat organic food where possible. Foods that are especially important to eat organic include the ‘dirty dozen’, which include strawberries, grapes, apples, spinach, celery, tomatoes, berries and peaches.
Phthalates are essentially chemicals that are used to make plastic more durable. Phthalates are commonly found in beauty and personal care products such as perfumes, fragrances, shampoos, nail polish etc.
Other examples of environmental toxins
Other examples of environmental toxins include pesticides, cleaning products, air fresheners and brominated and organophosphate flame retardants (volatile compounds) found in carpets, nail polish and furniture.
The importance of detoxification
When it comes to environmental toxins, the best fix is to remove as many toxins from your home, food and cosmetics as possible. But sometimes we cannot avoid environmental toxins. That is where our wonderful detoxification organ, the liver, comes in!
The liver’s main function is to support the detoxification of toxins, hormones, bacteria and more. Therefore supporting healthy liver detoxification through increasing cruciferous vegetables, removal of alcohol and caffeine, quality sleep and adequate water intake can help to remove environmental toxins from the body and support healthy hormones.
All our FUTURE WOMAN hormone tests look at your Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification, which offers us great insights into the health of your hormone detoxification. Read more about estrogen detoxification and ways to support it.
3 Easy ways to reduce environmental toxins
- Remove ALL fragrances. This means candles, scented body wash, scented body creams, scented soaps, scented cleaning products and more. You can always add a few drops of essential oils to unscented products to make them smell amazing!
- Support the liver. Ditch the caffeine and alcohol and increase those delicious green leafy veggies, especially kale, spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Swap your cleaning products for a low toxic option. For example, switch out the toilet cleaner for: 1 cup of vinegar (let this sit for a minute and then a quick clean around with a toilet brush). Then add a cup of baking soda and another cup of vinegar. Leave this for 5-10 mins and then give it another clean with the toilet brush. If the stains need more time you can leave this for up to half an hour and then scrub clean and flush!
Jain M, Singh M. Environmental Toxins And Infertility. [Updated 2021 Dec 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK576379/
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Piazza, M. J., & Urbanetz, A. A. (2019). Environmental toxins and the impact of other endocrine disrupting chemicals in women’s reproductive health. JBRA assisted reproduction, 23(2), 154–164. https://doi.org/10.5935/1518-0557.20190016