07 Jul 2016
9 Ways to Avoid Exposure to Estrogen Impostors
Excess estrogen can cause all kinds of unpleasant symptoms in women…bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability, insomnia, and crying spells for no reason.
Hormone imbalances due to changing levels of estrogen and progesterone are hard enough to deal with. And on top of that we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals that act like estrogen in our bodies. These chemicals are called xenoestrogens and they lurk in seemingly harmless things like plastics, makeup and sunscreens.
Xenoestrogens are obnoxious hormone party-crashers and can stay stored in fat tissue for decades! We are exposed to more than 700 of these compounds on a daily basis. The consequences of this can be seen in just about everyone…male and female. Xenoestrogens can cause “man boobs” in men and have been linked to the onset of early puberty in children.
If You Can’t Live in a Bubble…
It’s almost impossible to completely avoid xenoestrogens. The best approach is to try to limit exposure as much as possible. Here are some tips to do this:
- Reduce the amount of canned food you eat. Xenoestrogens can be found in metal can liners.
- Avoid eating from plastic containers. Stick with ceramic, stainless steel and glass.
- Don’t microwave food covered in plastic wrap. If the plastic melts, chemicals leach into your food.
- Remove your shoes in your home. This avoids bringing pesticides into your home.
- Use organic bedding. Conventional mattresses are full of formaldehyde and other chemicals.
- Wear shoes made of natural materials instead of rubber or plastic. Plastic can be absorbed through the soles of your feet.
- Don’t eat commercially-raised meat products. Some farmers fatten up their livestock with hormone injections and supplements.
- Check the ingredients list of your sunscreen and other cosmetics. Researchers in Europe found that certain chemicals found in sunscreen and UV-block products can mimic the effects of estrogen. Chemicals to avoid include oxybenzone, avobenzone, benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA. You can find out more about safety of chemicals at the Environmental Working Group web site.
- Learn about using natural products for daily household chores and skin care. Some examples of substitutes for xenoestrogens-containing commercial cleaners/cosmetics include:
- White vinegar for cleaning hardwood floors
- Sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide instead of chemical sunscreens.
- Witch hazel as a skin toner
- Coconut oil as a moisturizer
While it’s impossible to completely avoid endocrine disruptors, it is possible to limit exposure and improve your hormone balance. Take the time to do your homework to assess where your exposure is coming from. Your body will thank you!
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim parts of themselves they thought were gone forever.
Find out more about working with her at https://www.drannagarrett.com/work-with-me/.