February 4, 2014 by Dr. Sana Keller
I’m considering this post more of a ‘heads up’ for all of us on an extremely important health issue. The terms ‘Hormone Disruptors’ and ‘Endocrine Disruptors’ are making a few headlines lately, yet this seems to be a confusing topic for many.
Join me in a ‘Fly Over’ now…to gain a better understanding of why we seriously do need to be concerned about Endocrine Disruptors (AKA Hormone Disruptors) and then ‘Stay Tuned’ for future postings where I will focus on specific chemical toxins that many of us are exposed to on a regular basis and how to best avoid/minimize exposure.
As we fly over at 10,000 feet, you may have heard of some specific chemicals that have been making the news—some with almost unpronounceable names (phthalates) and others sounding like cleaning solutions or ingredients found in various automotive fluids (glycol ether, perchlorate…). These are called chemical toxins since they are poisonous substances, capable of causing death or serious debilitation, even in very minute amounts.
As we zoom in a bit more, we are reminded that each of us has an ‘Endocrine System’ composed of multiple organs (think thyroid, pancreas, ovaries…) and each of these endocrine organs produce hormones (think insulin, estrogen, testosterone…) that act as chemical messengers to organs and tissues for carrying out necessary functions in our body. ‘Disruptor’ refers to the chemical toxins negatively impacting our endocrine systems at the hormonal level. The terms ‘hormone disruptor’ and ‘endocrine disruptor’ are often used interchangeably.
Reasons these chemical toxins have been making the news:
- Many have been found to be linked to major health issues that many people are facing today, such as cancer, thyroid disease, heart disease, infertility, digestive problems, neurological problems, and more.
- Some have been found to promote insulin resistance, weight gain and ‘hard-to-get-rid-of’ abdominal fat.
- Some of the chemical toxins act as ‘synthetic estrogens’ which can interfere with proper hormone function, which in turn can lead to breast cancer, reproductive problems, early puberty, heart disease, and more.
The Environmental Working Group has a great document (similar to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists for produce) called the Dirty Dozen-List of Endocrine Disruptors. They provide scientific information that is readable and understandable—and most importantly (in my opinion) without an agenda other than providing factual information to benefit our health. Their website for this document: http://static.ewg.org/pdf/kab_dirty_dozen_endocrine_disruptors.pdf
Stay tuned for specifics…on what you can do to minimize your exposure to these hormone disruptors as you maximize your health. My Integrative Health Consulting practice focuses on this area as a part of the ‘big picture’ of my clients’ healthy lifestyles. Please contact me if you have questions.
Sana Keller, MS, RN, CNC, MH, HHP www.healthunlimited.biz
Photo credits: cancerdirectory.com, precisionnutrition.com, ewg.org, preventionisthecure.org