xenoestrogens homone imbalance

How Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Cause Hormone Imbalance & What to Do About It

Did you know the average woman is exposed to hundreds of chemicals every single day? And that's only within her own home. Our makeup products, personal care products, and the cleaners that we use on our clothes and our countertops can all contain harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals that cause hormone imbalances in the body.

In fact, some sources have reported that we are exposed to over 500 synthetic chemicals every day in our homes. Chemicals that have the ability to wreak havoc on your hormones and your endocrine system (i.e. your hormone system) are called Xenoestrogens.

Why Are Endocrine Disruptors Dangerous?

Xenoestrogens are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) that mimic your natural hormones, but give you none of the same benefits. They affect things like your adrenals, your thyroid, as well as the hormones that your ovaries makes (like estrogen and progesterone, and even testosterone). This can lead to an overall imbalance in your hormones.

They’ve also been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, birth defects, infertility, and even lowered IQ!  

Find some great ideas for hormone-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products here.

Endocrine Disruptors and Estrogen Dominance

Xenoestrogens mimic our estrogen, and it's one of the ways that environmental toxins can lead to excess estrogen, or what's known as estrogen dominance. And because our environment is so filled with these chemicals (both inside and outside our home), our bodies are constantly inundated with and exposed to xenoestrogens.

Ever wonder why so many of your friends complain about hormone symptoms? Yeah, our environment is messing with us in a big way. This is why doctors in the natural field, like myself, are seeing estrogen dominance skyrocket.

Every day, women come into my medical practice complaining of estrogen dominance symptoms (painful periods, heavy periods, tender breasts, and more). Additionally, experiencing things like PCOS or PMS, acne that just won't go away, and digestive problems (such as gallbladder issues, gas, bloating, and constipation) can all be tied into what our hormones are doing in our body.

Here’s an article to help you learn more about estrogen dominance.

What Products Contain Endocrine Disruptors or Xenoestrogens?

As I mentioned above, these chemicals can be found in personal care products and cleaning products. But they can also be found in other, less obvious places—like grocery store receipts or airplane tickets. They also can line the containers that takeout food comes in, and they're hanging out in plastic containers—especially those that you might heat food in.

In a nutshell, they're ubiquitous in our environment, and I'm not saying this to freak you out. I'm saying this because I want to make sure that you're informed and you know how to support your hormones in the best way possible.

3 Common Endocrine Disruptors and Where They Are Found

1. Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is a chemical that has been associated with cancer, including breast cancer. As I share in Beyond the Pill, BPA Free is BS! The chemicals they use to replace BPA are equally concerning in regards to the negative health effects. We’re talking messing with your lady parts, sabotaging your fertility, causing your weight to climb, and a whole slew of period problems!

BPA is Commonly Found In:

  • Receipts
  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Canned foods
  • Food packaging

How to Avoid BPA:

  • Avoid handling paper receipts at the store
  • Opt for a mobile boarding pass rather than a paper ticket
  • Avoid drinking out of plastic
  • Do not microwave food in plastic
  • Skip the canned food and opt for frozen or dried instead

2. Flame Retardants

What you sleep on every night may be messing with your hormones! It seems hormone damaging chemicals are everywhere…because they are! Which is why it is so important to support your body in eliminating chemicals (more on that soon), while also minimizing exposure.

The tricky thing about flame retardants is that they aren’t just in our couch cushions or mattresses. They are also in our pets beds, find their way into the dust in our home, are in baby car seats, electronics, and on kid’s pajamas.

Flame Retardants Are Commonly Found In:

  • Mattress
  • Furniture
  • Pet beds
  • Children’s Car Seats
  • Electronics
  • Children’s pajamas
  • Dust in your home (if your furniture has flame retardant)

How to Avoid Flame Retardants:

  • Check the labels on clothes and don’t even touch those synthetic pajamas in the store.
  • Check the labels on furniture before you make a new purchase
  • Purchase flame retardant free mattress
  • Choose pet beds without flame retardant
  • Use a HEPA or other air filter in your home
  • Vacuum often
  • Open windows to allow for circulation in the house daily

3. Phthalates

Ever wonder why you hear avoid fragrance when it comes to hormones? That’s because fragrances can be a source of phthalates, which are known to cause harm to reproductive health.

Phthalates Retardants Are Commonly Found In:

  • Personal care products
  • Plastic wrap and food storage containers
  • Plastic children’s toys
  • Fragrances in trash bags, diapers, and candles
  • Air fresheners

How to Avoid Phthalates:

  • Read labels and avoid products that list phthalates or fragrance
  • Eat out of glass, rather than plastic storage containers
  • Ditch air fresheners and opt for essential oils instead
  • Buy natural, beeswax candles only (or at minimum fragrance free)
  • Use laundry detergent that doesn’t have artificial fragrance

How to Detox from Endocrine Disruptors

Equally important to eliminating endocrine disruptors from your environment is to support your body’s natural detox and elimination pathways. When I'm addressing detox, estrogen dominance symptoms, or symptoms of hormonal imbalance (like period problems, skin problems, or even digestive problems), I focus on two factors—waste in and waste out. This is foundational in the Hormone Revolution Detox.

If we are taking in harmful chemicals (i.e. eating non-organic foods or slathering our body in things that disrupt our hormones), we're going to have a hard time getting our hormones back in balance. We therefore want to minimize the waste coming in.

We do that by:

  • Eating organic foods as often as possible
  • Avoiding Xenoestrogens (like personal care products or cleaning products that can disrupt our hormones) Here’s the non-toxic cleaning products I use in my home.
  • Avoiding further exposure by not eating out of plastic containers and not touching the paper receipts from the grocery store.
  • And the steps I mentioned above

We’re also encouraging waste out, because eating organic foods also means taking in lots of green vegetables and deeply pigmented vegetables (like orange vegetables and red vegetables), so that you're getting a variety of fiber-rich foods that can help you carry waste out. And, at the same time, those foods are supporting your overall hormonal system, your nutrient health, and your liver detoxification.

You can also support detoxification and elimination of chemicals that harm your hormones by supplementing with:

  • Diindolylmethane (DIM)
  • Broccoli seed extract
  • Resveratrol
  • Chrysin
  • Calcium D-Glucarate
  • Folate
  • Magnesium

Balance Women’s Hormone Supplement by Dr. Brighten

One of my number one go-to tools in getting waste (including excess estrogen) out is my Balance—Women's Hormone Support by Dr. Brighten supplement. I personally take Balance daily because I travel a lot, I have to eat out sometimes, and I live a rich and full life like many of you. So I occasionally get exposed to things that I don’t intend to.

I also recommend Balance to all my patients, especially those with hormonal imbalances like having painful periods, experiencing PCOS or PMS, and estrogen dominance. Typical dose for Balance is 2 caps twice daily with meals.

Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalances, and it's probably something that you've dealt with at some point in your life. We therefore want to make sure that we're always keeping estrogen stable. Balance by Dr. Brighten does this by providing you with herbs and nutrients that help harmonize estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.

How Balance by Dr. Brighten Helps Optimize Your Hormones

Balance contains DIM, which takes estrogen out of the harmful 16-hydroxy (16-OH E1) pathway and moves it to the much safer 2-hydroxy (2-OH E1) pathway.

I like to refer to Balance as a shepherding dog of hormones because it herds estrogens into the right pathway, so you're not making the harmful 16-hydroxy or the 4-hydroxy. This supplement supports your body in making the safer 2-hydroxy (2-OH E1) estrogen metabolite.

Balance also contains folate, which not only aids in that 4-hydroxy to 2-hydroxy pathway, but also helps with methylation (crucial for the full cycle of moving estrogen out of your body).

If you're a woman who's thinking, Maybe I don't want to move all that estrogen out, remember that Balance is supporting your natural pathways and helping you do it in the safest way possible. It’s helping you eliminate the estrogen your body has decided it no longer needs, or an environmental toxin that you didn't need in the first place.

Balance by Dr. Brighten also contains herbs like Black Cohosh, Vitex, Chrysin, and even Green Tea Extract (non-caffeinated) to help you optimize your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Plus, it has Broccoli Seed Extract, which has been shown to be one of the most protective and antioxidant-rich foods on the planet.

Balance by Dr. Brighten Can Help Protect Against Endocrine Disruptors

As a women's health doctor who's focused on helping women naturally heal their hormones for good (not just a Band-Aid solution), helping them undo the negative side-effects of hormonal birth control, as well as reverse symptoms of Post-Birth Control Syndrome, Balance is a product that I'm using every day in my medical practice. It supports estrogen metabolism, which is something every woman needs because we not only make it, but we also get exposed to chemicals that mimic estrogen.

And as a woman and a mother who wants to enjoy a full life with her family, I use this supplement daily to protect myself against harmful Xenoestrogens and to optimize my own hormonal balance.

Learn more about chemicals that cause hormone imbalance and what to do about it.

Resources:

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/pubs/rr/reports/abstracts/rr04/index.html

https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/results/pubs/rr/reports/rr04_508.pdf

https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2016/08/flame-retardants-why-they-re-our-homes-and-how-avoid-them

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5989427/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/institute_basic_biomedical_sciences/news_events/articles_and_stories/cancer_disease/2010_08_eat_veggies.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070517100315.htm

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is one of the leading experts in women’s medicine and is a pioneer in her exploration of the far-reaching impact of hormonal birth control and the little known side effects that impact health in a large way. In her best selling book, Beyond the Pill, she shares her clinical protocols aimed at supporting women struggling with symptoms of hormone imbalance, including Post-Birth Control Pill Syndrome and birth control related side effects. A trained nutritional biochemist and Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Brighten is the founder and Clinic Director at Rubus Health, an integrative women’s medicine clinic. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and has been featured in prominent media outlets such as Forbes, Cosmopolitan, ABC news, and the New York Post. Read more about me here.