Looking to Prevention
The month of October is breast cancer awareness month. Everywhere I look there are splashes of pink as a reminder of this growing problem. While I appreciate the awareness, I wish that there was less talk of finding a cure and more talk about prevention.
In relation to endometriosis, breast cancer is fueled by excess estrogen in the body. This estrogen dominance problem also contributes to fibroids, glandular dysfunction and depression. These conditions are growing in vast amounts of women.
I believe that a lot of this growth is fueled by the chemical imitators of estrogen found in our environment which interfere with the action and/or production of our natural hormones.
These chemical imitators are called xenoestrogens. These environmental estrogens are synthetic substances that when absorbed in the body function similarly to estrogen. Xenoestrogens can increase growth of endometrium and can increase breast cancer growth.
Sources of Environmental Estrogen
These xenoestrogens are easily absorbed through the skin. They implant themselves into the tissue of the body and the residue from these xenoestrogens remain in the body for years after exposure, as they are difficult to detoxify through the liver.
Xenoestrogens are found in:
- pesticides – sprayed on our foods
- phthalates – found in plastics and personal care products
- bisphenol A (BPA) – found in hard plastics and the lining of cans
- noylphenol – found in cleaning products
- birth control
- polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – found in plastics and paints, etc.
- dioxins – often found in conventional animal products
- benzoapyrene – found in sunblocks, perfumes, soaps and printer toner
- heavy metals – lead, mercury and cadmium
- parabens – found in most cosmetics, beauty products – these chemicals end with the word “paraben”
Avoiding and Removing Xenoestrogens
- Avoid non-organic meat and animal products as these animals are fed hormones to speed their time to market. Also hormones are used to plump up the cattle to produce an animal that will retain water so that when cooked the meat is tender and more succulent.
- Eat organic foods as much as possible to limit exposure to pesticides.
- Do not heat up plastics and eat or drink from them. This includes plastic bottles that have been in the sun.
- Use glass or ceramic to eat off of and to store food.
- Use natural laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners – these put petrochemicals right on the skin
- Update all beauty products and everything that comes in contact with the skin – eliminating toxic chemicals with close attention on removing parabens.
- Update cleaning products to natural solutions (both lemon and apple cider vinegar are great cleaning agents).
- Stop taking birth control that contribute xenoestrogens in the body.
- Use a good water filter and remove any mercury fillings from the mouth.
To help move out xenoestrogens picked up in the body it is suggested to do deep detoxification with primary focus on the liver and colon and to include a good amount of cruciferous vegetables in the diet (cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower). Cruciferous vegetables help break down these bad estrogens so they can exit the body.
Another option to help move out excess estrogen is to supplement with Calcium D-Glucarate – a botanical extract found in grapefruit, apples, oranges, broccoli, spinach and brussels sprouts that helps aid the body in elimination of excess estrogen.
On the Positive Side?
As you can see xenoestrogens are all around us and if you don’t pay attention then it is very easy to come into contact with way too many of them. The good news is, that it by following the strategies above it is possible to avoid (most) of them.
I try and eat as much as I can organic and eat and drink off of glass or ceramic — not from plastic.
I’ve updated everything that comes into contact with my skin in hopes of avoiding these environmental estrogens. There are options such as Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap and lots of choices at one of my favorite online shops – 100% Pure.
Another thing that I’ve updated is my menstruation pads. Instead of using the commercial bleached pads I’ve opted to organic cotton ones. And yes, I’ve dropped the birth control, which was pumping xenoestrogens into my body for over a decade.
I do believe that these changes have had a positive impact on my pain levels.
What about you? Have you taken time to remove the xenoestrogens from your life? Did it make a difference? I’d love to hear from you.