Whacky Hormones, Weight Gain? It Could Be BPA

plasticNot only are plastic water bottles and cash register receipts enemies of many environmentalists, but they also put your hormones at huge risk.  Studies show that Bisphenol-a or BPA is a huge endocrine disruptor, and contributes to hormone imbalance problems such as excess estrogen.  Excessive estrogen is a contributing factor of fibroids, endometriosis and a slew of other unfavorable conditions.

In fact, a study published in Endocrinology, says that women exposed to BPA during pregnancy are at a huge risk of developing diabetes.  It doesn’t have to a huge amount of BPA. Exposure to even a small amount of the chemical will do.  Scientists divided pregnant mice into three groups. One group of mice was fed a small amount of BPA; the second group was fed ten times the amount of BPA while the control group was fed BPA-free diet.  A few months post pregnancy, both groups of BPA-exposed mice showed signs of glucose intolerance.

Weight Gain

That’s not all.  The Endocrinology study also showed that both groups of mice exposed to BPA during pregnancy gained 3 percent more body weight than the mice in the control group.   Could this be one of the reasons women have such a hard time losing post-baby weight?  Here’s another thing to consider.  Because of the hormone-disrupting effects, Bisphenol-A contributes to girls’ experiencing early onset of puberty.

We’re All Exposed!

Bisphenol-A exposure mightn’t be as deadly as a pandemic, but it is still very serious business.  Remember the diabetes  and weight gain risk? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 96 percent of Americans have some level of BPA in their bodies.   It’s true that this chemical is just about everywhere.  Not to fear.  Here’re a few things you can do to lessen exposure.

  • Look for BPA-free labels on cans and plastic goods.
  • Instead of plastic bottles, use stainless steel water bottles. Besides reducing exposure to BPA, stainless steel water bottles help save the planet by reducing the amount of plastic in landfills.
  • Use glass instead of plastic containers to store food.
    If possible, do not keep cash register receipts.

Lowering exposure to BPA can be tough.  After all, it’s in just about anything you can think of.  But it’s important to remember that even taking small steps to improve your health can make a world of good.

 

Resources:
INTRODUCTION TO ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS (EDCs) A GUIDE FOR PUBLIC INTEREST ORGANIZATIONS AND POLICY-MAKERS

Bisphenol-A Treatment During Pregnancy in Mice: A New Window of Susceptibility for the     Development of Diabetes in Mothers Later in Life: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25830705

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Do You Have Hormone Problems? It might be your shower!

 

Shower woman washingWe can thank the ancient Greeks for inventing the very first indoor showers.  Today the average person in most countries takes about eight showers a week.   It’s no argument that good hygiene is important, but it’s also important to realize that showers can indeed be dangerous.  Bathing in unfiltered water means exposure to hundreds of harmful chemicals such as chlorine, PCB, dioxin, and DDT.

The skin is the largest organs and is most vulnerable.  Hot showers are especially dangerous because chlorine and other chemicals are easily absorbed through pores and directly into the blood stream.  The level of exposure to these chemicals depends on a host of other factors such as shower length and existing chemicals in the water supply.

Hormone Troubles

Fans of long, hot showers should know that chlorine and other dangerous chemicals that seep into the blood stream through the skin.  Over time, too much chlorine build up mimics estrogen and can lead to excess estrogen or estrogen dominance.  For women, the hormone estrogen is necessary for optimal function and helps to regulate the female reproductive system.  An excess of estrogen throws the entire body out of whack.  Women with estrogen dominance often suffer from symptoms like:

•    Irregular periods
•    Extra heavy menstrual bleeding that also can last for weeks at a time
•    Hair Loss
•    Fatigue
•    Low Libido
•    Memory Problems

Estrogen dominance is also a chief reason women develop the following diseases:

•    Fibroids
•    Endometriosis
•    Fibrocystic Breast Disease
•    Breast and Endometrial Cancer

But there’s good news!  Using a shower filter cuts exposure to the dangers of chlorine, mercury, lead and other toxins in public water by 99 percent.  Bathing in filtered water not only rejuvenates dry hair and skin but also lessens estrogen dominance and the risk of certain cancers.

If you’re reading this and have a shower filter, then great!  If you aren’t using a shower filter, please consider buying one. They’re inexpensive –they cost around  $50 to $150- and depending on the brand, the filter only needs to be changed a couple of times a year.

Five reasons why you should buy a chlorine filter:

1.     Using a chlorine filter reduces exposure to chlorine and heavy metals like lead and mercury.

2.     Showering in chlorine-free water improves female hormonal health and lowers the risk of estrogen dominance.

3.     Lowering chlorine exposure also lowers the risk of bladder and breast cancer.

4.    Using a chlorine filter reduces the risk of respiratory inflammation and breathing problems.

5.    Using a shower filter provides better air quality, not only in the bathroom but throughout the house. Remember, steam creates chlorine vapors, so a filter significantly reduces this problem.
Source:
Humphrey, John W; Olsen, John P; Sherwood, Andrew N (1998). Greek and Roman Technology: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-06136-0.

Soothe Menstrual Cramps Natrually Without Side Effects

apple-cider-vinegarSo how does a simple ingredient like apple cider vinegar-a product found in your local supermarket-soothe the pain  associated with fibroids and endometriosis?

Apple Cider Vinegar  significantly lowers inflammation levels in the body, while simultaneously promoting  optimal body PH levels.   When the body is alkaline, inflammation is kept in check. Additional benefits include normalizing hormones and regulating menstrual periods.

Over-the-counter pain killers work in a similar way by lowering the inflammation in your body but they can be very hard on the liver. Organic apple cider vinegar benefits also include total body detoxification which helps the liver cleanse the body of excess estrogen.

If you suffer from uterine fibroids , endometriosis, irregular menstrual bleeding, heavy bleeding or other disruptive uterine problems, you should definitely drink apple cider vinegar on a daily basis.

Where Can You Buy Apple Cider Vinegar?

You can buy apple cider vinegar from the organic/natural section of your local supermarket or your local health food store. If you can’t find it in either of those places, then try http://www.vitacost.com. This is a great website for finding  top quality health products at pretty reasonable prices.

The best brand of apple cider vinegar is Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar. This company has been around for over 100 years and their product is made with 100% organic apples.

Drink Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar daily for best results.

Try this little recipe:

2 tablespoons Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda (Bob’s Red Mill)

8-10 ounces of purified water or spring water

Drink this ACV formula at least twice a day, especially on the days leading up to menstruation.  This  cleansing drink  alkalinizes the body, restores proper PH balance and in turn, lowers inflammation and pain.

Resources:

http://www.abihm.org/heal-your-fibroid-optimize-your-health

Don’t let endometriosis ruin your chances of having a baby

Pregnant belly with red ribbonPregnancy can be a joyous event that many women aspire to and long for.  However, when pregnancy is complicated by endometriosis, joy is quickly replaced by fear and anxiety.  The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says that endometriosis occurs in almost half of women experiencing infertility. This situation is indeed difficult; however, there is hope for sufferers. Continue reading

Xenoestrogen: your greatest health concern.

plasticWhat are xenoestrogens?

Let’s break down the word. Xeno- means foreign and estrogen is the hormone we women produce that helps our bodies function correctly. Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body and over time contribute to estrogen dominance.

Where are xenoestrogens?

Xenoestrogen is everywhere.  For example, the  pollution in the air you breathe, the water you drink, the chemicals used to grow and   food, even the soap you use  with probably contain xenoestrogens.

With extremely high levels of estrogen, the body’s hormone levels are imbalanced. The result is a myriad of conditions ranging from uterine fibroids to endometriosis.   

As a woman, how can plastic affect your health?

It’s a domino effect really. You see plastics contain a chemical called Bisphenol-a or BPA.  The problem is that BPA leaches. So when you consume anything stored in plastic, be it plastic storage containers, sandwich bags, plastic water bottles, etc. you are consuming this chemical.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid or lessen your exposure to xenoestrogen:

  • Eat organic whole foods as much as you can. This means eating organic fruits and vegetables. Sounds a bit boring maybe, but they help in detoxification and helps to balance your progesterone-estrogen levels.
  • Avoid using plastic containers, especially to store your food. Instead, use glass storage containers.
  • DO NOT use plastic containers to heat up or cook food in the microwave, DO  NOT use plastic wrap to cover the food you are microwaving.
  • Don’t leave plastic water bottles to sit in the sun.
  • Adopt a vegan diet. Commercially raised animals are shot up with hormones and antibiotics. These substances will interfere with your hormones and contribute to estrogen dominance.
  • Drink Apple Cider Vinegar everyday. It is a fantastic detox cleanser.
  • If a vegan diet seems too extreme, then buy ONLY natural meats and hormone-free/antibiotic free milk.   Try to  limit  your intake of these products to 1-2 times a week.
  • Use a good water filter to remove chlorine and heavy metals from your water. A good shower filter is especially beneficial for removing chlorine.   Bathing in chlorine free water  promotes  healthy looking skin and hair,  and  more importantly minimizes the risk of increasing estrogen in the body.
  • Avoid lotions, soaps, shampoos, and creams that contain parabens

This may seem like a lot of information, but it is  a small sacrifice for a healthier body.  Take just one example and try it out for a week.  See if you feel any better.