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The Danger of Xenoestrogens: Unveiling Hidden Hormones.

Hormones amongst leaves and petals
Menopause Wellness Centre - Hormones

In an increasingly industrialised world, our exposure to synthetic chemicals has become an integral part of modern living. Many of these chemicals have the potential to interfere with our hormone systems, leading to a wide range of health issues. Among these disruptors are xenoestrogens, which mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body. The Danger of Xenoestrogens: Unveiling Hidden Hormones - So, what are they and what is the potential impact on our health?

What are Xenoestrogens?

Xenoestrogens are synthetic compounds that imitate the actions of natural oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone. These substances can be found in various products and environmental sources, including pesticides, plastics, personal care products, and certain pharmaceuticals. When introduced into the body, xenoestrogens can bind to oestrogen receptors, leading to a cascade of hormonal imbalances.

Where are they ‘hidden’?

Plastics: Common chemicals found in plastics, are notorious xenoestrogens. These compounds can leak into food and beverages stored in plastic containers, posing a potential risk.

Pesticides: Certain pesticides have been identified as xenoestrogens. Residues from these chemicals can make their way into our food and water supplies.

Personal Care Products: Some cosmetics, sunscreens, and toiletries contain xenoestrogens .These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and may disrupt the endocrine system.

Pharmaceuticals: Some medications, like birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy drugs, obviously contain synthetic oestrogens – that’s their job - but improper disposal of these drugs can lead to environmental contamination.

Processed Foods: Certain food additives have been linked to oestrogenic effects.

Plus, many other sources that you may never expect like Teflon or non-stick saucepans (made before 2014) and cling film.

So how do we reduce exposure?

We’re never going to be able to avoid all these 'nasties'. I was going to say unless we live in a plastic bubble…but that’s not going to work either!

But there are steps you can take to minimize exposure:

  • If you are storing food, like rice/pasta etc in plastic storage pots, try switching to glass jars.

  • When using the microwave, heat things in glass bowls rather than plastic.

  • Buying food in glass containers as opposed to plastic can help (things like sauces; oils etc).

  • Try using fragrance free laundry detergent.

  • Find fragrance and chemical free beauty products.

  • Try to avoid drinking water from plastic bottles and NEVER re-fill those plastic bottles or drink them after they’ve been left in the sun in the car for instance.

  • Try to eat as naturally as possible – making your own sauces, soups etc and avoid processed food. Where possible eat organically.

  • Dispose of pharmaceuticals safely through bagging and giving back to pharmacies.

All these points will help everyone, not just menopausal women. All these xenoestrogens have the potential to cause havoc to our endocrine system (a network of glands in your body that make the hormones that help cells talk to each other. They’re responsible for almost every cell, organ, and function in your body), and over exposure can cause a host of health issues.

I also realise that some of these can be extreme and would invoke major change and outlay if you tried all of them. But even taking some of these into consideration and doing your best to limit the intake will help.

If you want help and advice to manage your menopause symptoms, drop me a message or give me a call.

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