In order to balance hormones it’s important to first consider what is causing the “imbalance.” Exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals may be one potential cause.

The “dirty dozen” are found all around, but there are some important steps you can take to reduce your exposure.

  1. BPA: mimic’s estrogen.
    1. Avoid plastics whenever possible. Especially those marked #7 or PC.
    2. Just because something says BPA free doesn’t mean it’s safe. BPA has now been replaced with BPF and BPF both of which rise many of the same concerns.
  2. Dioxins: disrupt hormone signaling, carcinogen, disrupts immune and reproductive systems.
    1. Reduce consumption of meat, fish, milk, eggs, and butter.
  3. Atrazine: in humans increased risk of prostate cancer, in animals increased risk of breast tumors and delayed puberty.
    1. When possible by organic food. Filter drinking water.
  4. Phthalates: less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.
    1. Avoid plastic food containers, plastic wrap (plastic #3), and children’s plastic toys, and products that list “fragrance” a vague term that can be hiding phthalates.
  5. Perchlorate: competes with iodine, may affect thyroid hormone balance.
    1. Use a Reverse Osmosis filter for your drinking water.
    2. Consume adequate iodine in your diet.
  6. Fire retardants: disrupt thyroid hormone, lower IQ.
    1. Vacuum with a HEPA filter to minimize dust containing fire retardants.
    2. Avoid fire retardant pajamas for children (instead wear snug fitting cotton).
    3. Avoid buying furniture treated with fire retardant chemicals.
  7. Lead: permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage, nervous system problems, lower sex hormones, and disrupted HPA axis.
    1. Avoid chipping lead paint.
    2. Consume adequate Calcium.
    3. Drink filtered water.
  8. Arsenic: linked to weight gain/loss, poor immune function, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
    1. Drink filtered water.
    2. Avoid drinking large amounts of rice milk.
    3. Rinse rice thoroughly priorly to cooking.
  9. Mercury: Pregnant women are the most at risk, concentrates in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. May disrupt menstrual cycle and ovulation, and damage cells in the pancreas.
    1. Avoid large fish (shark, tuna, etc.)
    2. Consume the “SMASH” fish if you choose to enjoy seafood.
      1. Salmon
      2. Makrel
      3. Anchovies
      4. Sardines
      5. Herring
  10. Perfluorinated chemicals: decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction, and high cholesterol.
    1. Avoid non-stick pans.
    2. Avoid stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets.
  11. Organophosphate pesticides: impaired brain development, behavior problems, lowered testosterone, thyroid hormone imbalance.
    1. Consumer organic produce (pesticides used on our food supply are the largest source).
  12. Glycol ethers: lower sperm count, increased asthma and allergies.
    1. Avoid home cleaning products with ingredients 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).

This is a lot- I know! Knowledge is power. It is impossible to avoid all toxins. However, it is possible to do what we can to reduce our exposure and optimize our amazing bodies ability to get rid of these toxins.