If you were to tell me 5 years ago that the products I use on my skin, candles I lit all over my home, or even tupperware I used were unknowingly and silently affecting my body I would have thought you had lost it.
I can understand why controlling the controllables when it comes to our environmental influences is usually one of the last (if ever) addressed items when it comes to our health. We for the most part, can see or feel the influences of exercise, sleep, nutrition, or recovery techniques quickly if not instantaneously. We are a culture of quick results and instant gratification, which has led us to believe at times that when something doesn’t immediately affect us that it is bogus.
What we have forgotten is that our body is an extremely intelligent tool that is meant to adapt and survive. Some things take time to reach a level where you see a difference. Just because you do not see a change occurring doesn’t mean it isn’t. Our body shifts at a cellular level before we will begin to see a result in the mirror. Did you gain 30lbs from one meal of fried foods? No? It is the gradual process of the things we are doing day in and out that ultimately begin to affect us positively or negatively. It can take years of abuse before we are negatively affected in some cases.
While the products we use can affect our body in several different forms or areas, we are going to speak specifically to the endocrine disruption that can occur for the sake of this blog post. What is an endocrine disruptor? Essentially, they are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine (or hormone) systems at certain doses.
So, why should you care? Your endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones to regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. Once released, hormones act like chemical messengers. They travel around the body, bind to receptors on specific cells, and cause cellular changes. Endocrine disruptors can change hormone synthesis, transport, binding, and breakdown. They are very stable, and they don’t break down quickly. This is why many manufacturers will include them in products.
So, where are they found?
- Personal care products
Now, what do you do? You can begin making swaps to your everyday items, some I would encourage would be:
- Swapping plastic tupperware, glasses, bottles, etc. for glass or silicone based products.
- Check your food at EWG.org/foodscore and check out this list of the most common additives to avoid in foods.
- Using filtered water in your home and eliminating plastic water bottles. Carry a glass water bottle for work outs or in your car for everyday use.
- Swap your personal care products as you run out of your current. For suggestions on my favorite visit me here.
- When grocery shopping, stick to the dirty dozen and clean fifteen for produce.
- When it comes to pharmaceuticals, do your research, consult with your physician on your concerns and consider if this is something you are needing or if there is an alternative path with your physician.
You are reading through this and feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t fret! Keep in mind that small changes can make a big difference, and if you are looking for suggestions, guidance, or tips on swapping I would love to connect with you!