Hormone imbalances are all too common today. They affect men and women and can cause a variety of different symptoms, but it often goes undiagnosed. Many times the symptoms may mimic another condition, and you could be given treatment for the wrong thing. Hormone imbalances can lead to problems like PCOS, infertility, and may contribute to some types of cancer. This is why getting your hormones checked out is imperative to your overall health.
There are many potential causes of hormone imbalances, but it is most often due to exposure to environmental estrogens (found in plastic products, canned food, fragranced soaps, and cosmetics), birth control including IUDs and the pill, or a sluggish liver. We come into contact with thousands of different chemicals each day (with some studies claiming we encounter hundreds of thousands of different chemicals a day) through our air, water, food, perfume and cologne, soaps, cosmetics, workplace exposures, especially if you work in a factory, chemical plant, mechanic shop, or are a welder. We are even exposed to harmful toxins in the form of flame-retardant chemicals in our mattresses, furniture, clothes, and pillows.
Plastic is a particularly harmful thing because of how common it is. You probably use plastic bowls to eat out of, store food in, or heat up food in. You likely drink out of plastic water bottles, and maybe you also have plastic tupperware and plastic bottles that you use over and over again. When plastic is heated up – like when hot food is put in it, when it’s washed in the dishwasher, or used in the microwave – or used repeatedly, pthalates, BPA, BPS, dioxins, cadmium, lead and other toxic substances can leech into the food and liquids inside the plastic container. These substances also leech into the food/liquids over time, whether heated or not.
Pthalates are endocrine (hormone) disruptors, and can cause your hormones to get out of balance. Pthalates are also linked to reproductive issues, and developmental disorders, asthma, and allergies in children. BPA gained negative attention a few years ago and was subsequently banned from use in children’s sippy cups and baby bottles, but it is still used in canned food and certain plastics. Some companies replaced BPA with a similar chemical, BPS, but BPS has been shown to have adverse health effects similar to BPA. Dioxins are often a byproduct of PVC plastic production, and can be found in PVC plastic containers. Dioxins are one of the most toxic subtances known to man and are linked to a wide variety of health issues including certain cancers, birth defects, reproductive issues, autoimmune disorders, skin disorders, and several others. Plastic can also leech other compounds that mimic estrogen in the body, which can lead to estrogen dominance and low testosterone.
Phalates, BPA/BPS, dioxins and other endocrine disruptors are very common today. They can be found in plastic, soaps, perfume, cologne, cosmetics, and other beauty products. Fortunately, you can reduce your exposure by replacing plastic with glass, ceramic, or stainless steel whenever possible, switching to all-natural cosmetics and soaps, and reducing your use of perfume and cologne. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs, but choose organic produce as pesticides are another potential endocrine disruptor.
You may not think the liver has much to do with hormones, but it actually plays a critical role in keeping hormones balanced. The liver is involved with an estimated 500 differen functions in the body, so having optimal liver function is important for more than just hormones. These functions include cleaning your blood, producing bile (bile is critical for healthy digestion), storing iron, and filtering out “bad” or excess hormones. The liver usually binds up environmental estrogens and other toxins so they can be excreted, but if the liver is not functioning optimally then it cannot do this job correctly. This could leave excess “bad” estrogens and other harmful things circulating through your body, which could lead to estrogen dominance and other hormonal issues.
Hormone imbalances can cause many different symptoms, with some being specific to men or women.
Symptoms of hormone imbalances in men include, but are not limited to:
- Decreased Muscle Mass
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Decreased Body Hair
- Low Sperm Count
Symptoms of hormone imbalances in women include, but are not limited to:
- Indigestion, Diarrhea, or Constipation
- Spotting between periods
- Weight Gain
- Hot Flashes
You’re probably wondering what you can do to get your hormones balanced. Fortunately, there are several things you can do. In addition to reducing plastic use and exposure to other endocrine disruptors, there are some supplements you can take. These include:
- CDG EstroDIM – Contains DIM (Diindolylmethane) derived from cruciferous vegetables that may help the body rid itself of “bad” estrogens.
- PhytoCore – Contains dandelion root extract, milk thistle seed extract, and others. It is designed to aid in Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification, potentially making it easier for your liver to bind up excess hormones.
- Prostatrol Forte – Contains selenium, zinc, nettles root extract and a few other ingredients designed to promote prostate and urinary health.
The good news is that you can get your hormones back on track. Cut out plastic products wherever possible, switch to natural soaps and beauty products, and avoid conventional produce and choose organic instead. You can also get blood work done to see your hormone levels to find out what needs to be balanced, and get the right supplement plan tailored to you. Much of your health is in your control!
Hormonal imbalances are all too common today, but it often goes undiagnosed. Hormones are responsible for