Xenoestrogens! What are they? These are natural (also known as phytoestrogens) OR chemical compounds found all over our environment that look similar to the chemical structure of estrogen. They're classified as "endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)."
The majority of the issue comes with synthetic xenoestrogens.
They bind to estrogen receptors with a much higher affinity than your own estrogen.
This means they can elicit stronger estrogenic responses than your own hormones, without any of the benefits of your natural and endogenous (within the body) estrogens.
"According to the World Health Organization (WHO), EDCs are suspected to be associated with altered reproductive function in males and females, increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth patterns and neurodevelopmental delays in children, as well as changes in immune function."
Hormonal Feedback Loops
Normally, your hormones operate on a feedback loop. This means when the level of estrogen gets too high, your brain suppresses the signals to keep making more estrogen. But the issue with xenoestrogens is that they're coming from your environment.
So your brain is getting the signal to stop endogenous production of estrogen, but you still have the very strong estrogenic effects coming from the xenoestrogens, and now you also have LESS of your own natural estrogen.
Why Should I Care?
As mentioned above, EDCs have a lot of hormonal impacts on your health, not just for fertility as a woman, but also for men. Given that infertility occurs to 1 in 8 couples, the rates are pretty high and environment plays a big role in this!
If you have issues with:
Fibroids, cysts, polyps
Any other hormonal issue...
Then avoiding your exposure to xenoestrogens is likely going to be really helpful for you!
Where Are Xenoestrogens Found?
These compounds are found all around our environment in everyday products like:
Personal care products (bath & beauty products)
UV filters, topical sunscreens
For a more complete list of what these compounds and where they're found, check out this study.
What Can We Do About Them?
I know it can feel overwhelming to think that you have to just live in a bubble. And that's NEVER the answer to anything. We have to survive and adapt to the environment we're living in, right? Right.
So living in a bubble isn't the answer. But, supporting our elimination pathways, detox pathways, and avoiding these compounds as much as we can, is.
Here are a few of my favorite cleaner alternatives to commercial products:
For all your household and laundry needs: Branch Basics
For dental health needs: Rise Well
More laundry alternatives: Rockin Green
Crystal/salt stick deodorants. Hear me out- after trying almost EVERY natural deodorant this market has to offer, this has been the only thing that helps keep the odor away. The salt kills off the bacteria in your armpit that's responsible for creating body odor. It doesn't stop the sweat, but it keeps odor very minimal.
Another deodorant spray that I enjoy: EO deodorant spray
Produce items- shop from the EWG's clean 15/dirty dozen list: Clean 15/Dirty Dozen
A cleaner candle: Fontana Candles
Hand soaps, body washes, and more: Dr. Bronners
Kitchen utensils: I use cast iron pans and pots for everything. If you're looking for a non-stick option, this has been the only one I've come across that I recommend. I'm sure there are plenty of others out there, but this is the one I recommend: Green Pan
Do you want to learn more about your body, hormones, or have other health questions? Check out these online courses to get more information regarding your hormonal issues or women's health issues at large!