Xenoestrogens and your Hormones

Xenoestrogens and your Hormones

. Go figure, this article started out as a list of Xenoestrogens that I was making for a hormone workshop, however I decided that this information needed to be shared with  more people to help shed the light on what can cause hormonal issues in men and women. So what is a xenoestrogen? Xenoestrogens are chemicals that bind to estrogen receptors of the cells in your body. This can lead to an interference of your normal hormonal functions – hence disrupting your endocrine system. Xenoestrogens are considered endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are linked to chronic diseases. Xenoestrogens are one of the contributing factors of estrogen dominance in women.  Naturally you wouldn’t even think a moment that the environment or product you use would affect your hormones. However, it seems that we are exposed to xenoestrogens through multiple types of exposure.

Close your eyes for a second. Can you remember the smell of a harsh cleaning product, paint, solvent, chlorine, lubricant, fuel, new carpet, insect repellent or an air freshener? Most likely they contain xenoestrogens.  Many household cleaners contain xenoestrogens, if you smell it, you are exposed to it. 

1.MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS

Commercially grown farm products are contaminated with bovine growth hormones. Animals you eat are being injected with growth hormones and other chemicals to make them produce more, quicker. When you don’t see rBGH or rBST FREE on the label anywhere, you should know that this is milk produced from a cow treated with a genetically modified (GMO) growth hormone to increase milk production. Just in recent years, according to National Institute of Health, evidence has increased how some estrogens and the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) initiate and provoke breast, prostate and endometrial cancers.

  2.INSECTICIDE & PESTICIDE RESIDUES

You will find insecticides and pesticides on basically everything we eat. Fruits, nuts, veggies, legumes, grains etc. With over 2000 new chemicals being introduced annually, it is uncertain if there is adequate time to study if they pose a risk for human health or the environment. This is bad news for females according to this study by the National Institutes of Health. “Disruption can occur in all stages of hormonal regulation: 1. hormone synthesis; 2. hormone release and storage; 3. hormone transport and clearance; 4. hormone receptor recognition and binding; 5. hormone postreceptor activation; 6. the thyroid function; and 7. the central nervous system.” Look no further than synthetic chemicals like glyphosate and atrazine and this is just the start. These are xenoestrogens and sprayed onto grains, which is fed to the animals you eat and produce you buy.

3. PARABENS

You will find parabens in personal care products such as toothpaste, moisturizer, hair care products, soaps and cosmetics. Paraben or phenoxyethanol chemical compounds are widely used by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as preservatives. What a way to keep that young look! Parabens are known to mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. Cosmetic products do not require FDA approval for their ingredients before they go on the market.  

Xenoestrogens that enter through the skin  (as in sunscreen) move directly to your tissues without passing through the liver for detoxification. That means they are fully absorbed by the body and can be way more potent than orally consumed parabens. 

4.PHTHALATES

Phthalates are chemical compounds used to soften plastic material or increase plastic flexibility. Phthalates are known to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and the reproductive system. The majority of Americans tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. Research also shows that Woman have higher amounts of phthalates in their body then men due to the use of soaps and cosmetic products. Still drinking hot liquids out of Styrofoam cups? Also check cosmetic product labels for phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and “fragrance”. 

5.TAP WATER

Check with your local water department and see what chemical are being added. You’ll be surprised to find petroleum derivatives, a primary source for xenoestrogens. A huge amount of estrogen is released into the water supply from women taking oral contraceptives. This is now a world-wide issue, with fish being intersex and more female than male fish.   

6.ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES

Synthetic estrogen in birth control pills fool the pituitary gland into thinking you are pregnant. These xenoestrogens not only disrupt your natural hormone metabolism but are also not biodegradable, meaning they are stored in your fat cells. 

7.DRYER SHEETS

Full of xenoestrogens meant to soften your clothes. The xenoestrogens can go directly into your cells, your skin can absorb up to 60% of what touches it. Consider using wool laundry balls with essential oils in the dryer. We use distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle on the washing machine. 

8.PROCESSED FOODS

Pretty much all commercially processed and packaged foods from chicken soup base to gum and candy contain food additives that affect your estrogen. Food coloring, preservatives and flavoring agents are made using xenoestrogens. Two recently identified xenoestrogens are propyl gallate, a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling (used since 1948), and 4-hexylresorcinol, which is used to prevent discoloration in shrimp and other shellfish. Did I mention Red #40

9. SOY PROTEIN AND SOY PROTEIN ISOLATES

Soy has been getting a bad rap, however unprocessed soy is not bad for you, it may even help lower certain cancer risks. Soy contains phytoestrogens, “phyto” means plant so they are plant-based estrogens and can be managed by your body unlike synthetic estrogens. The issue with soy protein and soy protein isolates is the way they are processed. The process involves soaking the soy bean in hexane, which is a petroleum by-product when making gasoline and is also used in solvents, ink and degreasers. Hexane has also been identified as a neurotoxin by the National Institutes of Health.

What can you do to protect yourself from xenoestrogens? How can you minimize exposure to not effect your hormones? Start by taking simple steps like not heating food in plastic in the microwave. Use glass containers to store food and drink out of. Select organic produce over conventionally treated produce. Also, check out this website from the Endocrine Society for more tips and learn about EDCs.

You could also detox your body – a good jump start is my 7-Day Cleanse or 14-Day Detox. Both programs are very detailed and will help guide you with delicious recipes and snacks.  

Ready to make a change but not sure how? Connect with me for a 30 minute call to learn what life could look like with a coach. 

Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits

Developing habits is a part of life and something everyone does, but you really should be focusing on the healthy habits. Healthy Habits are things you do on a daily basis that are good for both your physical and mental health. Take a look at these healthy habits that are great for women.

Get More Exercise

If you don’t have a regular fitness routine, now is the perfect time to start. Exercise is wonderful for anyone, male or female, but it has some unique advantages for women. Exercising can help you lose weight and manage your weight, fight diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and prevent conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis as you age. It is also great during any phase of your life, whether you are a teenager, in your childbearing years, or even as a senior adult. This is a great healthy habit to start developing now. There is no doubt that overcoming ingrained habits can be a challenge. Reading books like “Small Habits, Big Changes: How the Tiniest Steps Lead to a Happier, Healthier You” by Steven Handel can be a game changer here. 

Focus on Your Nutrition

In addition to exercise, you should also develop a habit of eating better. Don’t try to find some fad diet just to lose weight, but choose a new way of eating that becomes a part of your lifestyle. Think of longevity and choose foods that are good for you, provide adequate nutrition, and are foods you can eat and cook easily. If your favorite food is bread, then low-carb is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are a protein girl, you might do great on Keto or Paleo. Pick and choose based on what provides the most nutrition, but also what is manageable for your current lifestyle. There is no right or wrong. Experience with different foods and keep a food diary. This way it is much easier to figure out which foods support you vs. which foods make you feel less energetic or well. 

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health

Now is also the perfect time to start developing habits that are good for your mental health as well. Far too many people, women especially, neglect their mental health. Your mental health can also have an impact on your physical well-being, so it is very important. Some things that can help your mental health include getting regular exercise and eating right. Writing in a journal, de-stressing, when you can, and taking some time for yourself for a little self-care. Little tiny steps in each of these directions can take you a long way. This method is called “Kaizen” and can be applied to just about everything from food to exercise, even to changing negative thoughts to positive ones when they enter your mind. 

Spend Time With Loved Ones

It is really easy to become a hermit and just work and sleep, but it is important for your health and well-being that you make a habit of visiting others. Make plans with friends, spend time with family, and reach out to people you don’t spend a lot of time with, such as co-workers or neighbors. It is a good idea to find people that uplift and support you while avoiding the people that are a negative energy drain. 

Finding it hard to change ingrained habits? Connect with me for a 30 min call to learn what life could look like with a coach.

Mental Health in Women

Mental Health in Women

Common Mental Health Issues in Women

Something nobody ever seems to talk about – mental health. As a woman it is essential that you really pay close attention to your mental health,  just like men need to. It is imperative that you not ignore symptoms of certain mental health conditions, whether you have stress or clinical depression. Here are some of the more common mental health issues women tend to face.

 Stress

This is probably one of the biggest and most common mental health issues that plagues women. While both men and women can get stress, there have been many studies to show that women in general are at a higher risk for getting stress. The good news is that there are a lot of easy and healthy ways to reduce your stress levels, from changes in your job and home life, to healthy lifestyle changes like exercising more often and making sure you focus on self-care.

Anxiety

Another big mental health dilemma among women is anxiety. Anxiety in general is equal among men and women, but there are certain types of anxiety that you are more prone to. This includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attack disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and specific phobias like agoraphobia. If you struggle with a high amount of stress, that can also be a contributing factor to your anxiety or panic attacks. For anxiety, remedies range from cutting out caffeine and alcohol, to taking anti-anxiety medications.

Depression

Along the same lines of anxiety is depression, which is also a bigger risk in women. Studies have shown that women are twice as likely to get depression and have more suicide attempts. Women tend to commit suicide more often than men, and approximately 12 percent of women are suffering from depression, while the number is only 6 percent with men. However, men are more likely to actually die from the suicide attempts. Either way, no matter your gender, you should never ignore your depression. Get help from a licensed mental health professional right away.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are also considered a mental health condition, and are more common in women. Men still get anorexia and binge eating disorder, but women are at a higher risk. If you feel that you might have an eating disorder like bulimia, anorexia, binge eating disorder, or overeating disorder, you should talk to a doctor as soon as you can. These disorders affect your mental and physical state, and can even be life threatening.

How can Lifestyle Medicine Coaching help?

A good Lifestyle Medicine Coach will be able to help you identify stressors and support you in finding solutions that  work for you. A coach will help you take action and achieve your goals, become more self-confident and gain satisfaction in your life. Get in touch with me on my ABOUT page for a complimentary 30 minute call and see if you could benefit from lifestyle medicine coaching.  

5 Reasons why every woman should exercise

5 Reasons why every woman should exercise

5 Reasons Every Woman Should Exercise

You may not want to hear it, but exercise is very important for you. When I take a couple days off, I can definitely feel the difference. So even if you have a love-hate relationship with exercise, it is a good idea to fit regular fitness into your routine. Plus, you also have some unique benefits as a woman. Here are 5 different reasons to start exercising on a regular basis.

  1. Exercise Gives You a Natural Mood Boost

One of the great things about exercising regularly is that it makes you feel so much better. It is high on the list of the best ways to naturally make you happier and reduce stress at the same time. This is all thanks to endorphins, which are happy chemicals you already have in your brain. When you exercise, it helps you release those endorphins, helping you to feel happier and more energetic. Exercising for around 30 minutes or so a day really boosts your mood.

  1. You Can Reduce Certain Health Risks

Exercise is wonderful for so many reasons, from weight loss to giving you more energy. Another reason you should exercise is because it helps to reduce your risk for serious medical conditions. This includes physical conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease, both of which are a high risk if you are a woman. Exercising has also been shown to reduce the risk of dementia in older adults. There is no cure for dementia, so prevention is your best chance.

  1. Exercise Helps with Your Sex Life

If you feel like your sex life has been lacking as of late, why not feel sexier and get more confidence with exercise? There are many ways exercising can improve your sex life. First of all, it will give you more confidence due to becoming fit, healthy, and losing weight. It can also improve your sexual desire thanks to the natural mood boost and increase in energy you get. This is great for both women and men.

  1. You Can Lose Weight

The reason many women choose to exercise regularly is to help them lose weight. While you should still follow a healthy diet, exercise definitely helps you manage your weight. It is important at any age, from teen and young adult years, to being an older adult and senior. Weight loss also has other benefits, like improving your confidence, helping with your sex life, and reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

  1. Exercise is Great for Mental Health

While your physical health is very important to pay attention to, you should also be focusing on your mental health as well. It is imperative that you not forget about your stress level and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Exercise can help you manage these types of mental health conditions.