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Your body has an internal system that controls your growth and development, moods, metabolism, sexual function, sleep, immune function, and more. This is called the Endocrine System. It’s made of up glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Once released, these hormones create changes in the cells to respond to whatever your body needs at that time.

But what if something got into your body that acted like a hormone, but it wasn’t a hormone? These are called Endocrine Disruptors – they mimic our natural hormones, which can have serious effects on our health.

Unfortunately, Endocrine Disruptors are found in many products that we use every day, including household cleaners, personal care products, perfumes and air fresheners, pesticides (used on fruit and vegetables), and artificial flavours in processed foods – plus many, many more.

How Endocrine Disruptors are messing us up

Hormones control every function in the body and when they’re out of balance, so is everything else. They can cause all sorts of problems, such as the following:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Weakened immune system
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Neurological problems
  • Cancer

 

Here are some of the most common Endocrine Disrupting chemicals:

  • Bisphenol: BPA, BPS in plastics and in the lining of canned goods.
  • Triclosan: ‘Antibacterial’ products that interfere with thyroid hormones.
  • Phthalates: Haircare products, lotions, some plastic food containers.
  • Teflon, Gore-Tex, as well as anything ‘stain-resistant’, make-up, nail polish.
  • Parabens: butyl-, methyl-, ethyl-, and propyl-parabens act as synthetic oestrogen.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (SLS): A foaming agent in personal care and cleaning products.
  • Fluoride: Blocks proper absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland as well as affects the pineal, parathyroid and pancreas. It causes dental and skeletal fluorosis.

 

So how can we avoid them?

  • Buy organic food whenever possible.
  • Avoid using pesticides around your home and on your pets.
  • Avoid heating foods in plastic containers — use glass or ceramic instead.
  • Swap your plastic water bottle for stainless steel or BPA Free plastic
  • Avoid plastic toys for children
  • Avoid stain-resistant and Teflon products.
  • Buy fresh or frozen instead of canned, unless the can states that it is “BPA-free.”
  • Avoid antibacterial products.

It’s virtually impossible to eradicate all of these from our lives, but knowing what to avoid will help keep our hormones balanced for a happier, healthier life.

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