To some of us, the term xenoestrogen sounds like a new form of organism from outer space! So, I thought I would explain what they are and how they might affect our endometriosis.
Xenoestrogens are toxins that mimic estrogen. They are found in our daily lives and work their way into our bodies, converting themselves as they do this.
Here is a full list of sources of xenoestrogens:
- Contraceptive pills and HRT treatments.
- Organchlorines are one of the largest sources. They are used in pesticides, dry-cleaning, bleaching of feminine-hygiene products and the manufacture of plastics. Think of your tampons, pads, white cotton pads.
- Bisphenol-A, a breakdown of polycarbonate, is used in many plastic bottles. It’s found in the lining of many food cans and juice containers. Avoid plastic bottles and plastic food containers. Use glass, ceramics, steel or wood to eat out of instead!
- Pesticides and fungicides sprayed on fruits and vegetables. Be careful of fruits or vegetables with thinner skins.
- Many animal products will contain xenoestrogens because many of them are injected with supplements and bovine. Mass-produced products are usually the worst, such as dairy, meat and chicken.
- Food preservatives like BHS, colorants and flavorants
- In some countries the water coming out of the tap is loaded with hormones. In some cases the water has been recycled seven times. Unfortunately, this does not clean out the remnants of the contraceptive pills being taken. That means we are drinking heaps of the xenoestrogens found in the contraceptive pill!
- Petrochemical-based products we use on our skin. Lotions, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics. Perfumes are also included here. It all gets absorbed by the skin. Nail polish, nail polish removers, deodorants, air fresheners.
- Sunscreens contain nasty ingredients such as benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor, octal-methoxycinnamate, octal-dimethyl-PABA.
- Cleaning products often contain strong bleaches and other bad chemicals
- Washing products, fabric softeners and detergents
- Paints, solvents, oils, fuel, industrial waste, packaging materials etc.
- Gas from new carpets, sofas
The problem with xenoestrogens is that they are more powerful than normal estrogen. This means, hen they come into our bodies and occupy the receptors, where our estrogen lives, it elevates the estrogen levels in our bodies. Higher levels of estrogen creates an imbalance of estrogens to progesterones. If we have too many of these xenoestrogens occupying more receptor sites in our bodies, we can land up with estrogen dominance. The imbalance of too much estrogen stimulates cell growth. That cell growth lands up being endometrial cell growth or other forms of cell growth, which is not what we want! The more estrogen, the more endometriosis grows, the more pain, the more bleeding… you get the picture!
I want to emphasize that xenoestrogens are very different to plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are less powerful than xenoestrogens and are derived from plants.
We need to be aware of the xenoestrogens and avoid them where we can!
Here is what we can do:
- Choose natural products for your body, face, kitchen and home.
- Use wood, ceramic or stainless steel for your food storage.
- Be aware of where you live and consider its impact on your health. Do you live on a main road? Near a toxic incinerator? Near a paper factory? Anywhere where there are fumes coming up into the air near you?
- Filter your water or ideally source natural spring water (www.findaspring.com)
- Buy organic fruit and vegetables. If this is tough financially, make sure you buy the ones with a thin skin.
- Make foods from scratch, knowing exactly what is in them. No preservatives or colorants required!
- Avoid eating meat, chicken or dairy products. If you really want to, go for organic grass-fed produce.
The other massive way to get rid of these xenoestrogens is to flush them out of the body or help the liver do that for us.
Were you aware that these xenoestrogens were in your life? Did you know how they were affecting your endo? Any questions? Contributions welcome!