This week I have been doing research on what products in my home contribute to the estrogen dominance that drives endometriosis. The biggest sources of toxins and foods that mimic estrogen are called Xenoestrogens and Pytoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens are foreign estrogens that enter our bodies through toxins and plastics primarily. They can be difficult for the liver to process, and build up over time, contributing to or outright causing estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the hormone imbalance that contributes to or causes a wide range of female reproductive issues from endometriosis, to uterine fibroids, to breast cancer, among others. In men these toxins can have impacts on sperm counts and can create what is sometimes referred to as “man boobs”. It is safe to say this isn’t good for anyone!
Phytoestrogens come from plant-based sources and also mimic estrogen in the body. The biggest examples of this are soy and caffeine. Some of the research I have done says that fermented soy (like Natto) is actually good for women as it helps to strengthen bones much better than calcium can. In the fermentation process, the phytoestrogens are removed and it becomes safer. But unfermented (like edamame, tofu, etc.) it adds extra estrogen into the body that the liver then has to work harder to try to remove. If the liver is compromised or can’t remove it faster than it is added to the body, estrogen dominance occurs.
Here are a few articles that I have come across that explain this better than I could. I have no affiliation with these sources, just found the articles helpful to me as I have tried to get smarter on this topic. I am sure there are many, many others out there.
BPA Free Water Bottle Showdown – a little dated, but covers the basics.
Based on this, following is what I have decided to focus on:
- Eliminate water bottle usage from the store whenever possible
- No more water bottles left in the car (I have historically been a big offender of this one, although not so much recently)
- While there are some who say there are BPA-free plastics, others think all plastics leech toxins into the water. I currently use Polar Bottles frequently, and will continue to do so. They claim their bottles are safe, and have devoted some real estate on their website to addressing this concern. Some feel titanium or aluminum are better options. I like insulated bottles, so I may try out a hydroflask insulated stainless steel bottle and see how that works for me.
- Eliminate any 1, 3, 6, and 7 plastics from the home
- Do not put plastic containers in the dishwasher or microwave (I have done these things for many years!)
- Buy glass containers to store food in from here on out (targeting those without #7 lids)
Other Household Goods/Toxins
- Review all of my personal products from shampoos to makeup to lotions and soaps to deodorants, etc. and make the change to all natural products with healthy ingredients
- No more manis/pedis for the time being :o(
As I make more progress toward the other household goods research and make some changes, I’ll post what I discover.
Now it’s your turn: What changes have you made to rid your home of xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens? What has worked for you? What resources have you found that have provided answers to your questions on this topic?