5 Ways to Protect Your Hormones from Toxic Chemicals
When you’re trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle, diet and exercise tend to get most of the attention. But there’s another critical step to living healthier: reducing your intake of toxic chemicals. In particular, chemicals known as endocrine disruptors can confuse your body by crossing wires in your hormonal system, which may in turn cause an increase or decrease in the production of various hormones. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, can imitate hormones and interfere with their signaling, contributing to an increasing number of health issues such as cancer, fertility problems, slow cognitive development, changes in metabolism, and immune disorders. Knowing these risks should encourage you to avoid EDCs, but this isn’t always an easy task. This group of chemicals includes bisphenol A or BPA, organophosphate pesticides, mercury and lead. BPA is a suspected obesogen, a subset of EDCs that can alter metabolism, leading to weight gain, insulin resistance and obesity. EDCs may sound scary, but what’s scarier is that these toxic chemicals can be found in a surprising number of products you use every day, including face wash, plastic water bottles, perfume, laundry detergent, cleaning products, makeup, dairy, sunscreen and plastic toys. It may be impossible to live an entirely EDC-free life, but here are some tips to reduce your toxic load.