Can Everyday Toxins Have an Impact on Menopause?
A lot of different factors can affect the menopause and the impact it has on women. The truth is our everyday environment is filled with hormone disrupters which can affect the impact of the menopause. It’s important for women to be aware of which everyday items can trigger symptoms of the menopause. Being aware allows precautions to be put in place and lets you plan how to combat any unwanted symptoms.
There are chemicals and toxins that we encounter every day which interferes with the body’s hormones which are often referred to as endocrine disruptors. It’s possible to encounter these toxins through both natural means and synthetic products.
Where are endocrine disruptors found?
Endocrine disruptors can be found in almost all aspects of our everyday lives, so people need to recognise where they may be exposed to them.
In Our Bodies
We can be exposed to endocrine disruptors through the food we consume. Some of the most harmful endocrine disruptors such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are often found in plastic food packaging. These EDCs can often transfer to the food itself, which we then consume. Other EDCs can also be found in the chemicals sometimes used to keep food fresh such as organochlorine pesticides, often used on dairy products and oily fish.
On Our Bodies
Most products we use on our bodies contain endocrine disruptors, with some of the more harmful EDCs being present in hygiene products we use daily. Triclosan is an EDC that can be found in certain personal care products such as antibacterial hand soaps and liquid body wash. Other EDCs such as Sodium Sulphate can be found in some shampoos and other fragrant cleansers.
Thankfully, several brands are working to raise awareness of the dangerous toxins found in products, and they are actively working to create safer alternative products.
In the Home
Endocrine disruptors can also be found in a variety of places around the house. Plastic bottles and plastic kitchen utensils are often common sources of BPA, while other types of EDCs can often be found on furniture, fabric and toys which have been sprayed with flame-retardant chemicals. Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) can be found in non-stick pans and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) can be found in hydraulic fluids, plasticisers, and lubricants.
Whilst it’s possible to use certain alternative products without these chemicals, it can be difficult to stay clear of EDCs altogether.
Why Do Endocrine Disruptors Impact the Menopause?
There have been numerous studies that indicate that endocrine disruptors can have significant detrimental effects on women going through menopause. The main issue is, EDCs can mimic hormones that are inherent in the body, such as androgens, estrogeons, and thyroid hormones – which can block or interfere with natural hormone processes.
What Can Help Combat Endocrine Disruptors?
It’s also possible for us to carry these toxins and chemicals on our hands and shoes, so we may also carry endocrine disruptors into the house from the outside. This makes regular cleaning essential, as it can help to rid your home of these disruptors. Vacuuming and mopping the floor, as well as wiping down all surfaces can help to reduce the number of EDCs in your house. Keeping a good level of ventilation can allow the air to remain fresh and reduce the risk of EDCs.