Every single day we are surrounded by chemicals, everywhere we go. Take a walk into a dollar store and notice the smell as you walk in… that is the multitude of chemicals within many/all of these products being sold in these stores.
Did you know that PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders and it affects 6-10% of all women(1)! Currently medical doctors do not know what causes PCOS or why some of us are affected. Many are diagnosed, like how I was, through various ultrasound and blood tests throughout your cycle. Hypothyroidism is actually common to also be diagnosed when someone has PCOS. Many of the symptoms are similar and to be diagnosed there are various blood tests which should be performed. Many family doctors are not equipped to properly diagnose a thyroid issue which is where a Reproductive Endocrinologist is helpful for women to see to ensure all the proper testing is completed.
Thyroid disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are two of the most common endocrine disorders in the general population. Although the etiopathogenesis of hypothyroidism and PCOS is completely different, these two entities have many features in common. An increase in ovarian volume and cystic changes in ovaries have been reported in primary hypothyroidism. In the other direction, it is increasingly realized that thyroid disorders are more common in women with PCOS as compared to the normal population. Whether this is due to some common factors predisposing an individual to both disorders, or due to a pathophysiological connection between the two disorders has not been established until now. (2)
Through the years there has been controversy around endocrine disruptors, in part because different stakeholders, some with financial incentives, may review the literature from a very different perspective. The chemical industry and environmental nongovernmental organizations have often been in conflict, and the lay press sometimes oversimplifies the research results. It is also notable that the goals of industry-funded studies and federal granting agency-funded studies can differ both in design and in desired outcomes. The former (industry) are often done to prove safety, and negative results are considered a favorable outcome and are published. By contrast, government-funded research is usually hypothesis-driven, seeking underlying mechanisms, and not necessarily intended to prove or disprove safety. As a result, such studies may be omitted from the risk assessment process, something that ought to be overcome by better integration of the different types of studies. (3)
Research on the effects of EDCs on obesity, diabetes mellitus, and associated metabolic disorders is a relatively new discipline and was selected as a focus of EDC-2 because of the importance of this emerging area. There are relatively few studies on EDCs acting as cardiovascular disruptors, but we briefly reviewed this literature because we view this as an important emerging area. For the latter, recent evidence in animals suggests that BPA may directly target cardiomyocytes, trigger arrhythmias, and cause hypertension. (4)
Definition of EDC’s (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals) and Prototypical Examples.
For the purposes of EDC-2, we provide an operational working definition of an EDC as: “an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that interferes with any aspect of hormone action”. (3)
Some of these hormone disrupting chemicals are:
- Bisphenol A (BPA) – Bisphenol A (BPA) was first synthesized in 1891 and was discovered to be estrogenic in 1936 . BPA common in many plastics and is produced annually more than any other chemical. This can be found in manufacturing, food packaging, and even in the lining of canned foods.
- Phthalates – Phthalates and phthalate esters are a large group of compounds used as liquid plasticizers found in a wide range of products including plastics, coatings, cosmetics, and medical tubing. Because they are not chemically bound to the plastic, phthalates can leach into the environment. Moreover, a variety of consumer products use various phthalates, including personal care products, medical tubing, vinyl flooring materials, and toys. (3) This chemical has also been found in foods including sports drinks, fruit beverages, teas, jams/jelly, health foods or supplements in powder or tablet form, ice cream, frozen foods, cake mixes.
- Altrazine – Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine) (ATR) is a widely used chlorotriazine herbicide used to control broadleaf and grass weed growth on crops such as commercial corn, sorghum, and sugar cane. (3)
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers – Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of industrial chemicals with paired phenolic rings and variable degrees of chlorination. Some PCBs are classified as EDCs because they have thyroidogenic, estrogenic, and antiandrogenic actions (32, 33). The commercial production of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) began in the late 1970s (34), just about the time that PCB production was banned. They were used as flame retardants in upholstered products, mattresses, and clothing. In 2001, approximately 33 000 metric tons of PBDEs were produced, most of which was used in North America (34).
Several reproductive pathologies have associations with EDCs. In particular, polycystic ovarian syndrome in humans is associated with higher body burdens of certain chemicals, especially BPA, and animal models corroborate this finding. Other disorders such as endometriosis, fibroids, and adverse birth outcomes have associations with higher EDC exposures in humans and animals. (4)
What is truly scary is that hormone-sensitive cancers such as uterine, ovarian and breast are on the rise, in part due to the EDC’s in the environment. Endocrine disrupting chemicals do not only effect women, they effect men as well.
The EDC field has some of its deepest roots in male reproductive biology. There is increasing mechanistic evidence that EDCs, especially those that are antiandrogenic, play key roles in impairments in the development and maintenance of male health. Some of the potential defects and diseases that have been associated with developmental exposure to EDCs are: hypospadias, cryptorchidism, testicular germ cell cancer, and poor semen quality. In combination, these defects are referred to as testicular dysgenesis syndrome, and it has been proposed that the increase in testicular dysgenesis syndrome is due in part to increased exposure to EDCs, especially during development. (4)
Chemicals are also known to be thyroid disrupting as well. Chemicals which can affect the body’s thyroid system are PCB’s, PBDE’s, some Phthalates and Perchlorate. This can affect a person’s metabolism as well as their mental health. When people feel bad physically, typically a person’s happiness is negatively impacted as well.
As women, many of the products we use include “Fragrance” to make it smell nice. Unfortunately this is hurting our emotional and physical health…
More than 3000 chemicals are used in fragrance mixtures. Many are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. In addition, synthetic musks used in detergents build up in the environment and can be toxic to aquatic organisms. Certain synthetic musks are also suspected endocrine disrupters that mimic or interfere with the function of hormones. Phthalates are another common fragrance ingredient in products such as laundry detergents, fabric softeners and deodorizers. Glass cleaners and floor polishes have also been found to contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Phthalates are suspected endocrine disrupters associated with reproductive effects, including reduced sperm count in men. The European Union classifies DBP as very toxic to aquatic organisms. Under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, DBP is listed as a Chemical for Priority Action. Air fresheners contain a potpourri of fragrance chemicals, in some cases including cancer-causing benzene and formaldehyde, as well as phthalates and numerous VOCs. (6)
What Can You Do?
For those of us who have PCOS – trust me you CAN change your life even by starting TODAY! Its never too late to make a positive change in your life. For those of us with daughters, neices, grand-daughters – NOW is the time to be educating THEM on making healthy choices including foods and products they use.
Being healthy is SO MUCH MORE than just eating healthy, exercising or drinking shakes. I knew that if I was going to make a change in my life it had to be a lifestyle change. I couldn’t just start exercising and drinking shakes and everything would be better. I knew with the challenges I faced I had to make a lifestyle change. Ironically it was so super simple!
- Use all natural cleaning products or make your own!
By using water, vinegar and cptg essential oils you can make an effective cleaner which is not harmful to your health! Remove chemical cleaners from your home. These chemcials, as we learned above, are hormone disrupting and over time will have adverse effects on our health! Instead use all natural products – either DIY or from a company which is transparent in the ingredients, testing and sourcing of all materials. We are also now using Norwex cloths to use with our cleaning spray and absolutely LOVE how they work together! Very powerful combination!
- Use all natural hand soap or make your own DIY with liquid castile soap and essential oils. Be sure the soaps you use do not include Triclosan – Avoid “hand sanitizer”. Antibacterial soaps kill bacteria and microbes – but so do plain soap and water. An FDA advisory committee found that using antibacterial soaps provides no benefits over plain soap and water. The FDA banned triclosan, triclocarban and 17 other antibacterial ingredients in hand soaps, effective September 2017. Many ingredients added to soap, plastics and textiles to make them “antibacterial” pose safety concerns and provide minimal, if any, benefits. After the ban, triclosan can still be added to many antibacterial consumer products. Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. Even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Triclosan and other antibacterial ingredients may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Antibacterial chemicals such as triclosan affect the natural environment. Wastewater treatment does not remove all triclosan, sending it into lakes, rivers and water sources, whcre it is very toxic to aquatic life. (5)
- Opt for real whole foods – Local meat from a butcher, grain products, fruits and vegetables. Limit or completely remove processed foods from your diet. Have you watched how fast food products are made. I guarantee if you take the time to watch these various studies, you wont want to touch them again! I used to love a nice juicy crispy chicken sandwich and now knowing what went into that is just not worth it. It actually has turned me completely off and my health is thriving!
- Use natural alternatives vs over the counter medication. I admit I used to take a lot of pain killers as my body was typically always hurting somewhere. I made myself dedicate to truly making a change. If I was going to truly make this shift, I needed to just do it. The adjustment I admit was rough, however my body and health is again, thriving! I rarely have any headaches, pain or discomfort and if I do I support my body with rest, water and essential oils. Yes… even hangover’s !!! 😉 doTERRA Essential Oils are sourced from all over the world, grown in areas of the world where each individual plant naturally thrives and produces the most potent essential oils. doTERRA currently has exclusivity of over 80% of locations of where their oils are sourced from that only doTERRA can use. They also have a very precise testing procedure which each batch must follow and criteria which much be met for the oils to be sold to our members.
- Provide your body with the optimal nutrition it needs with high quality plant based supplements. The food we are eating today in comparison to what we ate many years ago is significantly different. The foods have less nutrients and are much lesser quality as time goes on. (7) High quality supplements will support your healthy cell function, promote mitochondrial energy production, healthy cellular inflammatory response, healthy cardiovascular, immune, joint and brain health, essential fatty acids and antioxidant protection as well as nutritional vitamins and minerals to support bone and metabolic health. The supplements we have chosen to use provide optimal nutrional, cellular and omega nutrients to our bodies with science proven research. The ingredients in the supplements are of the highest quality.
- Move Your Body! Yes exercising is important – at your comfort level! Exercising is important for our physical and mental health. Its also something that I wont let be my stressor either. Others live for exercising and that is fabulous. We are all different and as long as we move – our bodies are happy!
- Sleep and Rest! Rest for your mind and body. Proper sleep for your body to optimally function is incredibly important. Creating an atmosphere for proper sleep including a dark room, comfortable bed, comfortable clothes, hydrated. For those who have difficulty falling asleep at times (me!) having a warm bath with epsom salts can be relaxing, adding in calming and relaxing essential oils such as Lavender, Serenity, Vetiver, Cedarwood are also helpful to promote rest and relaxation. Utilizing a cool mist diffuser with high quality CPTG essential oils in your bedroom at night.
- Give yourself permission to take a deep breath and just BE! Stress can be detrimental to us physically and emotionally. If you don’t feel like getting up and exercising that day, don’t. If you feel so tired but there are dishes to do, go to sleep. If you have a massive pile of laundry, but you are all home and the kids want a family night, enjoy the family night! Be ok with how you look. Be ok with your present life. Be open to amazing possibilities. You never know what tomorrow will bring ❤ Those times when we truly make the time to focus on ourselves is usually the best investment!
- Reach for your dreams! Set your goals and work towards them! For myself when I feel good, I feel so much more motivated in all areas of my life, which truly becomes full circle because if I am feeling good and enjoying what I am doing I am feeling good the majority of the time and better capable to deal with challenges. I have been given a blessing, facing my own challenges I can understand what others who share these challenges, are also going through. Guess what… life isn’t a game, the only person you need to worry about being better than, is the person you were yesterday! We have a very real goal of being completely mortgage free – this is significant for us and is what we are working hard towards. How amazing would it be to be able to be that much more financial free and owning your home outright! How much stress would be lifted – our bodies would experience that much less stress, another opportunity for our health to thrive!
I am a photographer, wife and mother of 2 who has PCOS, Hypothyroidism and Endometriosis. I have been challenged with infertility, weight gain, depression and am stronger because of it! I have completely transformed my health in a very simple, low stress and affordable way by introducing essential oils to our family. I am an independent consultant for doTERRA. I have my own business and support my own team of everyone within our doTERRA Family. As a Wellness Advocate and Team Leader I share my life story with others and get to show them how they too can be empowered within their own homes as well. I keep it simple – which is how I knew I could make this transition in our home and life. With scientific backed research the products I have chosen to use in my own home and educate others on are of the upmost highest quality available with thorough testing. I would love to also help you to become that person you are envisioning who feels good, is sleeping better and has energy to get through the day and into the evening! To not only be a better wife, mom, employee, friend… a better YOU! ❤
If you are ready to make a change in your life – I am excited to meet you and have you join our Your Life As Art Essentials Family!
1 Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Canadian Women’s Health Network
2 Thyroid Disorders and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: An Emerging Relationship
3 EDC-2: The Endocrine Socicety’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
4 Executive Summary to EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
5 EWG’s Healthy Home Tips: Tip 5 – Wash Those Hands, But Avoid Triclosan
6 The Dirt on Toxic Chemicals in Household Cleaning Products
7 Breeding The Nutrition Out of Our Food