08 Apr Endocrine Disruptors and Epigenetics
Written by Karen Schackelford.
I had never heard the term “endocrine” before I had my thyroid crash. I was in the hospital with A-fib (my heart was going crazy fast), and I felt horrible. I was told that I would need to find an endocrinologist to help me with my newly-diagnosed thyroid problems. I was familiar with the cancer world, but nothing about this one.
So of course, I set out to find out as much as I could. I not only learned about the importance of the well-being of our endocrine system, but that there are endocrine disruptors that can wreck this system and cause serious health-related issues by causing epigenetic changes in our bodies.
The endocrine system controls the way your body functions. It produces hormones that travel to all parts of your body to maintain your tissues and organs. Here are a few of the areas governed by the endocrine system:
- Responses to stress and injury
- Growth and sexual development
- Body energy levels
- Internal balance of body systems
- Bone and muscle strength
Your endocrine system produces, stores and releases hormones. When everything goes smoothly, your body functions properly.
So as you can see, its a big player in our well-being.
Now, the big question is “What are endocrine disruptors”?
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, “endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products – including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.”
Here is a list of some Endocrine Disruptors:
- Hazardous Material/Waste
- Soy Infant Formula
- Water Pollution
To learn more about the endocrine disruptors, click here.
I would also encourage you to watch this informative video called Our Chemical Lives. You will see how some of the above disruptors can even affect babies in the womb.
We can help others know how important the endocrine system really is. With this knowledge, we can make better decisions about what we’re exposed to. I will always lean toward being cautious.
I hope you will give this some thought!
Mary Caire MD empowers the world to create a culture of optimized health guided by DNA and epigenetics.