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In just 70 years, almost 100,000 new chemicals have been released into the environment. Yet more than 85 percent of these have never been tested for health effects in humans!

We also have very little scientific knowledge about what happens when these chemicals enter or are already in our bodies. What we do know is that newborns are contaminated with around 300 environmental chemicals from the moment they are born. Research shows that many of these chemicals can be extremely toxic. One of the biggest impact areas? Our hormonesI

What are EDCs?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are common in the plastics of our food containers, the herbicides, pesticides and hormones used to grow our food, and in our water supply systems, due to agricultural and manufacturing contaminants. They can also be found in the flame retardants in our clothing, cars and home furnishings, in cigarette smoke and even in our cosmetics. Disinfectants, which are ubiquitous in a post-COVID world along with toothpaste, often contain triclosan, an endocrine disrupting chemical. It has been shown in blood tests I (Adriana Ayales) have done to look for environmental toxins in patients struggling with hormonal imbalances, including fertility issues.

Common hormonal imbalances associated with EDCs include, but are not limited to:

  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Endometriosis
  • Fertility problems
  • Fibroids
  • Insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome
  • Irregular or painful periods
  • History of miscarriage
  • Monthly breast tenderness and lumps
  • PMS
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Premature puberty
  • Weight problems
  • Breast or uterine cancer

We hear the term "hormones" a lot, but what does it really mean?

The simplest definition of hormones?

Hormones are chemicals produced by the body, naturally or synthetically, that influence the body's growth and development processes by transmitting messages between cells.

Our body produces numerous hormones.

You've no doubt heard of estrogen, which is basically a group of chemicals that give women the round, feminine curves, keep bones strong, grow the uterine lining, and ensure that women get their monthly cycles, and they grow in the right places. keeps it moist. Progesterone helps regulate our cycle and stabilizes any pregnancy. And testosterone, often seen as a male hormone, also has an important function in women.

Other hormones are:

  • Thyroid Hormones - Regulates your energy, weight, metabolism and healthy hair. Regular cycles and sharp brain function
  • Insulin - Regulates how we use blood sugar, proteins, fats and carbohydrates
  • Leptin - Tells us when we are full
  • Cortisol - Determines our ability to respond to environmental stress and regulates the immune system
  • Oxytocin - The "love hormone" that is abundant in women who have become mothers, influences love and feelings of bonding in us throughout our lives

Endocrine disruptors are chemical contaminants

They mimic our own natural hormones. In doing so, they distort the messages that our cells give to each other. This can have a major or minor influence on one of the above hormones. More often, however, they mimic estrogen. These mixed chemical/natural hormones can cause imbalances related to the majority of hormonal conditions women experience. They can also cause serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

When pregnant women are exposed to hormone disruptors, they can interfere at critical stages of development, increasing babies' risk of developing birth defects.
The baby in the womb can also be at risk of becoming overweight and developing hormonal problems (even diabetes and cancer) in the long term. No one knows the full extent of the harmful effects of these hormone disruptors, nor how much is needed to cause damage.

Our daily choices have a huge impact on reducing daily exposure to toxins.
Below are the top 10 things you can do to limit your exposure to hormone disruptors:

  • Toxin-free cosmetics: Use toxin-free cosmetics and avoid products that contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Skin Deep is a great resource for learning which cosmetic ingredients are the safest. About || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | EWG (English)
  • Don't smoke - If you smoke, get help to quit. Whenever possible, avoid second- and third-hand smoke (surfaces that smokers have used, such as clothing, etc.).
  • Use clean cleaning products - Household cleaning products are a common source of EDCs. For more information about healthy cleaners , visit the Environmental Working Group website, Environmental Working Group – EWG's Dirty Dozen .
  • Beware of Cookware - Nonstick cookware is a major source of toxic chemicals, so choose stainless steel, cast iron or tempered glass for your kitchenware.
  • Proper clothing for health - This is especially important for our children! Look for cotton and other untreated fibers to avoid EDC-heavy flame retardants in clothing and PJs.
  • Furniture and carpeting - Flame retardants are also in our sofas, our carpets and other home furnishings. Go the extra mile to purchase natural home furnishings instead; Your health is worth it.
  • Choose organic - All dairy should be organic for optimal health. Meat, poultry and fish should ideally be farmed ecologically for you, for the animals and for the planet. In particular, avoid foods listed on the aforementioned EWG Dirty Dozen.
  • Quit the plastic - Chemicals in plastic packaging are known EDCs that easily leach into our food. Glass and stainless steel containers are a great alternative.
  • Be “water wise” – Drinking filtered water can minimize exposure to EDCs, which are even found in municipal water where purification chemicals are often used.
  • Watch your weight and eating habits - Hormone disruptors are lipophilic - they love fat! The more fat reserves we have, the more hormone disruptors we pick up and store in our body.


As a functional medicine physician and herbalist, I help many women with hormonal problems. In fact, it's probably one of the things I do most often.

As you can see above, the list of health problems involving hormones is extensive. Here are the top steps I recommend to my patients/clients to prevent and reverse hormonal imbalances resulting from hormone disruptors.

Good bowel movements :

Having good bowel movements every day helps your body clear excess hormones. Do you not have regular "smooth movements"? Try flax, magnesium citrate and fiber-rich greens.

Take probiotics.

Eat probiotic foods or take a probiotic supplement. Important for a healthy microbiome, which is partially responsible for hormone detoxification and elimination, probiotics can help prevent or clear excess estrogen and estrogen-mimicking EDCs.

Cleanse your liver.

Most of the hormone disruptors are detoxified in the liver, which means that excessive alcohol consumption and the use of medicines are better avoided as much as possible. Alcohol and medication are harmful to the liver. However, always consult your doctor and never simply stop taking medication yourself! Herbs that specifically support the liver include: turmeric, artichoke leaf, milk thistle and dandelion root, all of which can be taken daily. Consider a supplement that supports detoxification. My favorites are: curcumin from turmeric, DIM Supplement (helps to remove unfavorable estrogen levels and thus restore the balance between the hormones in the body) , quercetin ( Quercetin (from the Latin quercus, oak) is a plant-derived flavonol belonging to the class flavonoids , milk thistle, calcium d-glucarate, resveratrol, green tea extract and NAC ( N-acetyl cysteine)

Important note : Detoxing should not be done during pregnancy or breastfeeding. While most of these supplements are OK for nursing mothers, most are not recommended if you are currently pregnant.


I believe that the steps we take to change our own health have a real impact on changing the world.

As more of us start to use our financial resources to buy cleaner and safer food, more environmentally friendly household products, cosmetics, etc., the market will eventually respond with companies offering it. In this way, the market will shift and the world around us will improve. Together we can do it!

Original article written in English by: Aviva Romm, MD

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