Are Xenoestrogens Affecting Your Hormonal Balance?
Learn why xenoestrogens pose health risks for men and women.
Hormones play an essential role in just about every system of the body. In short, they tell different tissues and cells what to do. When these directions get garbled, serious health issues can result.
Unfortunately, a class of compounds known as endocrine disruptors can negatively impact the normal action of hormones in the body. Xenoestrogens are a specific type of endocrine disruptor that have estrogen-like effects on the body. Many types of xenoestrogens are not biodegradable, and will build up in fat cells. At high levels, the impact of xenoestrogens may be sufficient to artificially raise the total amount of estrogen in the body to uncomfortable or unsafe levels.
Effects of Xenoestrogens on Women
In women, xenoestrogens can contribute to a condition known as estrogen dominance. This is especially likely during perimenopause, when the normal balance of progesterone and estrogen is out of balance anyway, leaving women prone to high estrogen levels. In addition to causing symptoms, estrogen dominance can increase the risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
Effects of Xenoestrogens on Men
While men need a little bit of estrogen in their system, too much can be dangerous. Excess estrogen can cause abnormal clot formation, raise triglycerides & LDL cholesterol, and increase the risk of stroke or heart disease. Another significant danger is that estrogen can be metabolized into a carcinogen that can cause prostate cancer. Men need to be especially wary of xenoestrogens if they are overweight. Fat tissue contains an enzyme that can convert testosterone to estrogen, meaning estrogen levels may already be approaching the danger zone. In addition to all of the above, excess estrogen causes many unpleasant symptoms for men.
Identifying & Avoiding Xenoestrogens
Xenoestrogens can be found in a wide variety of chemicals, many of which the average American may encounter on a daily basis. Some of the most worrisome xenoestrogens are:
Atrazene: Atrazene is just one of many pesticides and insecticides that contain xenoestrogens. To minimize exposure, always wash your produce thoroughly and choose organic foods whenever possible.
BPA: Bispenol A is a chemical used to make hard plastic items. Once very common, it has now been phased out of most products. Check for a BPA-free label when buying reusable water bottles, food containers, and other hard plastic items.
Phthalates: These chemicals are commonly used in home fragrance products as well as in soft, flexible plastics. To avoid them, cut back on your artificial fragrances and never reheat food in a flexible plastic container.
PCBs: Although PCBs have been phased out of most products, they still remain in the environment. The biggest concern is eating fish contaminated with PCBs, as these chemicals can build up to unsafe levels in freshwater predator fish and bottom-feeding fish. Stick to saltwater fish to avoid exposure.
It’s worth noting that phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens found in foods like soy, are technically xenoestrogens. However, when eaten as part of a normal, balanced diet, phytoestrogens do not build up in tissues to the point of causing problems with estrogen balance.
Get Treatment for Your Hormone Imbalance
If you are suffering from hormone decline—a.k.a. andropause or menopause—the effect of xenoestrogens acting on your already imbalanced hormones can be of even greater concern. Renew Youth™ can help to restore hormone balance with hormone replacement therapy. We’ll conduct ongoing testing during treatment to make sure your estrogen level stays in a healthy range. For more information, please contact us today.