Hormone Imbalance…It’s Not Just About Aging
The times, they are a-changing.
When Bob Dylan wrote those words, he was talking about how society was changing in the 1960’s. But he could have been talking about changes in our bodies.
Don’t think this is happening? According to recent studies:
- Girls are now entering puberty around age 10…five years younger than a century ago. And there’s evidence women who enter puberty younger also undergo perimenopause and menopause at an earlier age.
- Men’s testosterone levels have been declining by about 1% per year at least since the 1980’s and probably longer. In other words…you literally aren’t the man your father was.
What’s causing these changes?
Unfortunately, no exact cause has been found yet. But there are two logical possibilities:
Hormones in your food
Farmers first noticed that cows injected with pituitary gland extract produced more milk in the 1930’s. Ever since, hormones have been used to make farm animals more productive than normal.
The European Community banned the use of hormones beginning in 1989…but their use continues in the United States.
Why are added hormones in our food a problem?
Like us, farm animals store hormones in their body fat. When they receive additional hormones (natural or synthetic) those also get stored in fat.
When you consume meat, dairy products or fish you consume any added hormones. This can disrupt the natural hormone balance in your body.
This can cause:
- Early sexual development in children
- Elevated estrogen in men and women
- Suppressed testosterone in men and women
Again, it’s hard to prove clear cause and effect but the circumstantial evidence is concerning:
- Studies have connected increased saturated fat intake with declining sperm counts
- Lunch meat containing growth hormones was linked to early puberty in northern Italian school children in the late 1970’s
- High-fat diets in women have been linked to increased estrogen levels which can cause increased risk of breast cancer
Chemicals in the environment
A byproduct of the modern industrial world is chemical pollution. In many cases it can have adverse effects on your body’s hormone balance.
The culprits are a group of chemicals called endocrine disruptors. You may also hear them referred to as xenoestrogens.
These are chemically similar to your natural hormones…but they don’t act in the same way.
Think of a hormone molecule as a key. That key fits in a lock (a hormone receptor). The hormone receptor then performs actions to keep your body working properly.
Endocrine disruptors act like a poor copy of the original key/hormone. They fit the receptor…but then they either block your actual hormones or they cause an incorrect response by the receptor.
Here’s just a sample of the chemicals which act as endocrine disruptors:
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Pesticides like Dioxin, DDT, organochlorines
- Synthetic estrogen in wastewater from contraceptives
- Percholates (used in propellant and food packaging)
- Perfluoroalkyls (PFAS) – used in stain and water-resistant coatings plus non-stick pans
You can add ionizing radiation, high frequency electromagnetic radiation, radiant heat and heavy metals like lead and mercury.
All of these can disrupt the hormone balance your body requires.
What should you do?
Here are a few practical ways to minimize excess exposure to dietary hormones and endocrine disruptors:
- Eat a low-fat diet
- Reduce meat intake and emphasize lean meat
- Support farmers and ranchers who don’t use hormones
- Buy organically grown vegetables to avoid pesticides
- Be aware of potential endocrine disruptors in your workplace
Concerned about your hormone levels? Call RenewYouth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to arrange your Free Consultation.