Yes, there is a connection between hormonal balance and exposure to pesticides and certain plastics. That connection is xenoestrogens, an ever-expanding group of synthetic chemicals similar enough to our own estrogens that our bodies respond to them, but foreign enough that we cannot adequately get rid of them. They can build up in our bodies, stimulating estrogen-sensitive tissues and throwing off our delicate hormone balance. Xenoestrogens are linked to breast growth in prepubescent girls, gynecological concerns such as PMS, hot flashes, endometriosis and fibroids, and have clearly been shown to enhance the growth of breast cancer tumors. Studies also suggest that xenoestrogens decrease sperm counts in men, contribute to increased rates of testicular cancer and affect developing reproductive systems in utero. Thus, effective treatment & resolution of any of the above concerns must address this class of chemicals.
The Chlorinated Villains and Their Impact
By now, you are likely aware of the negative health effects of chlorine-containing chemicals like pesticides, dioxins, and PCBs. We know that these chemicals, which the body is not adapted to process, accumulate in fatty tissue. This causes trouble in the form of breast and other cancers, infertility, endometriosis, hypothyroidism, neurological ailments such as ADD, brain fog and depression, chronic infection, allergies, autoimmune diseases, environmental illness, heart disease, and fatigue (Kaur 2003, Crinnion 2007, Rogers 2002). Alarmingly, the main way women purge these chemicals is through breast-feeding. A baby breast fed for 6 months receives more than 5 times the daily limit of PCBs set for a 150 lb adult (Kaur 2003)! Fortunately, there is another way to expel these toxins from our body fat: infrared saunas.
The lymphatic system is central to our health, yet it is often overlooked in western medicine, both by practitioners and by health-conscious individuals. Working in concert with the blood circulatory system, lymphatic function in fact supports every other system in the body by providing nutrients, draining wastes, and coordinating immune system activity. White blood cells – the so-called “soldiers” of our immune system – are produced and transported throughout the body via the lymphatic system. As well, lymphatic channels perform a crucial function in draining away waste material from virtually every cell and organ in the body. Unlike our blood circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Lymph moves when we move. When we are sluggish, so is our lymph, and this is recognized as having a significant impact on our health. Sluggish lymphatic drainage can lead to nausea, fatigue, swelling and joint pain. Symptoms associated with lymph blockage include breast tenderness, fibrocystic breasts, worsened allergies & food sensitivities, sinusitis, more frequent colds and ‘flus, fatigue, and skin breakouts. Many practitioners associate cancer with lymph blockages. In general, if lymph function is compromised, detoxification and the immune system are compromised.
Attain & maintain optimal lymphatic health by incorporating some of the strategies below: