When trying to restore one’s health through a natural thyroid treatment protocol, xenohormones are one of the main factors that can affect a person’s recovery. While many people with thyroid conditions are aware that they need to eat better, exercise more, and modify other lifestyle factors, most people don’t pay enough attention to xenohormones. In this post I’m going to talk about what xenohormones are, how they affect our health, and what you can do to minimize your exposure to them.
As for what xenohormones are, they are substances that contain synthetic hormones, primarily estrogen, and therefore have a hormone-like effect on the body. Many of today’s products and foods contain synthetic hormones, which without question have a profound effect on our endocrine systems, as well as our overall health. The following represents a small sample of some of the products and foods that contain xenohormones:
Nail polish and nail polish remover
Meat from livestock feed hormones to increase their size
Many non-organic dairy products
Some types of soaps
Most plastics (so be careful about drinking too much bottled water)
Many perfumes and air fresheners
Xenohormones and Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders
While xenohormones can affect the health of anyone with a thyroid condition (as well as those people who don’t have a thyroid disorder), people with an autoimmune thyroid disorder are arguably affected even more. So those people with Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis need to take extra precautions in order to minimize their exposure to xenohormones, as they can have a negative effect on the immune system. In fact, here is a quote from the book entitled “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”, which was written by John R. Lee:
“More recent research is showing that exposure to xenohormones suppresses the immune-system, and in particular hampers T-lymphocyte function, and lowers the proportions and numbers of natural killer (NK) cells. These are two of your immune system’s most important defenses. The latest studies are showing even more widespread damage to the immune system.”
In fact, some studies have shown that xenohormones can contribute to the development of an autoimmune thyroid condition. So even if you don’t currently have an autoimmune thyroid condition, constantly exposing yourself to synthetic hormones can potentially lead to you developing such a condition in the future. In the past I’ve mentioned the book “The Autoimmune Epidemic”, which is not the easiest book to read, but does give a good amount of research with regards to how different toxins, including xenohormones, can lead to a development of an autoimmune condition.
Other Side Effects Of Xenohormones
In addition to weakening one’s immune system, there are many other side effects that xenohormones can have. Keep in mind that most of the times the effects aren’t immediate, as it takes years for these symptoms and conditions to develop. But some of the different symptoms include fatigue, headaches, depression, lack of concentration, increased mood swings and irritability, and there are many other symptoms one can experience.
If this sounds similar to some of the side effects of a hormonal imbalance, this is because xenohormones essentially disrupt the endocrine system, and therefore create a hormone imbalance. The reason for this is because they closely resemble our natural hormones, which allows them to bind to the same receptors. So for example, synthetic estrogens will bind to the estrogen receptors. But they don’t have the same functions as natural estrogen, which is why they will cause many of the side effects listed in this post.
But it causes more than just side effects. As mentioned previously, it can actually lead to the development of an autoimmune condition. Research studies show that long-term exposure to xenohormones can also increase the incidence of certain types of cancers. So hopefully you’re beginning to realize how dangerous these toxins are, and will begin trying to do everything you can to minimize your exposure to them.
And if you are of childbearing age and are thinking of having children, keep in mind that studies also show that xenohormones can affect future generations. So when a patient of mine informs me that she is trying to get pregnant, one of the things I’ll recommend is for her to begin a purification program to help clean out some of the toxins, including many of these xenohormones.
Minimizing Exposure To Xenohormones
I’ve spoken in the past about minimizing exposure to environmental toxins, and xenohormones do fall under this category. So as I’ve mentioned in the past, it is impossible to avoid all of the environmental toxins out there. However, many of the xenohormones we’re exposed to are a result of the foods and products we have in our own homes. One of the problems is that as of writing this information, companies don’t have to reveal whether or not they include synthetic hormones in their foods and products. As a result, your best bet is to try to purchase as many organic foods and products as possible, and if you buy non-organic products, use brands that don’t have xenohormones.
There are numerous books that discuss the problems involved with xenohormones. But if you don’t want to read an entire book, simply taking 30 minutes to read the “Xenohormones chapter” in the book I mentioned above (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause) will really help you understand the consequences of these toxins. So here is an assignment for you: visit your local bookstore or library, either buy or borrow this book, and take 30 minutes to read this single chapter. To be honest, the entire book is worth reading, and you’ll most likely want to read the other chapters after seeing how informative this single chapter is. But even if you just were to read this single chapter alone it would greatly benefit you.