Hormone disruptors are compounds in the environment that look enough like hormones to your body, that if they gain access into your blood stream, these masquerading pollutants can hijack your normal hormonal system. I wrote one of the first books that discussed the role of hormone disruptors in health and what we can do about it (Hormone Deception McGraw-Hill 2000, Awakened Medicine 2010).
At a medical meeting, research was presented that showed that women who had increased exposure in their everyday lives to hormone disrupting chemicals, can experience menopause 2 to even 15 years earlier then normal. In practice, doctors are noting that women are having symptoms of hormonal deficiency and imbalance at younger and younger ages.
Any change in timing of what is called a milestone in reproductive life, of which peri and post menopause are significant ones, can produce huge impacts on women’s lives.
Women going through earlier menopause (even a few years earlier) can be at increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, bone loss, resistant weight gain, decreased overall quality of life, including less sex drive and sexual enjoyment not to mention wimpier orgasms.
These potential nasty chemicals included phthalates (found in nail polish, perfume, flexible plastic like grocery bags, foods shrunk wrapped, even plastic computers that heat up while you work in front of them can out-gas this chemical), and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
You can read Hormone Deception to find out where the most common residues are found and how to decrease your family’s exposure in food, air, water, and even in your office and home.
PCBs are no longer manufactured or widely used today, but they are still in the environment and we can still get exposed. Food is the largest source of contamination especially concentrated in fish from contaminated waters with fish at the top and bottom of the chain having the highest amounts. Some older fluorescent lights found in schools, offices and homes can still contain parts that have some PCB and if there are leaks, these can get into the air you breath. Accidents and fires release PCBs into the air but there are ways to get rid of PCBs out of our system. We will hear more and more about effective, scientific detoxification methods, like we already use on firefighters and cleanup crews that need them. (Menopause 2012)