We are surrounded by endocrine disruptors on a daily basis, and unfortunately they can have a negative effect on your thyroid. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with your body’s endocrine system, produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects, impair detoxification in the liver, etc.
When it comes to thyroid health, it’s easiest to remember it this way:
Endocrine Disruptor = Hormone Imbalance
Because endocrine disruptors are everywhere, you have to take mindful steps to reduce and/or avoid exposure.
Here is a list of common man-made endocrine disruptors:
Plasticizers and plastics
Antibacterial soaps, wipes, and cleaners
Phthalates – including “fragrance”
Conventional make-up, body care and skin care
11 ways to avoid endocrine disruptors:
1. Avoid all plastics.Make the switch to glass or stainless steel water bottles and from plastic to ceramic dishes. Switch to glass Tupperware or other ceramic containers. Keep in mind kids toys are mostly made of plastics, so find ways to switch to all-natural products.
2. Avoid anything with the ingredient “fragrance.” This is a catch-all term that can contain hidden endocrine disruptors.
3. Switch to all-natural skincare and body care. Many of the synthetic ingredients in body care, skincare and make up contain endocrine disruptors, so switching over to naturally-made products is a good idea.
4. Avoid anything with flame retardants on it. This is difficult, especially when it comes to kid’s pajamas or purchasing furniture, but it can be done!
5. Drink filtered water. Lead, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, etc. are unfortunately making their way into our homes through the tap water. These contaminants can cause all sorts of problems with the thyroid, so I highly recommend purchasing a good water filter.
Here are the ones I recommend:
Berkey – this is a fabulous water filter that removes chlorine, fluoride, glyphosate, and other common contaminants.
Pelican whole house water filtration system – this is the system we have on our house. It’s easy to use, and the filters only need to be changed every 3 months (the process is very easy!).
6. Avoid all non-stick pots, pans and bakeware. Non-stick cookware contains perflorinated chemicals (PFCs) that are so widespread that 99% of Americans have these chemicals in their bodies. Yikes! Start making the switch to stainless steel, enameled cast iron, cast iron, ceramic and glass. Here are my favorites that I use in my kitchen.
7. Use VOC-free paint. The off-gassing from volatile organic compounds in paints can cause hormone imbalance, so it’s worth it to pay the extra money for VOC-free. My favorite brand is Benjamin Moore.
8. Buy organic when possible. Studies have shown that pesticides can inhibit thyroid hormone production.
Here are some examples:
Amitrole – used for grass, poison ivy control and weeds
Chlorine and Flouride – in tap water, toothpastes, swimming pools, etc.
Cyhalothrin – used for cotton, corn and pest control
Fipronil – used to control ants, beetles, fleas, termites, etc.
Ioxynil – used on cereal crops
Maneb – used on potatoes, tomatoes, and other fruits and vegetables.
Pentachloronitro-benzene – used on cotton, rice and seed grains
Pyrimethanil – used on almonds, pistachios, stone fruits, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, etc.
9. Use all-natural cleaning products to avoid hormone disrupting chemicals. I’ve been using Branch Basics for over 5 years now and it’s the perfect all-natural cleaner for the entire house.
10. Avoid all non-fermented soy. Soy contains endocrine disruptors that can inhibit the production of thyroid peroxidase (TPO). TPO helps create thyroid hormones, so we definitely don’t want to eat foods that will suppress TPO because it can lead to hypothyroidism.Soy is also a goitrogenic food, which can inhibit the uptake of iodine into the thyroid, so it’s another reason to avoid this food to keep your thyroid in balance.
Common soy foods to avoid:
Soy milk or soy beverages
Any sauces, dressings, packaged foods, etc. with soy in them
11. Stop using laundry softener. I know it smells nice and make your clothes soft, but it does come at a price! Laundry softener contains endocrine disruptors, so it’s best to stop using it. Two alternates are to use wool dryer balls, or simply add 1/4 up white vinegar to the washer.
I know it can seem overwhelming if this information is new to you, but as I always say, “Take baby steps!”
This week, find 1-2 ways to reduce your exposure, and then next week work on another way to reduce. If you do this on a consistent basis, then over time you’ll reduce your exposure significantly!