For those of you who know me (Jo), you probably know I have Systemic Lupus (some specialists call it an auto-immune disease, some call it an auto-immune malfunction), and that I used to have hypothyroidism. My Lupus symptoms are managed pretty well, for the most part, as long as I follow the protocols of what I know my body needs. And my thyroid tests in 2018, even without Synthroid (or any other) medication since 2016, were normal.
For the past several years I've been on an empowering journey to wellness through continual learning. Thankfully, I've always been 'into' science, so reading Pub Med articles and other science publications is very intriguing!
My downhill spiral with my health was really awful. I was lethargic for months and no matter how much time I spent in bed, I never felt rested. My sleep patterns were way off. I was awake all night, many nights. I caught every cough or cold anyone walked by me with, I felt like I had a perpetual flu, I was in a brain fog, and everything hurt. I lost my voice for weeks at a time (an ENT specialist did a camera scope and determined my vocal cords were inflamed - but why?), I had frequent rashes, headaches, and was told by one doctor that I had depression and just needed "talk therapy". (I kept saying, I'm not sad, I'm sick.) Diagnosed with H1N1 (swine flu) in 2010, then hypothyroidism in 2011 and then Lupus in 2012, it was an extremely difficult time personally, and affected everything from my friendships and social life, to my home life and my government career. Not only was I sick, but I felt like I had already gone through a health crisis back in 2007 when I broke my leg in 4 places, needed surgery, nerve blocker medication (Gapapentin), and a year of physiotherapy.
Once you have been body-slammed by chronic illness, you realize you would give pretty much anything to not have it.
And if I can help someone prevent having to go through what I did, I will.
With my own health issues always in mind, as well as knowing what several friends have gone through, when I began learning more specifically about the Endocrine System I immediately made all kinds of connections.
Do you know anyone who is having difficulty getting or staying pregnant, or who is having hormone issues during their pregnancy? This seems to be more and more common these days. Or do you know someone with one of these types of cancers below? Have you had issues with your thyroid gland or immune system? (You probably guessed, that's my cue.)
The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.
In 2015 the Endocrine Society released a statement on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) specifically listing obesity, diabetes, female reproduction, male reproduction, hormone-sensitive cancers in females, prostate cancer in males, thyroid, and neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems as being affected from being exposed to EDCs.
Neurodevelopment disorders can affect emotion, learning ability, self-control, and memory. The neuroendocrine system is the mechanism by which the hypothalamus maintains balance, regulating reproduction, metabolism, eating and drinking behaviour, energy utilization, and blood pressure.
Learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder have been linked to EDCs, as well as endometriosis, obesity, cardiovascular problems, immune malfunction, metabolic issues and respiratory problems.
Found in many EVERYDAY household and industrial products, endocrine disruptors are substances that "interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for development, behaviour, fertility, and maintenance of homeostasis (normal cell metabolism).”
Have you ever looked up what everyday things can disrupt your endocrine system? It’s eye opening. Because they are EVERYWHERE. A small list is compiled below but there are more!
Endocrine disruptors can be found in:
- Birth control pills (they stop a woman's natural hormone production, can alter mood/brain health, and significantly increase risk of many serious diseases including cancers, heart disease, bone density/osteoporosis & autoimmune malfunctions)
- Vinyl shower curtains
- Household cleaners
- Personal care products with parabens (parabens are also associated with reproductive-tract issues & sperm count - this is why some cosmetics companies are now coming out with paraben-free products - it matters!)
- House dust
- Dryer lint (dryer sheets are one of the most toxic things in peoples' homes)
- Air fresheners (Glade, Febreeze, etc with chemical 'fragrance')
- Fabrics, furniture & electronics treated with flame retardants
- Products labeled with “fragrance” (a chemical concoction)
- Non-organic foods (pesticides are endocrine disruptors)
- Plastic food storage containers
... just to name a few. Google “endocrine disruptors” to see more.
Are you as surprised as I am by this list of regular, everyday things?
We can’t eliminate our exposure but we sure as heck can minimize it just in the things we choose to bring into our homes. Simple changes like buying organic foods, washing our produce with Thieves veggie wash (100% plant based), using Thieves household cleaner, hand soap & laundry soap (100% plant based), or even just using white vinegar for household cleaning. Stop buying dryer sheets. You don't need them. We don't use dryer sheets or wool dryer balls or anything. We just dry the clothes. If we want to smell nice when we put our freshly cleaned clothes on, we put essential oils on our body. If we want our sheets on the bed to smell pretty, we use an essential oil spray, or just turn on the bedroom diffuser.
Remember, the difference is that these oils are pure plants. Nothing else. No synthetic chemical fragrances or toxins. Just plant extracts.
Air fresheners in our home are a thing of the past now that we have diffusers and therapeutic essential oils! We even make a bathroom odor-eliminating spray with essential oils so not only have we eliminated the toxins, we are doing good things for our health too.
Want to DITCH & SWITCH from household toxic cleaners to plant based everything? Get the Thieves Premium Starter Kit! It's a super easy way to get started! Young Living also has all-natural personal care products & make-up, as well as (of course) a huge line of therapeutic essential oils.
I recently completed a 130-hour Aromatherapy Certification and am looking forward to continual learning and sharing these resources with you!