While it’s true that inherited genes increase your probability of getting cancer, your environment dominates as the trigger for breast cancer, and xenoestrogens are at the top of the list of offenders.
Breast cancer has seen a dramatic increase in incidence from 1 in 20 in 1960 to 1 in 8 today. It is notoriously triggered by environmental toxins – especially xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic the structure of estrogen and cause estrogen dominance. These foreign estrogens are everywhere, from plastics to pesticides and even in municipal water systems. There’s no better time than Breast Cancer Awareness Month to look at ways to reduce your xenoestrogen exposure and decrease your breast cancer risk.
Xenoestrogens and Estrogen Dominance – a Deadly Duo
Xenoestrogens are imposters – they are chemicals that mimic estrogen and are close enough in structure that they can bind to estrogen receptor sites in your body. These foreign substances wreak havoc on your hormone balance, and tip the scales into estrogen dominance, which is a leading risk factor for Estrogen Receptor Positive breast cancer. Numerous studies show excess estrogen causes breast, uterine, testicular, and ovarian cancers, infertility, obesity, endometriosis, miscarriages, diabetes, PMS, and contributes to the hormone havoc that causes menopause symptoms.
These harmful estrogens are stored in your fat tissue and are difficult to detoxify. As your exposure builds, you gain fat tissue to store the imposter estrogens. And here’s the kicker – your body sees these unusable xenoestrogens the same as it sees your own natural estrogen, so as the xenoestrogens accumulate, your body is signaled that you have enough estrogen and slows down the production of its own natural estrogens that your body can actually use. This makes it look like you have more than enough estrogen but at the same time you show signs of estrogen deficiency. And the weight you carry from these xenoestrogens isn’t coming off without a fight.
Symptoms of Estrogen Overload
There are 3 times in life when xenoestrogens do the most damage – in utero, in puberty, and the lifetime accumulation taking its toll over age 50. Both men and women have estrogen, and it needs to be in balance with progesterone and testosterone. Once xenoestrogens take hold and create estrogen dominance, you can recognize it from the following symptoms:
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Cold hands and feet
Specific to Women:
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Irregular periods
- Swollen and tender breasts
Specific to Men:
- Low sperm count and infertility
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Gynecomastia (breast tissue growth)
Estrogen Imposters Are Hiding in Plain Sight
You may be shocked to find out just how common xenoestrogens are and how much you are exposed to them. A Polish study found them present in water, soil, food, and air, with the most common exposures through household products. Here’s our Top 15 list of Xenoestrogen Sources to Avoid:
- Household Cleansers (read more about harmful household cleansers here)
- Nail Polish
- Perfumes, Lotions, and Scented Household Products (air fresheners, disinfectant sprays, etc.)
- Paint and paint fumes
- Plastic water bottles, food containers (cups, plates, food storage), and sandwich bags
- Styrofoam cups and containers
- Car Exhaust
- Non-organic fruits and vegetables (think pesticides)
- Grain-fed meats and dairy
- Solvents, including nail polish remover, paint thinner, and rubbing alcohol.
- Scented Laundry Detergent, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets
- Some hormonal oral contraceptive pills
How to Avoid and Detox Xenoestrogens
Even though it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid these toxic estrogens, you can reduce your exposure by using the following alternatives:
- Buy organic, grassfed, free-range, hormone free meat and dairy products.
- Eat organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. When you can’t avoid non-organic produce, be sure to peel and wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Avoid storing or microwaving foods in plastic containers. Switch to glass or ceramic.
- Switch to natural beauty products and hair dyes.
- Use natural and unscented household cleansers and avoid air fresheners.
- Choose organic, natural cotton feminine hygiene products.
- Roll up windows when in heavy traffic to minimize exposure to exhaust fumes.
- Consult the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) database to find clean alternatives for household cleansers and laundry products.
Detoxing these xenoestrogens is a challenge. A diet high in fiber like leafy green vegetables, flax and hemp seeds, and sea vegetables will help bind these environmental estrogens and eliminate them before they have a chance to be stored in fat tissues. Consider supplementing with DIM (di-indole methane) and increase your cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens) if you have estrogen dominance to help clear the excess from your system. (Side note: it’s a common side effect of DIM to change urine color to orange.)
How to Lose Toxic Body Fat
Toxic xenoestrogens lead to increased body fat, fatigue, and a toxic metabolism. Once your metabolism is toxic, no diet will work without detoxing your overloaded organs so these toxic fat cells can release the harmful estrogens to be eliminated. Then, and only then, will the fat loss happen. This is why Ann Louise Gittleman wrote her groundbreaking new Radical Metabolism plan. If you are fat, fatigued, and have an over 40 sluggish metabolism or thyroid issues, her plan is the solution you are looking for. Order your copy today – don’t wait!