Plastic: An Endocrine Disruptor

            The endocrine system is responsible for hormone production and regulation and is comprised of many important glands, including the thyroid, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands, in addition to ovaries in females and testes in males. Hormones play a crucial role in nearly all processes within the human body; thus, a hormone imbalance can cause a multitude of issues, such as a low sex drive, acne, irritability, sleeplessness, and even potential infertility. Imbalanced hormones are a common issue in many people, due to the vast variety of endocrine disrupting factors that we are exposed to on a daily basis.

A majority of the endocrine disruptors that we are exposed to are things that we would never suspect, those as simple as plastic. Plastic is in many of the products that we tend use and come in contact with every day, including food containers, water bottles, drinking cans, and is even an ingredient in things as odd as chewing gum and clothing. Plastic is an endocrine disruptor that is one we typically don’t think twice about, yet it plays a major role in the disruption of the endocrine system. The Endocrine Society writes that plastic contains a long list of endocrine disrupting chemicals such as: “bisphenol A and related chemicals, flame retardants, phthalates, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dioxins, UV-stabilizers, and toxic metals such as lead and cadmium” (paragraph 3), and possibly more that have yet to be identified.

Plastic influences hormone production through which the toxic chemicals mentioned previously, mimic the chemical makeup of estrogen. In doing so, the body senses an abundance of estrogen and in turn, stops the production of true estrogen. As a result of the dangerous chemicals in plastic mimicking estrogen, a hormonal imbalance is likely to occur. Simply explained, plastic contains many toxic chemicals that have a very similar makeup to that of estrogen. When the body is exposed to plastic, it absorbs those chemicals and views them as estrogen, since the chemical makeup is so alike. In doing so, the body thinks that it has enough estrogen in the body and either stops or slows down the production of true estrogen, in turn, causing an imbalance of hormones and leading to a series of potential health issues within the body.

While it is nearly impossible to avoid plastic entirely, it is possible to opt for substitutes. Instead of plastic sandwich bags, store your food in glass containers instead. Rather than drinking from a plastic water bottle, choose to drink from a glass one. Instead of plastic straws, use paper or glass ones. Although they tend to be a bit more expensive, plastic-free options are out there, and your endocrine system will thank you for spending a little extra money to help it out.

Check out these links to learn more about plastic and endocrine disruptors!

https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/2020/plastics-pose-threat-to-human-health

#nomoreplastic #savetheturtles #saveyourhormones #edocrinedisruptor #hormoneimbalance #health #highwaytoheal #blog #healthblog

Published by highway2heal

I am 19 years old and have struggled with my health for as long as I can remember. I often wondered why God allowed me to be filled with so much sickness, including polycystic ovarian syndrome, leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, an autoimmune disease known as Hashimotos, and more food allergies than I can even remember. Yet, I have recently discovered the power that everything we eat, touch, and breathe has on the human body, both positive and negative. I have learned that God allowed me to be sick so that I could help others to get better. I hope that through my blog, you are encouraged, feel less alone, and discover a healthier you.

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