The 5 things that wreak havoc on our hormones
There are myriad ways both men and women suffer adverse effects to their hormones, says one GP and author. Thankfully, he notes, many of them are avoidable.
Despite having the best of intentions to remain healthy and happy â€“ or achieve such states of being â€“ there are often personal health-related factors that impact upon our progress, such as depression and its link to hormone imbalances.
But, in a lot of cases, these factors can be mitigated or eliminated altogether, according to Dr Don Colbert, a Florida-based family practice doctor and author of books relating to hormone health.
"We are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals on a regular basis in the air, water and food," said Dr Colbert.
"Some of them are hormone disruptors because they disturb your endocrine system, wreaking havoc and creating hormonal imbalances."
Not only are the effects of all these disruptors depressing to think about, he mused, but they actually cause depression, along with countless other ailments such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.
But the basic principle is this, he surmised: decreasing the number of disruptions will improve your health.
"Symptoms of serious problems indicated by hormonal imbalance can be reversed by those who focus on health in their diet, lifestyle and living environment," Dr. Colbert said.
"Then they can enable all of their systems to function optimally."
Here are Dr Colbert's top five hormone disruptors affecting men and women, together with strategies to minimise the disruption or stop it altogether:
"Whether it's weight gain and a lack of exercise, anger and unforgiveness, drinking too much alcohol or some other thing that can be controlled, your hormone levels drop, and you begin a slow slide to poorer health," Dr. Colbert said.
"Make better choices, and that dramatically decreases the chances of having any hormone deficiency symptoms."
Medications affect the body's cells, Dr Colbert advised, and sometimes side effects manifest in major problems.
"I estimate that 55 percent of the entire US population is taking pills that directly and negatively affect hormone levels," he said. "Get off these harmful medications you hate."
Things you touch
Chemicals entering the body through the skin can cause long-term damage, Dr. Colbert outlined, noting phthalates, disruptors found in household cleaners, cosmetics, and toys as potential culprits.
"Phthalates negatively affect both men's and women's ability to use the testosterone that is in our bodies," he said.
"Another is BPA (bisphenol A), found on the inside of metal-canned foods and plastic food-storing containers. Specifically, BPA has been found to cause or contribute to cancer, fertility problems, developmental issues and heart disease. I recommend buying glass jars of food and storing in ceramic containers."
"The standard diet is usually low in key nutrients that support a healthy thyroid," he continued.
"Many patients with hormone imbalances have low iodine. The best solution is eat more vegetables, ideally raw or steamed."
Dr. Colbert said estrogen levels for women begin to decline around the age of 50, whereas for men, testosterone levels can drop low around age 45-50.
"Ageing is a natural combatant as a hormone disruptor, but we can slow the acceleration of the effects of aging by optimizing our hormones. Healthy habits can make a huge difference."
“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain