Menopause symptoms including hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes and weight gain can hit most women in their early 40s. Earlier generations appear to have gone through the transition easier. This new study validates some of our concerns regarding our environment and lifestyle’s role in impacting our hormones.
This study published in PLOS One in January 2015 showed that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) adversely can cause women to go into early menopause. These are in thousands of chemicals used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, common household items, and personal health products. Previous studies have shown that these chemicals can be linked to increased cancers, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive health in both men and women.
The study identified 15 different chemicals which had adverse effects to ovarian function. Some examples of EDCs were those chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, lotions, make up, nail polish, liquid soap, and hair spray. Although many of these are banned in the US because of adverse health associations, several are still used globally and prevalent in the environment. This study found menopause to be 1.9-3.8 years earlier in those with the highest exposure in their serum and urine. Early menopause can decrease fertile years, cause earlier development of osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease in women. Although the study did not discuss any clear solutions, it was making the point to focus on more studies to look at how these toxins affect children and adults alike.
Avoidance as much as possible is important. However, working on your detox systems to improve excretion of the toxins from the body is another goal. We detoxify through sweat, bowel movements, urination, and through the liver’s detoxification mechanisms.