October is National Chiropractic Health Month, dedicated to raising public awareness of the value of a more holistic approach to health.  At Senara, we like to provide our patients with the tools and education to take control of their health.  The chiropractic philosophy of care states that health can be maintained by abiding by the philosophy that thoughts, traumas, and toxins (know as the “Three T’s”) can impact your health.
In particular, toxins have a huge effect on our overall health.  Toxins can build up within the body over time and inconspicuously lead to diseases, sickness, and disorders.  We currently live in an environment where we are surrounded by remnants of past (and current) industrial and agricultural pollution, and consumer products made from materials that can degrade your health.  All of these toxins bombard our body, and when exposure to toxins is too high, it can have a direct impact on the functioning of the endocrine system.

What is the endocrine system? 

The human endocrine system is a network of glands and organs that produce and regulate hormones in the body. This includes: pineal, pituitary, thyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands; and the ovaries, testis, and pancreas. Internal and external stimuli trigger the endocrine gland to release hormones in to the blood stream.  Receptors throughout the body then detect and react to the hormones, maintaining energy levels, mood, sleep cycle, sex drive, body temperature regulation, and more. So what happens when the endocrine system is not working?

Common Endocrine Disorders

When the endocrine system glands and receptors stop functioning properly hormone regulation is thrown out of whack.  Disorders of the thyroid and sex hormones (Low T, Low Progesterone, Low Estrogen, etc) are the most common endocrine disorders that cause patients to seek care.  Disruption in the release of sex hormones can cause changes in weight, fat distribution, menstruation, and sexual desire; while changes in the thyroid can lead to weight gain/loss, anxiety/depression, and changes in metabolism.
Toxins can mimic hormones, and these toxins are known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs).  EDCs can offset the natural balance of hormones within the body, which leads to endocrine disorder. Conditions commonly associated with toxic EDCs, include:

Breast Cancer Prostate Cancer Thyroid Cancer Diabetes
Obesity Infertility Early Puberty Sexual Dysfunction
Genital Malformation Metabolic Disorders Decreased Sperm Count Gynecomastia
Learning Disability Severe ADD Cognitive Disabilities Brain Development

Why do EDCs matter?

Around 800 EDCs are known to, or suspected of causing endocrine disorders. EDCs act like hormones and come from exogenous (outside) sources like plastics; cosmetics; chemical coatings on cloths, furniture, carpets, drapes; hand sanitizer; grooming products; air fresheners; perfumes; pesticides and herbicides.  Only a very tiny release of hormones are needed to cause a large effect on the body and this means that even tiny amounts of EDCs can cause issues. These chemicals have an effect on everyone but in particular the developing fetus.  Hormones play an immensely important role in fetal development.  The timing of exposure to EDCs can cause irreversible damage, as they can cross the placental barrier from mother to fetus.

Where are EDCs found?

Unfortunately, EDCs are found in air, soil, water, and in products we use or consume every day.  Many of these chemicals are persistent environmental pollutants, meaning that either they take a very long time to degrade or simply do not degrade.  EDCs can remain in the air soil and water for decades, continually causing endocrine disruption.  The most toxic EDCs, include:

BPA/BPS Dioxin Atrazine Phthalates
Perchlorate Fire Retardants Lead Arsenic
Mercury Perfluorinated Chemicals Organophosphates Glycol Ethers

Other common EDCs that you are likely to encounter everyday include:

Hygiene Products Toiletries Cosmetics Construction Materials
Food Containers Animal Products Thermal Paper Receipts Herbicides
Pesticides Pill Coatings Fragrances/Perfumes Furniture
Clothing Electronics Household Paints Cleaning Products

How to Avoid EDC’s

Heat or store food in plastic containers Use glassware like Pyrex or glass canning jars
Use nonstick coated pots and pans Use cast iron, stainless steel, or copper pots and pans
Use plastic utensils Use wood or Metal utensils
Buy canned foods in metal containers Buy food stored in glass jars
Buy conventionally raised animal products Buy pasture raised, organic animal products, trim off fat
Buy conventionally raised fruits and veggies Buy organic fruits and veggies
Drink tap water or drinks sold in plastic bottles Install  a home water filter/ reverse osmosis system
Buy personal hygiene and grooming products with EDCs Buy natural or fragrance free products w/o EDCs
Buy clothing, furniture, drapes and carpets containing fire-retardants, especially for children Buy natural cotton, wool, without fire-retardant
Use an old vacuum or furnace filter Use a HEPA filter vacuum, and HVAC
Use chemical herbicides and pesticides Pull weeds by hand, use natural pesticides

Be proactive with your health!
If you are concerned that you or someone in your family may be experiencing symptoms associated with endocrine disruption, please make a call to our office for a consultation with one of our doctors.  We utilize laboratory testing of the blood to monitor your hormone levels and work with your body to correct any hormonal deficiencies.  We can also help you find and eliminate sources of EDCs in your home to help decrease your overall exposure.

Senara Health and Healing Center, located in Peoria, Illinois, offers a multidimensional approach to chiropractic,functional and anti-aging medicine, and wellness care. Using the latest advancements in holistic health, they advance their mantra, Live Life Well, to their guests. Established as Kramer Chiropractic in 2002, the facility moved and expanded it’s services in late 2011 to Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa.Senara Medical Weight Loss and Anti-Aging Center was launched in 2015.