Welcome back to part 2 of our series on toxins and endometriosis! Last week in part 1 we learned what items in your kitchen to watch out for that may be exposing you to toxic chemicals that can disrupt your hormones. Today we are going to move into how to detoxify your life by cleaning up the way you clean as well as your personal care products that you use.

What do toxins and endometriosis have to do with each other again?

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, or EDCs, have been proven to disrupt your hormones. One important version of this that is particularly important to endo health is xenoestrogens. These compounds are structurally and/or functionally similar to human sex hormones like estrogen and can bind to estrogen receptors in our body. This becomes a problem because then our natural hormones are unable to bind and this can lead to symptoms such as heavy or painful periods, PMS, and can affect fertility and even fetus development. 

So for any woman who is trying to conceive, may want to conceive in the future, or just wants to work towards healing with endo, avoiding these EDCs and especially phytoestrogens is going to be of vital importance. 

Where do I begin with toxins and endometriosis?

As we talked about with the kitchen detox, it is absolutely okay to start small and work your way up. It can be expensive and exhausting to try to dump out every chemical in your home and start from scratch. 

Here are a few favorite strategies I have:

  1. Replace items as they run out. For example, if you currently have a half full bottle of chemical-laden heavily scented laundry detergent in your cabinet, use the rest of it and then once it runs out you can replace it with something better.
  2. Start with the things you use the most or that have the most impact on your body. For example, replacing something like your lotion or body wash that covers your entire body will likely have a bigger impact than swapping out your eyeliner that only touches a very small part of your skin.
  3. Start one room at a time. Maybe this week just take a look at your bathroom, then move on to the laundry room, then your household cleaning products. 

Let’s detoxify your bathroom

What better place to start the process of detoxifying your life than the place where you clean yourself up and get ready for your day?

Unfortunately, in the world of personal care and especially beauty products there is very little regulation in the United States. In fact, the last law passed to ensure the safety of beauty products was passed in 1938. There are very few ingredients that are banned in the U.S., including ones that have been banned in other countries for decades. Scary, right? Common harmful ingredients you will find include parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, triclosan and triclocarban. 

The one that may just top the list is synthetic fragrance. The challenge with fragrance is that fragrance formulas are protected under federal law as trade secrets. But that doesn’t provide any protection for us as consumers! These synthetic fragrances found in perfumes, body spray, lotion, body wash, shampoo, laundry detergent, and so much more can contain any combination of over 3,000 chemical ingredients which have been proven to have detrimental effects on our endocrine systems and can be top allergens. 

So back to that bathroom then! Block out some time to sit down, pull out all of your bathroom items including things you use in the shower, hair care products, makeup, lotion, and anything else that may come into contact with your skin. Then do a quick search on that item in the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep database. This is an incredible free tool that can tell you exactly how safe the products you are using are. They rate products with a number and color. Basically you want to avoid the red and even the orange products (rated 3-10 with 10 being the worst) and try to stick with products rated green (1-2) or even better, “EWG Verified.” 

This is going to be the most foolproof way to detoxify your life. It is important to know that many products out there also do what is called “greenwashing,” meaning that their packaging makes it sound like it is very clean, but may not be. Don’t be fooled by words like “vegan,” “plant-based,” or “clean” because even if that is true (although these terms are largely unregulated), it still doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals that can have major impacts on your health.

Check out the resources list below for some wonderful companies and databases to check out!

Toxins and endometriosis: your laundry room and cleaning products

detoxify, clean living, womens health, whole woman wellness. alyssa chavez

Great job on the bathroom, friend! Again, taking it one product at a time is a wonderful approach. Just save this article and you can refer back to it when you are ready to make your next swap.

When it comes to your laundry room, the same basic rules apply. Check for the same harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrance. EWG has a very similar database for checking on laundry and cleaning products, which you can view by clicking here. Look at the products you are using, do a quick search, and go from there. Remember you can also use this database to find some great clean alternatives!

One major thing to be careful of when it comes to laundry is your dryer sheets! Truly they are one of the worst, most chemical laden things you can have in your house! A wonderful, inexpensive swap to make there is for wool dryer balls. They are easy to find, inexpensive, and you can reuse them for years. They will end up saving you money in the long run!

Household cleaning products like bathroom cleaners, soap, sprays, disinfectants, window cleaners, etc. can also be replaced over time with cleaner options. There are some wonderful companies out there that do an amazing job!

Check out the resources list below for some wonderful companies and databases to check out!

Amazing job!

You have done an amazing job detoxing your life! Whether you are just starting out or are well on your way, you are doing great! Every little step you take towards improving your health and well-being is incredible and life changing. I am so happy I am able to be a part of that journey.

As I like to remind my 1:1 clients, this information is not intended to scare you or overwhelm you. This information is intended to empower you. And YOU can make the decision to take it that way. Empower yourself to make healthier decisions for yourself and your family and that will begin to ripple its way around the world. 

If you are brand new to shopping for cleaner products, give yourself grace. You will make mistakes and maybe have a hard time giving up some of your favorites. That is okay! Again, every change you make for your health, big or small, is important. You’ve got this!

Much love and happy healing!

Are you finally ready to make your endo pain a thing of the past and get to the root cause of your symptoms? Come work with me! Learn more about my Thrive With Endo program and apply today! Or subscribe to my blog below and be the first to know when there is something new to read!

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

Toxins, Endometriosis, and Your Kitchen

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Endo Pain Naturally

Fatigue and Endometriosis: What Can We Do?

Resources:

https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/

https://www.thedetoxmarket.com/

https://branchbasics.com/

https://www.aspenclean.com/

https://beautycounter.com/

https://www.apoterra.com/

References:

Granchi, Carlotta; Minutolo, Filippo; and Paterni, Ilaria. (2018). Risks and benefits related to alimentary exposure to xenoestrogens. Crit Rev Food Sci. Nutr. 2017 57(16), 3384-3404. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6104637/

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (2022). Endocrine Disruptors. Retrieved from: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. (2019). Endocrine Disruption. Retrieved from: ​​https://endocrinedisruption.org/interactive-tools/endocrine-basics

alyssa chavez, whole woman wellness. health into your own hands, endometriosis

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