By: Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Chavi Morawiec
In addition to International Women’s Day on March 8, the entire month of March is dedicated to women’s health. Though I am glad to see women being celebrated—I am disheartened by the knowledge that every day women are exposed to more toxins than men.
Ever wonder why infertility is on the rise?
Why more and more women have difficulty losing weight?
Did you know toxin accumulation is now related to a plethora of health conditions like infertility, fatigue, hormone imbalances, obesity, problem skin, depression, and menstrual disorders, to name a few?
The constant need to look presentable has become commonplace among women, to the point where if we go out in public without adequate makeup, we are considered to have “just rolled out of bed”. Many women don’t dare leave their home without “proper” makeup. Though it may be beautiful to look at, it’s not without a hefty health cost. Over 10,000 different ingredients are used in personal care products.
How Dirty Is It?
From mercury in anti-aging products, to phthalates in scented products, Tuloene in nail salon products, formaldehyde in body washes and styrene in maxi pads, toxic chemicals in consumer products for women are increasing on a daily basis.
According to an article on the side effects of cosmetics in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, “Heavy metals which can build up in the body over time are known to cause various health problems, such as; cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems; cardiovascular, skeletal, blood, immune system, kidney and renal problems; headaches; vomiting, nausea and diarrhea; lung damage; contact dermatitis; and brittle hair and hair loss. Some are hormone disruptors while others are respiratory toxins. However, for some like lead, there is no known safe blood level. They can be ingested or absorbed through the skin, especially broken skin.”
Cadmium occurs naturally in the environment. However, Cadmium found in body and hair creams is absorbed into the body through dermal contact and stored in the kidney and the liver, although it can be found in almost all adult tissues. It is considered to be “carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)and its compounds categorized as known human carcinogens by the United States Department of Health and Human Services . Heavy metals in general can also damage our DNA.
The Need To Detox
Often people don’t realize that the body has its own internal detoxification system—with the liver and kidneys being especially important. If waste builds up, we get sick. Think about a sewer system—dirty water full of feces, medications and other waste is meant to flow out into a larger waste collector. Now imagine if we add plastics and other larger garbage to it—what happens then? It clogs up! And if it’s not cleared right away, it leads to an overflow. Our bodies are similar in that way.
In short, the liver performs three phases of detoxification and the waste is either excreted through the bowels (feces) and/or through the kidneys (urine). Not only does our liver remove toxins from what we eat, inhale and put on our skin; it also detoxifies our own hormones, including excess estrogen. However, when its function is impaired, excess estrogen may not be excreted—leading to estrogen dominance related issues such as Hashimoto’s disease, gallbladder disease, infertility, PCOS, PMS, endometriosis and some cancers. Even though our liver is able to regenerate itself, toxic overload forces the liver and the kidneys to work harder. Without adequate rest every human becomes sluggish—the same happens to our organs and, in this case, our liver.
How do you know if you have a sluggish liver or aren’t detoxing properly?
Fatigue is usually considered a sign of inadequate sleep, while excessive bloating is looked at as a digestive issue. Would you ever connect fatigue and bloating to a sluggish liver? Many don’t! The signs can be subtle or obvious and are sometimes mistaken for an entirely different issue. Most common symptoms are: constant fatigue, weight gain (especially around abdomen), hormonal imbalances, cravings, depression, mood swings, itchy skin, problem skin (acne or eczema), high cholesterol, constipation, excessive thirst, pain or sensitivity just under the right ribcage, etc. If you often wake up between 2 – 3 am, check to see if you have other symptoms that could be related to sluggish liver.
Most women have experienced the above-mentioned symptoms to some degree. Some, after reporting the majority of the symptoms, may have been given the run around from one doctor to another OR prescribed various medications to manage the symptoms.
My top five recommendations:
- Reduce your daily exposure to toxins. Wear less makeup or none at all. Or try natural makeup!
- Detox: Work with a qualified Detox Specialist.
- Eat organic as much as possible. in addition, increase your fiber intake as it aids in elimination of toxins and excess estrogen from the body.
- Move more. Exercise can increase the amount of oxygen you take in and speed up delivery of oxygen to vital body organs, such as your liver. Also, since toxins are stored in fat cells, it is beneficial to reduce excess body fat.
- Drink more water. Water flushes the liver tissues, and aids in removing toxins.
(1) Okereke J. N., Udebuani A. C., Ezeji E. U., Obasi K. O., Nnoli M. C. Possible Health Implications
Associated with Cosmetics: A Review. Science Journal of Public Health. Special Issue: Who Is Afraid of the Microbes. Vol. 3, No. 5-1, 2015, pp. 58-63. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.s.2015030501.21
About The Author
Chavi Morawiec is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto. She contributes Alternative Health articles to The Bloom Living Blog and our social media channel – @bloomorganicbazaar. Chavi also posts on her Instagram and Facebook Page @holisticlivingwithchavi.