Any discussion on cancer is going to be controversial, and emotional, and difficult. The response to my article has been phenomenally positive; thank you.
Some persons however have chosen to judge me before the article has even been read or not understand completely why I took the time to write this article; that’s ok. It’s not about me. I would like to open my heart to you and explain why I am so passionate about sharing this information, why I am not scared to place my neck out on the chopping board when it comes to the truth, and why it is so very important that we support the persons pioneering the therapies that work to support the cancer patient.
More than ever, given our sky-rocketing mortality and morbidity stats for cancer, it is important to pay attention to the work being done in the areas of environmental research and preventative strategies. Preventing cancer is the most important thing here; not merely focusing on treatment. We want less people sick and to put a curb on the growing numbers of cancer cases. This is why I am so driven to share knowledge in this blog about taking our own health-care back into our power and reducing the fear based notion that cancer is something genetic and out of our control.
When truth challenges the norm; people get uncomfortable. I guess this is for a number of reasons. The main one being that either people must change their beliefs and perceptions; or it can lead to an emotional response against those not fully disclosing the truth and perpetuating false information; or it can just create a wall where people are afraid to dig into the research and think freely.
I am not afraid to think freely; I am not afraid to ask questions; I am not afraid to share my knowledge even though most of my life it has lead to some discomfort. I don’t like the spot light on me; and making a difference matters. So I guess this means being on the line a little.
I am a conventionally trained pharmacist; this places me in the unique position where I have a leg in many camps, the medical, the pharmaceutical, the nutritional and the energy medicine camps. I do not believe that any one should be separate from the other or antagonistic to the other. Each plays an important role in healthcare in our modern world and ALL must work together for the benefit of the patient and their families and must work to the comfort level and beliefs of each individual.
So where did this all start for me? Why I write so passionately here; is because of one man and this man represents millions.
When I was working as a pharmacist back in 2000; there was a gentleman in my care suffering with leukaemia. He had a bad diagnosis and was undergoing an extreme regimen of drug therapy and transfusions. He always was positive and he started to share his journey with me: he was baffling doctors about his recovery rate between transfusions. Why? He was using a nutritional supplement from the USA. I had heard enough; after a life of being interested in health and fitness I wanted to know more. I wanted to no longer poison my patients with drugs and I wanted to learn the answers as to how to help heal patients with nutrition. Drug therapy in my eyes was not the holy grail of healing that I had entered university to discover; it was in fact hurting people.
If anyone says that I don’t care about cancer, then they are seriously misjudging me. I have watched countless patients in my care die. I have watched their journey of fear and pain and suffering and the ever growing list of dispensed medication until I have had their closest family members return a large bag of unused medicines back to me with the bad news of their loved ones passing. I have not personally been touched by a close family member dying to cancer; but I have experienced the sadness and tears of many patients passing and witnessed the trauma of this experience for their families. I have also worked with the phenomenal nurses and health professionals in charge of their care; care that is 24/7.
So it matters to me, that I learn all I can and share this learning to make a difference. To do all that I can to impact others lives positively. I am so fortunate to be able to combine my medical and drug knowledge with the science of nutrition and healing. And yet big pharma and the medical profession makes this so terribly difficult for any therapist or healer working in the area of cancer care.
It requires tact and care to work as a ‘conventional’ therapist in the medical system. It is important to come from a scientific basis with a truthful and factual approach. There is a way to work within the medical field that does not upset doctors or patients; and also that is both helpful and progressive. It is not for the faint hearted; you either jump in, or you hold back in fear. The latter is a disservice to all. The world needs as many therapists as possible combining forces with the medical profession to educate them and make a difference. And the medical profession needs to embrace the knowledge and input of therapists, healers and researchers to truly win the battle and prevent cancer ripping precious lives from families. Also it is a duty for therapists to keep on top of the research. Many strategies can harmfully and even dangerously interact with standard cancer therapy.
Any good therapist strives for this; an absolute integration of knowledge, care and support for the benefit of the patient. Isn’t this what it is all about? No one should withhold knowledge, or create separation, alienation or cast judgement. We should all be working towards the common goal of promoting health, education, unbiased research, and access to the best care based on research in all fields of medicine, environmental research, nutrition, herbal medicine, and energy medicine.
This blog is to nudge people to ask questions about where donators money is going. It is clear that there is a difference between certain charities as to where the money is spent or invested. Donators money should also support the amazing carers and nurses in hospitals and hospices in charge of the terminal care of the patient; and also support family counselling and access to proven complementary therapies . I question when a high % is pushed back into pharmaceutical research; these companies make billions of dollars as it is or when excess is siphoned into highly paid executives pockets and overly-elaborate or fear-mongering and misleading media campaigns.
Most importantly this blog provides education about how to limit personal environmental exposure to cancer promoting compounds and raises awareness about the interaction between environment and genetics.
Here are other helpful articles found since my writing this blog:
Share the word,
Pre-note: Since I wrote this article this blog has gone viral, as has naked selfies and donations via text and Facebook. If I may add a few more comments and links before people read my article:
My intention in writing my article was to provide education into prevention. Prevention being the things that people can do now in their daily lives to protect and preserve good health and create a sense of empowerment and a feeling that positive actions do make a difference. Because they do. Also it is important that the truth is shed on the interplay of genes and cancer. As the quote says: genes load the gun, environment pulls the trigger.
I am not going down the rabbit hole here about what treatments to follow, or telling people not to do health checks etc. We have to live by our own choices and we all have the freedom to make the right decisions for ourselves and our health. Your intuition will guide you. Each of us must respect this for one another. And while I may choose to follow a Gerson type diet and take supplements and address my emotional health should I ever have a cancer diagnosis, someone else close to me may decide to do radio, chemo, or surgery and none of the holistic treatments that I believe in. I must respect this, I must respect every choice made by another. My support is no less needed no matter what choice another may make.
I do however suggest always seeking your own information and asking questions; and not believing everything that medicine and doctors tell us. We are often only told one side. Not always the truthful side. You will know your truth; if something doesn’t feel right then LISTEN, even if this is a feeling that NO I don’t have cancer. Trust in yourself. trust in your body; you know it better than anyone else. Truly.
The way I see it, I didn’t donate €4 to a charity when I have no clue about how it will use my €4 and I don’t want to support people’s salaries, funding campaigns, the mammography or drug industry. I know from research that mammography is not the safest way of detection, and research currently is shedding doubt on the need for and the success of chemo and tamoxifen treatments.
I guess I am also lucky that I have read numerous books and articles on successful nutrition, diet and holistic treatments (to cure as well as prevent) so I know what to do for myself and my family should they ever need my assistance (and ask for it). I am so grateful to have this knowledge.
I don’t work in the area of cancer… The powers that be make it so hard for therapists to support cancer patients without aggressive attacks and negative attention. I will advise on diet and nutrition. If my assistance is required however I will go to the ends of the earth to support everyone that would like my help.
I gave several €100 of my time yesterday and a lot of hours writing this article, and I provided a lot of free health education that can potentially save many lives. This I personally believe is more powerful than my €4 and my opportunity to contribute something meaningful. I’m so grateful that I can xx
There are many people doing amazing work in the area of cancer; organisations and volunteers that are making changes to how people are cared for. This deserves acknowledgement, recognition and support.
There are also certain powers controlling the ‘cancer industry’ that lead to bias in research and the information that we are told. I do not believe cancer is a deadly uncurable disease. I believe is it a spectrum of dis-ease in the body; that can be cured. I also believe that our emotional health holds a powerful key to healing.
The following clips may provide some insight and start you out on the path of self empowerment:
Here are some further links that I have added to my Facebook feed since I wrote this article yesterday:
Irish cancer society benefactor’s and supporters, notice all the pharmaceutical companies!
Confused About Donating to Breast Cancer Causes? Here’s How to Pink Straight During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, companies offering pink-themed products abound. But where does the money go?
I have also written a Spring Detox diet with cancer prevention in mind; although many follow the diet for weight loss reasons and to feel better, my intention behind the diet and the strategies in the diet run far deeper. If you, or a loved one are touched by cancer please email me for a FREE copy; if you are interested in improving your health this is a diet strategy that is enormously helpful to your health and one that need not just be a “Spring’ thing. The plan will educate you in many of the foods helpful for cancer prevention; however it is only a nice place to start when eating healthier; this is NOT a cancer treatment diet. Please follow this link to the diet plan for more information.
Andrea Cullen 20.03.2014
” Until cancer research focuses on the true causes (of cancer) and governments act to research and reduce cancer causing environmental factors and when big corporations stop banning effective treatments and striking off pioneering doctors and holistic therapists…
I will continue to do my own charitable work directly with people and not via charities…”
Today, on Facebook, many of my dear friends near and scattered farther across the globe are posting bare naked selfies of themselves to promote two things, 1. cancer awareness and 2. bare naked beauty.
Here is my selfie after a workout and a shower this morning; ouch but I tell myself I love me anyhow 🙂
I am 100% behind the fact that all women should love themselves as they are; I spend a great deal of time writing about this. To love and accept yourself as you are sends an empowering message to all friends, our mothers and our daughters. A message about just how important it is to love yourself and to feel beautiful just as you are; because you are beautiful!
I do however have a big problem with the former, cancer research charities and pretty much the whole cancer ‘industry’…..a problem akin to blood simmering at a steady high heat level…
I do not agree with donating money to cancer charities.
In fact I get cross beyond belief when I see people donate their hard-earned money into funding cancer charities. Charities which weave a misleading fairy tale of finding the cure for cancer.
Why? because from what I know it is all one big pack of deceitful lies.
I posted this powerful article on my Facebook business page this morning to help share the word; but I still feel compelled to write a few more words.
Please read this article as it is a superb summary about how I feel and why I personally don’t donate money to cancer charities: http://primaldocs.com/opinion/dont-support-cancer-charities/
After seeing friend after friend proudly declare that they have donated $$$ and €€€€ to charity I wasn’t happy to just leave it at this – I added an extra € to cover Euro zone inflation 😉 . I am so proud of the generosity of my friends and colleagues. No one has a flitter to spare and yet here they are giving it away. Wow you amaze me, my beautiful friends.
So please know that I love you all; and open your heart to my message.
When you give your hard-earned €’s away; I don’t see this ending up contributing in any meaningful way to preventing cancer or curbing our global cancer incidence rates. Please note I said PREVENT; I am not discussing TREATMENT.
When we get stats thrown at us about cancer; we are led to believe that we are winning the so-called cancer race. (I am not going to go into all science and technical stuff here, if ok, as I simply want to get you all thinking about this today for yourselves). In truth the stats only tell the tale of what they want us to hear which is medicine catching cancer faster and medicating patients more intensively. We do not hear the truths which are that cancer incidence is sky rocketing (here is a WHO statement), many treatments are not effective in the long-term (see here about chemotherapy; I do however agree with surgery, when necessary once the underlying factors are addressed), vigorous regimes come with a hefty side-effect and quality of life price tag and that Big Pharma, the medical industry and the insurance companies make a phenomenal amount of money in the spin-off.
We are not told truly WHY cancer rates are sky rocketing (see document from International Agency for Research on Cancer), nor the truths regarding the causes, or the true significance of genetics and how genetics play a delicate dance with our environment and diet, nor the uncensored truths on cancer treatment success. We are not given full disclosure on the value of how others benefit from these lies.
What upsets me greatly is that we are not told of the pioneering doctors, clinics and holistic therapists achieving cancer remission, or of the power of the plant world to heal or the astounding power of energy medicine and emotional work to heal the body be that before; as a stand alone; alongside radio, chemo or hormonal therapy; or after medical treatment. In fact most of this valuable work leads to great pains for the therapists; many are afraid to work with cancer patients for fear of being struck off their respective registry’s, sued, banned, disbarred or worse still.
In order for cancer therapy to work; you must heal the terrain that first led to the cancer appearing and then spreading. Cancer cannot manifest in a healthy “body” in all sense of the word. Every day a healthy body blocks thousands of cancerous cell changes happening.
In other words you must feed the body with healing foods, hydrate the body with structured clean water, restore optimal pH and bring all vitamins, minerals, trace elements and essential fatty acids back into balance. You must remove toxic insults in so far as is possible from your environment especially those that are a trigger for you be this chemicals, Wi-Fi, toxic metals or endocrine disrupters, etc.
You must heal the emotions and forgive and you must restore the body electric to balance……
Cancer is an environmental illness; if our governments cared we would be told the truth and they would protect us.
So instead, it is up to you… you must educate yourselves and protect your own health, and the health of your children, and then spread the word to your friends, your family and your work colleagues….. can you see how much more powerful this approach is compared to a €4 donation?
Can you appreciate how significant an influence you can have in this cancer jigsaw; quite possibly you are the most important piece!
So I suggest that you take your $$$$$ and €€€€€ and consider investing in the following:
This list is not exhaustive. This was only meant to be a short blog and is turning into an animal!
- Quality food
- Quality health supplements
- Periodic research based health detoxification (email me for further details if interested on email@example.com)
- A massive overhaul to reduce your chemical footprint and hence exposure in the home, at work, and in schools
- Kitchen tools to make your life easier preparing healthy foods
- Education – books, DVDs, health seminars
- Join a gym or buy a bike or do whatever it takes to move your body and love doing so!
- Achieving optimal body weight, body composition and fitness
- Quitting smoking; preferably not using medication
- Supporting companies and organisations doing research into environmental toxins and their health effects. There are many organisations doing stellar work such as the Environmental Working group; see later.
- Read up on the various systems of emotional release and energy healing. This is a whole separate topic and one I highly recommend developing an interest in. Follow the therapies that resonate with you. There is no one better than another; only what works for you and feels right.
- Get out on the streets campaigning for better food and water! This is FREE; voting with our feet is the ONLY way we can truly topple the companies at the helm of this problem. The very governments and companies that are in bed with one another polluting our food, water, and environment. Medicine is NOT the solution; health is.
When you educate yourself in health; you are doing everything in your power to prevent cancer. Cancer screening is not prevention; it is diagnosis!!
Some helpful clips:
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A selection of recommended books to start you off:
Here are a few helpful links to get you started. Remember to read all the following with an open and critical mind. Some organisations will dumb down the truths; and others I feel are spot on the money. Bear in mind that this is a developing field and more importantly that finances to support research into how environmental chemicals and Wi-Fi etc. harms us is negligible in comparison to the profits made by companies downplaying their harm. It is in the interests of the powers that be that any negative research is hidden as much as is possible; so that truths then are never revealed.
- Endocrine disrupting chemicals and disease susceptibility
- Environmental working group; this webpage is a phenomenal resource; spend a lot of time here educating yourself!
- Dirty dozen list of endocrine disrupters report
- David Suzuki Foundation
- The CDC (centre for disease control and prevention); see also here
- Endocrine disruptor research from the Environmental Protection Agency
- Dr Dietrich Klinghardt academy (especially good on mercury and lymes)
- Dr Mark Schauss
Other articles written by Andrea that are helpful and topical in relation to the environment and health:
- Be the Change
- This may save a Life; you are NOT ruled by your genetics
- What are xenoestrogens?
- From there to here
The following is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book detailing how to safely detox for health; enjoy and please do share!
How to Limit exposure to environmental toxins and Xenoestrogens:
Xeno what I hear you say?? A very important part of becoming healthy is to limit your exposure to Xenoestrogens from the environment.
Xenoestrogens are no laughing matter and something that we all must start to educate ourselves about. Especially if you value your own health, fertility, and cancer risk; the health of your pregnancy; and your children’s long-term health, fertility and cancer risk.
Pay attention to the following advice and as best you can look to make changes. And even if the above seems too far off a worry well this information is highly relevant if you just want to lose the body fat off your pecs, man boobs, triceps, hips, and hamstrings.
Persons with chronic health problems must pay heed to the following as part of their path to recovery.
I also urge you to think of our planet as a whole and with a conscience as environmental oestrogenic toxic compounds are a SERIOUS and PERSISTING concern for both man and animal alike.
my medical website was even talking about endocrine disrupters lately http://andreacullenhealthsolutions.com/2017/08/01/endocrine-disrupters-and-health/
We are blessed to be granted life on this beautiful planet. It is a closed system and everything we do has an impact. Live consciously, ethically, mindfully and most of all, with gratitude. Give back and don’t just take.
Xenoestrogens are unnatural compounds that in the body produce effects that are same as the hormone estrogen; in other words estrogen mimickers. The xenoestrogens of concern are man-made although there are also numerous plants that we consume that also have weak estrogen mimicking effects and these are known as phytoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) a word more often used on the World Health Organizations webpage.
Due to similarities in the chemical structure of xenoestrogens to our natural estrogen molecules, and hence their ‘shape’, these foreign man-made estrogens are able to bind to our internal estrogen receptors with high affinity and non-specificity. This means that at a very basic level xenoestrogens have the capacity to significantly upset our hormonal balance throughout the body.
It is important to know that it is not only women that have estrogen receptors in their bodies; men have estrogen receptors scattered around the body and the growing fetus, infant, child and adolescent of both sexes does also; when you consider this you can begin to grasp the worrying enormity of the problem for our hormonal balance and therefore health. Xenoestrogens alter hormonal activity and cell function within the whole body.
The estrogen receptor, where our natural estrogen molecule should bind to trigger hormonal ‘action’, isn’t very selective for the molecules that it binds, and so if a molecule close in molecular shape such as a toxic environmental xenoestrogen tries to bind to it; it can and often with greater affinity than the natural oestrogen molecule. So not only does it bind to the receptor but it may actually bind with greater intensity (affinity). As renowned expert Dr Christine Horner recently said at a conference I attended; the oestrogen receptor molecule is a ‘slut”; she binds everything closely resembling an oestrogen. This is the prime reason why we see so many health problems resulting from toxic oestrogen mimicking chemicals in our environment: aka the xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens can either be byproducts of chemical processes, production of man-made materials, or the breakdown of such materials in the environment. Some of the 70,000 plus registered chemicals for use in the United States have hormonal effects in addition to toxic effects. These chemicals can be found in many of the items we use daily. For example, household cleaning products, cosmetics, and body care products; on foods, in foods and in food packaging; in water; in cleaning products; in air fresheners; the list goes on and on. The synergistic effects of exposure to many xenoestrogens are well documented, but largely unknown.
Medications with hormonal actions such as HRT and the birth control pill add further to this xenoestrogen load. And don’t think that men, babies, adolescents or pensioners are exempt from this exposure; no way! As the breakdown metabolites from the contraceptive pill when it is eliminated in the urine then persists in our water supply.
Yes this is an area of increasing concern and evidence is steadily growing that xenoestrogens and other hormone mimicking substances are implicated in a wide range of human and wildlife health problems. Estrogen dominance from these environmental hormone disrupters is causing an imbalance of hormones, creating a host of estrogen dominance symptoms.
Health conditions and symptoms linked to environmental xenoestrogen exposure include:
- Early puberty and the ever decreasing age of menarche in teenage girls
- Breast cancer – women
- Prostate cancer – men
- Infertility problems – men and women
- PCOS and fibroids
- Feminization – boys
- Low testosterone in men
- Gynocomastia (aka man boobs)
- Skewing of newborn gender distribution – fewer boys born than girls
It is important to mention also that endocrine disrupting xenoestrogens are having a severe impact on the world’s ecological systems and animal reproduction. http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/index.html
Check your Personal Xenoestrogen Exposure
Have a read through this list and highlight your sources of exposure and seek to make changes; this list is not exhaustive, but makes a great start!
- Unfiltered mains / tap water (contains oestrogen and other hormonal medication metabolites in addition to agricultural and industrial chemical metabolites, washing detergents and household chemicals. Many of these chemicals have oestrogen mimicking actions)
- Laundry detergent – Use white vinegar, baking soda, or tri-sodium phosphate (TSP)… According to some experts, avoid even the Seventh Generation and Eco brands
- Dryer sheets and fabric softeners – I use Kangen 6.0 beauty water as softener and essential oils with pleasant scents to overcome the smell of my mains water. Apparently white vinegar is a marvelous natural fabric softener, no smell after it dries.
- Showering or bathing in mains/ tap water
- Drinking from plastic bottles
- Consuming food or drinks from plastic containers (that are not labelled BPA free); i.e. anything that is stored, packed, or cooked in plastic containers. This is especially relevant for fatty foods and processed foods. Less so for solid items such as fruit and vegetables. Nevertheless it is best to limit your plastics footprint on this planet!
- Styrofoam or take away coffee cups
- Frequent consumption of tinned/ canned or plastic lined tetra pak foods or items packed in plastic jars for example peanut butter or mayonnaise
- Heating ready-made Microwave meals in their original plastic or Styrofoam containers
- Skin and cosmetic products containing parabens or any chemicals ending in the word – bens, or phthalates, or phenoxyethanol and numerous other chemicals (this includes sunscreen, shampoo, and fake tanning products; everything that goes on the skin should be as natural as possible. Especially where children and infants are concerned)
- Air fresheners and body scents
- Paints, lacquers and solvents
- Many pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides
- Frequent fast food or restaurant food where you have no control over any of the following: ingredient quality, pesticides and herbicides, food washing, artificial additives, processed fats, plastic packaging, etc.
- Animal pest control products (e.g. sprays and dips used agriculturally; many head lice products))
- Animal foods treated with hormones; regular consumption of factory farmed meat and poultry (hormones are not permitted in the EU; but some of our foods have origins in countries outside of the EU – a grey area. Hormones ARE permitted for use in the USA). In other words, the following products within the USA or other countries where the use of hormones is permitted:
- Commercially raised, non-organic meats such as beef, chicken, and pork
- Commercial dairy products including milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream – Use only organic products that do not contain bovine growth hormone
- Farmed fish from waters documented to have toxins present – for this reason I recommend WILD fish and second to this fish ORGANICALLY FARMED FREE SWIMMING IN CLEANER WATERS for example the Atlantic coast off Ireland.
- Obesity – fat cells store environmental toxins and so weight loss results in the remobilisation of toxins and xenoestrogens back into the circulation where they can influence oestrogen receptors and hence health.
- Non-stick pan and bake ware coatings; this includes certain slow cookers, crockpots and grills.
- The contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy are sources of outside (exogenous) oestrogens.
- Spermicide on condoms is oestrogenic (Nonoxynol-9)
- Beer is a potent source of phyto-oestrogens (plant oestrogens); which when consumed frequently may upset the balance of male hormones (e.g. man-boobs)
- Drinking more than 2 cups of coffee a day may increase oestrogen levels in women and worsen oestrogen related health conditions and pre-disposition to oestrogen cancers in susceptible women
Make changes in your life to reduce environmental toxin and xenoestrogen exposure:
This list is not exhaustive; and is a good place to start. This topic is another e-book in itself!!
- Cleanse the liver and support all the organs of detoxification preferably on a daily basis (email for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Filter your water
- Consider a shower head attachment to filter chemicals
- Stop buying water in plastic bottles; see http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2010/01/26/press-release-chemical-additives-bottled-water-plastics and http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-water-week
- Carry water in glass, stainless steel or BPA free plastic water bottles (recommended stainless steel containers include Santevia, Klean canteen, Contiga, Sig). Please not that electrically alkaline negative ORP water is not stable in stainless steel and so must be carried in glass or BPA free plastic containers.
- Use glass, porcelain, or Pyrex dishes to heat foods or store food in the fridge and freezer and not plastic (BPA free plastic containers are also available in stores; however I feel completely plastic free is best).
- Pack lunches in stainless steel lunch boxes or at the very least BPA free plastic containers. E.g. http://www.lunchbots.com/
- Bin your microwave; yes removing it from your home is the ONLY way that you will stop using it.
- Clear out your cosmetics, shampoos, toothpaste and toiletries and slowly replace with toxin free products (http://www.ewg.org/research/exposing-cosmetics-cover-up, http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ and http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/ are a great place to start)
- Read the labels on all lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetic products, including sun screens and insect repellent. Read the labels on anything you put on your body. The oestrogenic ingredient to avoid is paraben, including polyparaben or methylparaben. If they are in a product they are usually near the end of the list, so read all the way through. Phthalates also have oestrogen-like hormonal effect when absorbed into the blood stream and have feminising testosterone lowering effects. To be honest I recommend that only completely natural products are applied to the body; you should be able to safely eat anything that you apply to your skin or the skin of your loved ones.
- Natural or herbal scented natural soup is a handy alternative to body washes or hand washing lotions.
- Investigate all the products in the bathroom used by other family member and slowly replace these with natural and chemical free products.
- Research your washing detergents and cleaning products (see here for some greener tips http://eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm and here for some product suggestions http://eartheasy.com/green-home/non-toxic-home-cleaning) and also why Ecover isn’t so great! http://smartklean.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/seventh-generation-method-and-ecover-not-so-safe-after-all/
- In so far as possible avoid the use of plastic water bottles, and never drink from plastics after they’ve been sitting in the sun. Heated plastic releases BPA.
- Buy organic produce when possible and always wash all produce regardless of whether it says pre-washed or organic. Make an effort to buy the following as ‘organic’: meat (or local and pastured also known as grass-fed. Choose hormone free in the USA), poultry (aim for free-range AND organic), dairy (ideally raw, at least organic. I suggest that you exclude milk and yogurt from the diet and enjoy only occasional artisan sheep, goat and cows cheese), leafy greens or salad vegetables, berries, soft fruits, apples, fish (preferably wild and caught free-swimming; your next best option is organic and free-swimming), and grains and lentils or beans.
- Limit omega 6 oils and processed fats in favour of omega 3 fats.
- See http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php for helpful information; they publish lists every year of the best and worst food options and blog many more valuable educational resources.
- Cut soya products from your diet except minimal and infrequent intake of traditionally fermented soy, tempeh and miso. I feel very strongly that processed soy is best completely removed from the diet and this includes soya milk, organic soya milk, processed soy sauce, soya protein powder, soya protein meat alternatives and so on. Soy is hidden in many foods such as sports and health bars, protein powders, meal replacement shakes and weight loss products; AVOID!
- Consider growing your own produce organically and investigate safe biodegradable natural herbicides.
- Choose to enjoy your coffee or tea in a real mug or carry your own non-toxic travel mug for on the road.
- Drink organic coffee and not more than 1 a day ideally. Choose decaf that hasn’t been exposed to chemicals.
- Burn (or sprinkle) pure oils and incense instead of toxic air fresheners, artificial scents or synthetically scented candles (e.g. Yankee candles).
- Limit your environmental plastics foot print and switch to cotton or hemp or canvas shopping bags. See here for some helpful info http://www.rapmonth.org/10-ways/
- Ditch BPA from your life as much as you can! BPA is found in the lining of cans (therefore limit the number of canned foods you eat), in cash register receipts (limit how often you handle these; within reason), in plastic containers such as plastic water bottles and packaging and plastic storage containers. Avoid reheating food in plastic containers in the microwave. Plastic that is washed aggressively, scratched or aged releases potentially more BPA into the food contents.
- Food and liquid storage containers made from ceramic, glass or Pyrex are super.
- Cook most meals at home and save eating out for ethical organic restaurants whose philosophy is locally produced, organically raised and ethically treated food prepared with love.
- Cookware made from ceramic, stainless steel, or cast iron is recommended. (Iron however is not recommended if you are a haemochromatosis carrier). Oven baking, grilling, poaching, steaming, casserole, soups, salads, etc. are all safer food prep techniques. Double check that cookware is not coated with non-stick coating.
- Eat whole natural foods; unpackaged and unprocessed in so far as possible. Natural foods are as nature made them from the ground, trees, plants, rivers, oceans, or fields…. Wholegrain bread or bran flakes for example is not whole and not natural!
- Reconsider the use of hormonal methods of contraception or replacement therapy.
- Go off of the pill for 6-9 months before getting pregnant, to allow the body’s hormones to return to normal levels.
- Use natural wool carpets or wood flooring, safer paints, and avoid special treatments on carpets and soft furnishings as these all off-gas into the home atmosphere.
- Similar for cars; avoid the use of chemical treatments and scents in your car. Some say only buy second-hand cars to limit exposure to ‘new car smell’ and the associated chemicals.
- Investigate natural pest control for your pets as well as in the garden.
- Hops in beer have estrogen mimicking actions (bitter beer contains lower quantities). If you are (male and) concerned about body composition then I would urge you to consider cutting out the beers as they have strong estrogenic effects often seen as man-boobs. Also most beers are not organic so you are getting hit with a double whammy from the chemicals and agrichemicals. Reduce your alcohol intake; consider very moderate intake of red wine or spirits.
Dr Christine Horner is a fabulous surgeon and expert health consultant whose work I highly recommend
This article here by the Environmental Working group is a must read. The following is taken directly from their site as I would not like to take credit for the astonishing work that this group do.
Dirty Dozen List of Endocrine Disruptors
12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them
Monday, October 28, 2013
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
Here are 12 of the worst hormone disrupters, how they do their dirty deeds, and some tips on how to avoid them.
Some may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but do you really want a chemical used in plastics imitating the sex hormone estrogen in your body? No! Unfortunately, this synthetic hormone can trick the body into thinking it’s the real thing – and the results aren’t pretty. BPA has been linked to everything from breast and others cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease, and according to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies!
How to avoid it? Go fresh instead of canned – many food cans are lined with BPA – or research which companies don’t use BPA or similar chemicals in their products. Say no to receipts, since thermal paper is often coated with BPA. And avoid plastics marked with a “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plastics contain BPA, but many do – and it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping synthetic hormones out of your body. For more tips, check out: www.ewg.org/bpa/
Dioxins are multi-taskers… but not in a good way! They form during many industrial processes when chlorine or bromine are burned in the presence of carbon and oxygen. Dioxins can disrupt the delicate ways that both male and female sex hormone signaling occurs in the body. This is a bad thing! Here’s why: Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can both permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproductive years. But that’s not all! Dioxins are very long-lived, build up both in the body and in the food chain, are powerful carcinogens and can also affect the immune and reproductive systems.
How to avoid it? That’s pretty difficult, since the ongoing industrial release of dioxin has meant that the American food supply is widely contaminated. Products including meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter are most likely to be contaminated, but you can cut down on your exposure by eating fewer animal products.
What happens when you introduce highly toxic chemicals into nature and turn your back? For one thing, feminization of male frogs. That’s right, researchers have found that exposure to even low levels of the herbicide atrazine can turn male frogs into females that produce completely viable eggs. Atrazine is widely used on the majority of corn crops in the United States, and consequently it’s a pervasive drinking water contaminant. Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation in animals, and some research has linked it to prostate cancer in people.
How to avoid it? Buy organic produce and get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine. For help finding a suitable filter, check out EWG’s buying guide: www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide/
Did you know that a specific signal programs cells in our bodies to die? It’s totally normal and healthy for 50 billion cells in your body to die every day! But studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can trigger what’s known as “death-inducing signaling” in testicular cells, making them die earlier than they should. Yep, that’s cell death – in your man parts. If that’s not enough, studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.
How to avoid it? A good place to start is to avoid plastic food containers, children’s toys (some phthalates are already banned in kid’s products), and plastic wrap made from PVC, which has the recycling label #3. Some personal care products also contain phthalates, so read the labels and avoid products that simply list added “fragrance,” since this catch-all term sometimes means hidden phthalates. Find phthalate-free personal care products with EWG’s Skin Deep Database: www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Who needs food tainted with rocket fuel?! That’s right, perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel, contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to EWG and government test data. When perchlorate gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones. Basically, this means that if you ingest too much of it you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. This is important because it’s these hormones that regulate metabolism in adults and are critical for proper brain and organ development in infants and young children.
How to avoid it? You can reduce perchlorate in your drinking water by installing a reverse osmosis filter. (You can get help finding one at: www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide) As for food, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid perchlorate, but you can reduce its potential effects on you by making sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet. Eating iodized salt is one good way.
What do breast milk and polar bears have in common? In 1999, some Swedish scientists studying women’s breast milk discovered something totally unexpected: The milk contained an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in fire retardants, and the levels had been doubling every five years since 1972! These incredibly persistent chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, have since been found to contaminate the bodies of people and wildlife around the globe – even polar bears. These chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones in our bodies and disrupt their activity. That can lead to lower IQ, among other significant health effects. While several kinds of PBDEs have now been phased out, this doesn’t mean that toxic fire retardants have gone away. PBDEs are incredibly persistent, so they’re going to be contaminating people and wildlife for decades to come.
How to avoid it? It’s virtually impossible, but passing better toxic chemical laws that require chemicals to be tested before they go on the market would help reduce our exposure. A few things that can you can do in the meantime include: use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which can cut down on toxic-laden house dust; avoid reupholstering foam furniture; take care when replacing old carpet (the padding underneath may contain PBDEs). Find more tips at: www.ewg.org/pbdefree/
You may or may not like heavy metal music, but lead is one heavy metal you want to avoid. It’s well known that lead is toxic, especially to children. Lead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a staggering array of health effects, including permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and nervous system problems. But few people realize that one other way that lead may affect your body is by disrupting your hormones. In animals, lead has been found to lower sex hormone levels. Research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the HPA axis). You probably have more stress in your life than you want, so the last thing you need is something making it harder for your body to deal with it – especially when this stress system is implicated in high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and depression.
How to avoid it? Keep your home clean and well maintained. Crumbling old paint is a major source of lead exposure, so get rid of it carefully. A good water filter can also reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water. (Check out www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide/ for help finding a filter.) And if you need another reason to eat better, studies have also shown that children with healthy diets absorb less lead.
Arsenic isn’t just for murder mysteries anymore. In fact, this toxin is lurking in your food and drinking water. If you eat enough of it, arsenic will kill you outright. In smaller amounts, arsenic can cause skin, bladder and lung cancer. Basically, bad news. Less well-known: Arsenic messes with your hormones! Specifically, it can interfere with normal hormone functioning in the glucocorticoid system that regulates how our bodies process sugars and carbohydrates. What does that mean for you? Well, disrupting the glucocorticoid system has been linked to weight gain/loss, protein wasting, immunosuppression, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), osteoporosis, growth retardation and high blood pressure.
How to avoid it? Reduce your exposure by using a water filter that lowers arsenic levels. For help finding a good water filter, check out EWG’s buying guide: www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide/
Caution: That sushi you are eating could be hazardous to your health. Mercury, a naturally occurring but toxic metal, gets into the air and the oceans primarily though burning coal. Eventually, it can end up on your plate in the form of mercury-contaminated seafood. Pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. Mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. In other words, hormones don’t work so well when they’ve got mercury stuck to them! The metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.
How to avoid it? For people who still want to eat (sustainable) seafood with lots of healthy fats but without a side of toxic mercury, wild salmon and farmed trout are good choices.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)
The perfluorinated chemicals used to make non-stick cookware can stick to you. Perfluorochemicals are so widespread and extraordinarily persistent that 99 percent of Americans have these chemicals in their bodies. One particularly notorious compound called PFOA has been shown to be “completely resistant to biodegradation.” In other words, PFOA doesn’t break down in the environment – ever. That means that even though the chemical was banned after decades of use, it will be showing up in people’s bodies for countless generations to come. This is worrisome, since PFOA exposure has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease and high cholesterol, among other health issues. Scientists are still figuring out how PFOA affects the human body, but animal studies have found that it can affect thyroid and sex hormone levels.
How to avoid it? Skip non-stick pans as well as stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets.
Neurotoxic organophosphate compounds that the Nazis produced in huge quantities for chemical warfare during World War II were luckily never used. After the war ended, American scientists used the same chemistry to develop a long line of pesticides that target the nervous systems of insects. Despite many studies linking organophosphate exposure to effects on brain development, behavior and fertility, they are still among the more common pesticides in use today. A few of the many ways that organophosphates can affect the human body include interfering with the way testosterone communicates with cells, lowering testosterone and altering thyroid hormone levels.
How to avoid it? Buy organic produce and use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which can help you find the fruits and vegetables that have the fewest pesticide residues. Check it out at: www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Shrunken testicles: Do we have your full attention now? This is one thing that can happen to rats exposed to chemicals called glycol ethers, which are common solvents in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics. Worried? You should be. The European Union says that some of these chemicals “may damage fertility or the unborn child.” Studies of painters have linked exposure to certain glycol ethers to blood abnormalities and lower sperm counts. And children who were exposed to glycol ethers from paint in their bedrooms had substantially more asthma and allergies.
How to avoid it? Start by checking out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning (www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/) and avoid products with ingredients such as 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).
I hope that you enjoyed this article; it is important that you know that the power is in your hands to take charge of your health in so far as is possible based on what we know. In a nutshell exposure limitation alongside eating good food, drinking safe water and using nutritional and healing strategies to detox what you are exposed to is key. Please do contact me should you be interested in learning more.