Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Endocrine Disruptors: How Do They Affect Us?

Well, this is another huge topic. And so to keep this blog as concise as possible, I will give you the abridged response. But again, I urge you to please do your own due diligence and learn as much as you can about endocrine disruptors.

How do they affect us? It starts before birth in the womb. What a mother has been exposed to throughout life as well as what she takes in during her pregnancy become the legacy of the next generation. Many exposures during pregnancy don’t even manifest themselves until the child reaches sexual maturity or beyond.

Children are exposed to more chemicals today than ever before. As a result we are seeing a more rapid maturation process. Doctors are seeing eight-, nine-, and ten-year-olds exhibiting signs of early puberty.

Endocrine disruption has also been linked to an increase in childhood cancers & asthma, abnormal development of sex organs; in addition, birth defects, preterm births and low birth weight babies are increasing in number. Lower IQ’s, behavior and attention issues also may be linked to endocrine disruptors.

Problems related to men’s health range from reproductive issues like low sperm count and testicular cancer to other types of cancers such as leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease; and an increase in heart disease has been seen in several dioxin-exposed populations.

There are a number of women’s health conditions that are possibly related to hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body: endometriosis, uterine fibroids, benign breast disease, PMS, ovarian cysts, infertility and increase in reproductive cancers. And this is just a partial list.

Think for a minute – I bet you have friends or family members who have experienced some of the above mentioned issues. I can tell you that I personally have encountered many of them among my clients and friends, and I truly believe that this is a topic that we must treat seriously.

The information that I have been sharing with you may be alarming to some. But because it is a serious issue that historically has not gotten a lot of press, I am determined to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can. There are things we all can do to alleviate our exposures to endocrine disruptors, but people have to know that they have been exposed to them in order to be proactive about make changes. Spreading awareness is the essence of what I do…I hope you have been enlightened but what I have shared with you.

Next time we finally get to the good news: Ways to protect ourselves and our families.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Healthy Back-to-School Ideas for Your Kids

It’s that time again- the yellow school busses have hit the roads, school doors are open and the kids are back to filling their brains with knowledge. They’ve been equipped with new clothes, new shoes, new notebooks, pencils, and backpacks.

But, what about their health? Have they been equipped with vitamins and minerals to avoid illness? Do they head off to school with good protein to help their bodies and minds stay energized all morning? My sister used to tutor kids with dyslexia and would often ask, “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” Most often the reply was Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts, or donuts. With these refined carbs, energy spikes and then quickly plummets. Two hours later the kids are sluggish and distractible.

Lo-fat yoghurt, fruit smoothies with some added soy protein powder, natural peanut butter on a piece of whole wheat toast and lo-fat cottage cheese are just a few ways to get some good protein in them.

This year parents are especially concerned about the H1N1 virus. One of the best things we can do is be sure that our kids are as healthy as possible. A strong immune system is a good defense against viruses, colds and the flu. So adding some supplements to a good diet is not a bad idea. All kids should take a good-quality multivitamin/mineral supplement. Recent studies have shown that lactoferrin supports a healthy immune system in kids. So look for a supplement which contains lactoferrin.

Additional Vitamin C will help strengthen the immune system. And a chewable calcium-magnesium product contains essential minerals to support bone development; plus it’s a natural nerve and muscle relaxant. It’s especially helpful for allergies and brain sensitivities caused by milk and dairy.

Here are a few other suggestions to help avoid illness or spreading colds:
• Stay home from school if you are sick
• Cover your cough with a tissue
• Sneeze or cough into your sleeve or elbow
• Wash your hands often

Besides nutritional support, children also need to get adequate sleep and lots of exercise. I always encourage drinking plenty of water and be sure to avoid sodas at all costs. FYI-Soda pop leaches calcium from bones which has lasting effects into adulthood.

I’m passionate about giving kids all the advantages we can to support their bodies and brains. Switching to non-toxic household cleaners & laundry products is a great idea, especially if you are concerned about hyperactivity, allergies or asthma. Also choosing personal care products – shampoo, toothpaste, bathing products – that are free of harmful toxins and chemicals, is another wise decision. (for further info on this topic please visit my blog post).

If you would like to know more about how you might implement some of these suggestions, please feel free to contact me.