If you’re like me and you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, there’s a very real possibility that an over-burdened body is involved.
Experiencing the main symptoms of PCOS like excess hair growth, head hair loss, acne, infertility, absent, irregular or anovulatory cycles plus cysts on the ovaries can seem pretty shitty.
I remember when I found out I had PCOS- my gyno was not able to give me an explanation as to WHY I had PCOS. Was it poor nutrition? Genetics? Random selection? She didn’t know. The deeper I dug into healing PCOS naturally, the more I saw the same thing coming up over and over again:
While it is true that the cause of PCOS is not entirely understood, having a toxic body greatly adds to the chances of experiencing the symptoms I mentioned above, and more. Especially if you also experience bloating, other digestive difficulties, constant fatigue and moodiness.
Where Do the Toxins Come From?
There’s really no shortage of places. Everywhere you look we are being bombarded with toxicity, but we can lump them into a few main categories.
Food + Water
Firstly, our food and water bring in many toxins. Eating foods that come in boxes, bags and cartons means they have been processed. Most all processed foods shouldn’t really be called foods at all because they contain so few real (like- from the ground) ingredients and mostly chemicals to make them taste, look, smell and feel like food. I’m looking at you- frozen meals, crackers and breakfast cereals!
To add insult to injury, our water is often contaminated with the hormones that women on hormonal birth control pee into our water systems, plus things like fluoride, pesticides and possibly heavy metals.
Happy Hormones Fix: Eat as cleanly as possible. Shop the outer aisles of the grocery store, and don’t buy anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce, or that won’t go bad for a year (or ever). Get a water filter. Try a pitcher in your fridge, a system hooked up to your faucet or purchased filtered water like alkaline or reverse osmosis from a local vendor. Another option? Check out local water springs and bring a bunch of jugs to fill up!
Pollution is everywhere. From the air we breath to the sites we see to the people we spend time with. For the purposes of this article, I’m talking about air pollution. There is no limit to the number of chemicals that are pumped into our air and waterways everyday. What’s in our water eventually ends up being evaporated and rained down on us, putting it further into the air and our lives. Large cities tend to have the highest concentrations of this air pollution.
Happy Hormones Fix: Unfortunately, there’s little we can do to control the air we breathe daily. This is why it’s even MORE important to pay attention to the foods you put in your body, as above, and what you use in your personal environment, as below.
Let’s do a quick definition here. By personal environment, I mean all of these:
- indoor air quality
- cleanliness of the indoor environment (get out your duster!)
- personal care products like deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, menstrual hygiene products, shampoo, conditioner and anything else you put on your body
- household cleaning products like laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, window washing fluid, furniture polish, and everything in between
Happy Hormones Fix: Get an air purifier. They are worth the investment! Try some natural or DIY personal care and household cleaning products. I use everything natural, and even make my own facial cleanser from honey and cinnamon! Don’t put anything on your body or in your home that wouldn’t be safe to ingest.
Why Toxins are Hazardous to Your PCOS
Let’s get down to brass tacks. The science. The truth. If your body is toxic, PCOS is more likely to exist in your body.
One study showed that instances of ovarian diseases like PCOS were more prevalent in women with higher levels of toxins like bisphenol A (BPA) and pesticides.
It’s also been noted that hormones like estrogen and progesterone, as well as ovulation can be affected by high toxin exposure, and could lead to things like PCOS and other hormonal disorders (shout out to the endometriosis ladies!).
Elsewhere, the connection between dioxin (a chemical very common in conventional pads and tampons, among other places) and reproductive issues like PCOS has been brought to light.
That’s a lot of evidence! And it’s constantly rising.
Still not sure if toxins should matter for you and your PCOS? Take the Detox Quiz!
8 Simple Ways to Detox to Reduce Toxic Load for PCOS
- Ditch the BPA: Use glass and/or stainless steel food and beverage containers wherever possible. Refuse to heat anything in plastic. Go reusable!
- DIY or Natural Store-Bought Products: Get rid of that heavy metal-laden deodorant, replace your laundry detergent with a health food store option, and make your own facial cleansers, toners and moisturizers with ingredients from your kitchen or local health food store. Slowly start to replace ALL the products you use on your body and in your home with natural alternatives.
- Love Your Liver: Drink some lemon water when you wake up. Move and sweat your body. Eat REAL food. Get some more tips in my Detox Quiz.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: These bad boys include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, collard greens, kale, radishes, Brussels sprouts and more. These vegetables contain compounds like DIM and Sulforaphane which help your body to detoxify excess estrogen.
- Fibre: Increase your fibre intake to 35-45g daily. Fibre will bind to toxins that are excreted from your liver (LOVE that liver!!) and help you move them out through healthy and robust poops.
- Water: Like fibre, water helps to move toxins out- but through your kidneys and urine rather than bowel movements. Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces daily.
- Relax: Stress increases the likelihood of a poor immune system, endocrine (hormonal) system and digestive system. All of which contribute to your body holding on to unnecessary toxins. Do something every single day to calm the fuck down. Do some meditation, try some yoga, have a bath, or just get away from your sources of stress, even for a few minutes. No- you don’t need to clean that up right now. It can wait.
- Go Organic: I get you. Organic can be expensive. Save your organic dollars for the most toxic food items: Dairy, Meat and the Dirty Dozen most toxic produce.