Meal Plan Introduction
Tips for Taking Care of Your Endocrine System
Most critical stages of development occur in utero, where the fertilized egg divides, rapidly developing every structure of a fully formed baby, including much of the wiring in the brain. Interfering with the hormonal communication in utero can have profound effects both structurally and toward brain development.
Depending on the stage of reproductive development, interference with hormonal signaling can result in irreversible effects not seen in adults exposed to the same dose for the same length of time. There are studies of cell cultures, laboratory animals, wildlife, and accidentally exposed humans that show that environmental chemicals cause a wide range of reproductive, developmental, growth, and behavior effects, and so while "endocrine disruption in humans by pollutant chemicals remains largely undemonstrated, the underlying science is sound and the potential for such effects is real.
The interrelationship between exposures to chemicals and health effects are rather complex. It is hard to definitively link a particular chemical with a specific health effect, and exposed adults may not show any ill effects. Some in the scientific community are concerned that exposure to endocrine disruptors in the womb or early in life may be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including reduced IQ, ADHD , and autism.
Most toxicants, including endocrine disruptors, have been claimed to follow a U-shaped dose response curve. For example, a common flame retardant , BDE , affects the reproductive system and thyroid gland of female rats in doses of the order of those to which humans are exposed.
Critics have argued that data suggest that the amounts of chemicals in the environment are too low to cause an effect. A consensus statement by the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative argued that "The very low-dose effects of endocrine disruptors cannot be predicted from high-dose studies, which contradicts the standard 'dose makes the poison' rule of toxicology. Nontraditional dose-response curves are referred to as nonmonotonic dose response curves.
The dosage objection could also be overcome if low concentrations of different endocrine disruptors are synergistic. It has been claimed that Tamoxifen and some phthalates have fundamentally different and harmful effects on the body at low doses than at high doses.
Food is a major mechanism by which people are exposed to pollutants. Some suspect fish consumption is a major source of many environmental contaminants. Indeed, both wild and farmed salmon from all over the world have been shown to contain a variety of man-made organic compounds.
With the increase in household products containing pollutants and the decrease in the quality of building ventilation, indoor air has become a significant source of pollutant exposure.
Consumer goods are another potential source of exposure to endocrine disruptors. An analysis of the composition of 42 household cleaning and personal care products versus 43 "chemical free" products has been performed. The products contained 55 different chemical compounds: Parabens , a class of chemicals that has been associated with reproductive-tract issues, were detected in seven of the "chemical free" products, including three sunscreens that did not list parabens on the label. The risk of exposure to EDCs increases as products, both conventional and "chemical free," are used in combination.
An analysis of the endocrine disrupting chemicals in Old Order Mennonite women in mid-pregnancy determined that they have much lower levels in their systems than the general population. Mennonites eat mostly fresh, unprocessed foods, farm without pesticides, and use few or no cosmetics or personal care products. One woman who had reported using hairspray and perfume had high levels of monoethyl phthalate, while the other women all had levels below detection.
Three women who reported being in a car or truck within 48 hours of providing a urine sample had higher levels of diethylhexyl phthalate which is found in polyvinyl chloride, and is used in car interiors. Additives added to plastics during manufacturing may leach into the environment after the plastic item is discarded; additives in microplastics in the ocean leach into ocean water and in plastics in landfills may escape and leach into the soil and then into groundwater.
All people are exposed to chemicals with estrogenic effects in their everyday life, because endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in low doses in thousands of products. Xenoestrogens are a type of xenohormone that imitates estrogen. Synthetic xenoestrogens include widely used industrial compounds, such as PCBs , BPA and phthalates , which have estrogenic effects on a living organism. The long-chain alkylphenols are used extensively as precursors to the detergents , as additives for fuels and lubricants , polymers, and as components in phenolic resins.
These compounds are also used as building block chemicals that are also used in making fragrances , thermoplastic elastomers , antioxidants , oil field chemicals and fire retardant materials. Through the downstream use in making alkylphenolic resins, alkylphenols are also found in tires, adhesives, coatings, carbonless copy paper and high performance rubber products.
They have been used in industry for over 40 years. Certain alkylphenols are degradation products from nonionic detergents. Nonylphenol is considered to be a low-level endocrine disruptor owing to its tendency to mimic estrogen. Bisphenol A is commonly found in plastic bottles, plastic food containers, dental materials, and the linings of metal food and infant formula cans.
Another exposure comes from receipt paper commonly used at grocery stores and restaurants, because today the paper is commonly coated with a BPA containing clay for printing purposes. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor, and numerous studies have found that laboratory animals exposed to low levels of it have elevated rates of diabetes , mammary and prostate cancers , decreased sperm count, reproductive problems, early puberty , obesity , and neurological problems.
In the World Health Organization expert panel recommended no new regulations limiting or banning the use of bisphenol A, stating that "initiation of public health measures would be premature.
In August , the U. FDA issued a draft reassessment, reconfirming their initial opinion that, based on scientific evidence, it is safe. Bisphenol S is an analog of bisphenol A. It is commonly found in thermal receipts, plastics, and household dust.
Traces of BPS have also been found in personal care products. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane DDT was first used as a pesticide against Colorado potato beetles on crops beginning in Before World War II, pyrethrum , an extract of a flower from Japan, had been used to control these insects and the diseases they can spread.
Fearing an epidemic outbreak of typhus, every British and American soldier was issued DDT, who used it to routinely dust beds, tents, and barracks all over the world. DDT was approved for general, non-military use after the war ended.
Its use for agricultural purposes has since been prohibited by national legislation of most countries, while its use as a control against malaria vectors is permitted, as specifically stated by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants . As early as , the harmful effects of DDT on bird, beneficial insects, fish, and marine invertebrates were seen in the environment. The most infamous example of these effects were seen in the eggshells of large predatory birds, which did not develop to be thick enough to support the adult bird sitting on them.
More than sixty years ago when biologists began to study the effects of DDT on laboratory animals, it was discovered that DDT interfered with reproductive development. Polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs are a class of chlorinated compounds used as industrial coolants and lubricants. PCBs are created by heating benzene, a byproduct of gasoline refining, with chlorine. In , Monsanto acquired the company, taking over US production and licensing PCB manufacturing technology internationally.
The effects of acute exposure to PCBs were well known within the companies who used Monsanto's PCB formulation who saw the effects on their workers who came into contact with it regularly. Direct skin contact results in a severe acne-like condition called chloracne.
Recent studies show the endocrine interference of certain PCB congeners is toxic to the liver and thyroid,  increases childhood obesity in children exposed prenatally,  and may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
PCBs in the environment may also be related to reproductive and infertility problems in wildlife. In Alaska it is thought that they may contribute to reproductive defects, infertility and antler malformation in some deer populations. Declines in the populations of otters and sea lions may also be partially due to their exposure to PCBs, the insecticide DDT, other persistent organic pollutants.
Bans and restrictions on the use of EDCs have been associated with a reduction in health problems and the recovery of some wildlife populations. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers PBDEs are a class of compounds found in flame retardants used in plastic cases of televisions and computers, electronics, carpets, lighting, bedding, clothing, car components, foam cushions and other textiles.
In the s and s, the plastics industry developed technologies to create a variety of plastics with broad applications. Plastics began to replace wood and metal in existing products as well, and today plastics are the most widely used manufacturing materials. By the s, all homes were wired with electricity and had numerous electrical appliances.
Cotton had been the dominant textile used to produce home furnishings,  but now home furnishings were composed of mostly synthetic materials. More than billion cigarettes were consumed each year in the s, as compared to less than 3 billion per year in the beginning of the twentieth century.
By the late s, approximately people in the US died each year in home fires. In , in response to this situation, the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control was created to study the fire problem in the US.
In they published their findings in America Burning, a page report  that made recommendations to increase fire prevention. Most of the recommendations dealt with fire prevention education and improved building engineering, such as the installation of fire sprinklers and smoke detectors.
Historically, treatments with alum and borax were used to reduce the flammability of fabric and wood, as far back as Roman times. Organic compounds based on halogens like bromine and chlorine are used as the flame retardant additive in plastics, and in fabric based textiles as well. PBDEs have the potential to disrupt thyroid hormone balance and contribute to a variety of neurological and developmental deficits, including low intelligence and learning disabilities.
Phthalates are found in some soft toys, flooring, medical equipment, cosmetics and air fresheners. They are of potential health concern because they are known to disrupt the endocrine system of animals, and some research has implicated them in the rise of birth defects of the male reproductive system.
Although an expert panel has concluded that there is "insufficient evidence" that they can harm the reproductive system of infants,  California,   Washington state and Europe have banned them from toys. One phthalate, bis 2-ethylhexyl phthalate DEHP , used in medical tubing, catheters and blood bags, may harm sexual development in male infants.
Although there are no direct human studies the FDA report states: In view of the available animal data, precautions should be taken to limit the exposure of the developing male to DEHP". She was a personal trainer before Hashimoto's and celiac disease changed her life and led her to research nutrition-based approaches to healing.
Now a professional food writer, Karen specializes in developing recipes and writing meal plans for restrictive diets. She lives in Seattle, WA. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime.
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Because weight gain is a major issue related to PCOS, it is important to include lean proteins in a PCOS weight loss diet in order to control body weight. Meat is one of the powerful natural sources of protein. But you must opt for organic lean cuts of meat that contain fewer hormones and pesticides and are not genetically modified. It is not necessary to completely shun carbohydrates even if you have PCOS, you just need to choose the carbohydrates judiciously.
Carbohydrates with high Glycemic Index such as instant breakfast cereals, white breads, white bagels and white rice cause fast rise and blood sugar levels which in turn increase the release of insulin from the pancreas in order to use the glucose for energy, but high levels of insulin in the body eventually leads to insulin resistance and obesity which worsens PCOS symptoms. Therefore, it is suggested to opt for healthy carbohydrates with low Glycemic Index that takes longer to break down and digest, causing slow and consistent release of blood glucose in the body.
Low GI foods also aid to keep you satiated for longer and prevent cravings. Most legumes, beans, and lentils and non-starchy vegetables have low GI rating. Healthy polycystic ovaries diet recipes should exclude foods from these 7 food groups because they usually affect the insulin level in the body and worsen the polycystic ovary symptoms.
As already discussed before, foods that have high Glycemic Index promote a sudden rise in blood sugar level which in turn lead to increased release of insulin which work to regulate the glucose released into the bloodstream.
Although high GI Foods are tasty and good to eat, they are also high in calories and lacking in nutrients which make them unhealthy. Some of the unhealthy high GI foods that we consume every day are biscuits, cakes, white bread, pies, rolls, white pasta, white rice, most breakfast cereals, dried fruits, soda, candy, flavoured yogurt, ice creams, fruit juices and packaged soups.
Ad diet rich in sugar and simple carbohydrates is directly linked to PCOS; sugars not only affect the insulin levels but also disrupt ovulation. Therefore, this healthy food also comes under the list of foods to avoid with PCOS. Consumption of milk can increase testosterone levels and a particular type of protein in milk also limits regular processing of testosterone in the body which causes the testosterone levels to keep rising without any barrier and it only makes the PCOS symptoms worse.
Therefore, it is best to avoid milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and other milk products as much as possible. Most intolerant individuals or those who avoid dairy products immediately turn to soy as a healthy substitute. It has been found that soy is implicated in delayed ovulation which can make things worse for women with PCOS. The next food group that should be strictly excluded from the polycystic ovary syndrome diet is unhealthy fats such as saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and trans fats that aggravate the problems of PCOS.
Saturated fats are present in fatty cuts of red meat and dairy products, and it causes an increase in production of oestrogen which hinders the absorption of certain nutrients in the body and promotes weight gain. Trans fats and hydrogenated fats found in cooking oil, processed foods and margarine increase the risk of risk of heart disease and diabetes mellitus in women with PCOS. We are already aware of the numerous coffee disadvantages, and it has been seen that excessive consumption of coffee 4 or more cups a day can also affect fertility in women.
Because PCOS already has a direct impact on fertility, coffee can make things worse. Daily intake of coffee increases the levels of estradiol, a type of oestrogen hormone which affects ovulation and menstrual cycle.
You can definitely cut down or eliminate caffeine from your diet to see if it lessens the PCOS symptoms and improves fertility. The liver is the key organ that eliminates excess oestrogen from the body, but regular alcohol consumption puts excess pressure on the liver where flushing out the alcohol becomes its prime objective, and the task of removing oestrogen is pushed to the background which creates an oestrogen dominant environment in the body.
In addition, alcohol is readily converted into sugar in the body which contributes to insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. The acidity created by alcohol aggravates inflammation and makes things worse both for people with Type 2 Diabetes and PCOS. Although there is no known cure for PCOS yet, following a few simple guidelines and bringing about a few changes in the lifestyle can help a lot in managing PCOS symptoms naturally.
So, now that you have a clear idea about the PCOS foods to eat and avoid for promoting effective PCOS management and controlling weight gain issues, plan out a low GI diet accordingly and lead a happy and healthy life without worries.
Deblina Biswas has an M. Sc degree in Nutrition from the University of Osmania and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She loves everything about food and fitness and the fact that she has been able to follow her heart when it comes to her profession. When she is not working, she likes to rustle up delectable concoctions in the kitchen, of course keeping the health quotient intact.
She says, everyone just loves her healthy biryani she makes for special occasions. She believes that most ailments can be cured with the right amalgamation of nutrition and fitness. Hi, Mam, From Last 1. Food is my wickness.. Please suggest me some proper diot..