Parabens & Endometriosis

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What are Parabens?

Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in consumer products.

Why are they Bad for Us?

If you happen to suffer from Endometriosis, or any other estrogen-driven condition (like breast cancer), please be aware that parabens mimic estrogen.  Just like soy.  Just like flax.  Parabens are an “endocrine disruptor,” which alters our body’s hormone levels.  They’ve been found to play a role in breast cancer cell growth, too.

These chemicals are absorbed through our skin and what we eat and drink.   Studies have shown, though, that parabens are absorbed more by the body through the skin than if you were to consume them.

What Products have Parabens?

Read the labels.  If the ingredients identify “paraben” in the word, you’ve found it: Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzylparaben, Methylparaben and Propylparaben.  Many products are now labeled Paraben-Free, so all you have to do is read to be a little extra cautious.

A 2016 study identified that 80% of personal care products contain parabens and that they (and endocrine disrupting hormones) affect women’s health.  Products that may contain parabens include: antacids, anti-aging creams, conditioner, creams, deodorant, face masks, hair gel, lip balm, lipstick, lotions, make-up, mentholated rubs, pharmaceuticals, shampoo, shaving gel soap, suppositories, some pre-packaged food (dairy, fish, ketchup, mayonnaise, oils, pickles, and poultry, just to name a few), and toothpaste.  The possibilities are endless.

For an extensive database on products which ingredients contain parabens, click here.  (Warning : you’ll be sifting through a lot of information).  It also has a search feature so you can look for the products you use, examine the ingredients, and get some feedback on how safe this organization (Skin Deep) thinks it is for you.  I looked up my facial cleansing regimen (Andalou Natural 1,000 Roses cleansing foam, day cream, exfoliator, facial serum, mask, night cream, and toner) and am happy to report no parabens…however, I do need to take the time to research the other unpronounceable ingredients.

How Can You Test Your Paraben Levels?

Yep! You sure can.  Talk to your physician to see if it’s a test they can order for you.  Your insurance company may, or may not, cover the costs.  You fast for eight hours and pee in a little cup.  The test results are usually available within 10-14 days.  You can see a sample test report here.

Many companies offer a paraben test.  Some companies send you to a clinic to provide your sample, while others offer an in-home test kit that you return via mail.

Direct Labs, Phthalates & Parabens Profile – $329

MyMedLab, Phthalates & Parabens – Urine profile – $235

Nordic Laboratories, Bisphenol A (BPA) Profile + Phthalates + Parabens – GBP 310

True Health Labs, Phthalates & Parabens Profile – $299

A study published in 2016 found that 100 adolescent girls who stopped using personal care products which contained parabens (and switched to “paraben-free” labeled products) for three days showed a decrease in certain parabens and endocrine-disruptor chemicals of 25-47%.  After just three days!

What Will I Do?

If I’ve learned to avoid soy and flax from my diet, I may as well learn to avoid parabens.  Why take the chance of worsening my Endometriosis, if I can try my best to help it?

Try is the key word…and because I’m going to try, I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t from time to time.  I know a healthier lifestyle is expensive…and alternatives can be hard to come by within budget.  BUT at least I can do my best to stay away from them as often as I can.

AND when I see my physician next year, I’ll ask them to see if they can run this urine test with my annual lab work.  Quite curious if insurance will cover it.

I’m also learning to avoid endocrine disruptors as much as possible, like in our antibacterial soaps that the FDA recently ordered banned…learning ALL THE THINGS!

What Will You Do?

Drop me a comment below…Or if you’ve noticed a difference after you cut parabens out of your life as much as possible…

Resources:

Endo101Xenoestrogens Interfere with your Normal Hormones

Environmental Health Perspectives – (Article; March 2016) Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study

Environmental Health Perspectives – (Article; Oct. 2016) Toward a Better Beauty Regimen: Reducing Potential EDC Exposures from Personal Care Products

Environment International – (Abstract; Oct. 2016) A Survey of Parabens in Commericial Pharmaceuticals from China and Its Implications for Human Exposure

Genova DiagnosticsPhthalates & Parabens Profile – Urine

Natural Fertility InfoElevated Estrogen Levels Linked to Toxins in Body Care Products

One Green Planet7 Ways to Avoid Parabens and Phthalates in Personal Care Products

Peace with Endo – (Blog; Sept. 2012) Chemicals in Beauty Products

Rocky Mountain Analytical

Skin Help – (Case Study) Why I Only Use a Paraben-Free Suncream: A Case Study

The Ugly Side of BeautyParaben

Water, Air, & Soil Pollution – (Abstract; June 2016) Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Adverse Effects of Bisphenol A and Parabens to Women’s Health

Your Hormone Balance

*If you’d like to review full copies of the abstracts, please let me know*

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 🙂 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

5 thoughts on “Parabens & Endometriosis

  1. Yay, I’m so glad you wrote about this! Definitely gonna check out the links and ask for this test at my next doctor’s visit. I hate estrogen-mimicking anything.

    I do try to avoid parabens, but I’m also not made of money and am sure that I’m consuming them in some products. 😦 Brands like Dr. Bronner’s and Nature’s Gate are affordable, paraben-free, and work very well.

    Deodorant is trickier. I’ve tried countless paraben-free and aluminum-free brands, but they all either DO NOT work, or they make me break out. Any suggestions on that? I’m pretty sure that the aluminum in anti-perspirants (sp.) contributes significantly to breast cancer . Plus, anti-perspirants are just weird as a general concept…. we’re *supposed* to sweat. Clogging up sweat glands cannot be good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely LOVE Doc Bronners soaps! Sooooooooooo much. They make a decent lip balm, too, but again…budget. Meh.

      Let me know what your doc says! I’m not slated to see mine ’til April.

      Oh man, the deodorant issue. I’ve not tried paraben-free deo (again, ’cause I didn’t KNOW), but aluminum-free deo just doooooooooooesn’t work for me. AT ALL. And I’m not going to apply multiple times a day – nope. Not. Gonna. Do. It. The closest thing to protection without aluminum I’ve ever tried was Herban Cowboy, but even that fell short. http://www.vitacost.com/herban-cowboy-maximum-protection-deodorant-for-her-blossom-scent

      Like

  2. Talking about chemicals and how certain products effect our bodies I just read an article about how talc can increase risk of ovarian cancer…then I read a few more…then I read that endo can increase risk of these cancers…so can using talc cause the endo in the first place?

    Like

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