Beware of Endocrine DisruptorsDr Maheshwari
Infertility issues are fast increasing all over the globe. Searching for this increasing trend is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Both men and women have been implicated equally in this disturbing trend.
Research suggests that there has been a 20-30 % rise in the last five years. It is no longer an urban phenomenon, nor is it confined to women. Global prevalence is around 9 to 10%.
This increasing trend is mainly due to the increased incidence of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancers, polycystic ovarian syndrome, stress, and anxiety-related disorders.
Also, the other primary culprit which is being blamed for these problems is the ‘Endocrine disruptors’ (EDs). Extensive detection of industrial chemicals in human serum, seminal plasma, and follicular fluid has led to the hypothesis that these compounds might disrupt the hormonal and homeostasis pathways of the body.
The main route of exposure to these chemicals is the ingestion of contaminated food and water, breathing of polluted air, exposure to cosmetics and personal care goods through household detergents, cleaning agents, colouring agents, pesticides and insecticides.
Of all the EEDs, the common ones are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), Bisphenol-A (BPA), Bisphenol-S (BPS), phthalates, Atrazine and Dieldrin, diethylstilboestrol (DES), NSAIDs, and Acetaminophen.
In females, it leads to precocious puberty, endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovarian disease, endometrial cancers, breast cancers, unexplained infertility, repeated abortions and repeated implantation failures.
In me, it leads to prostatic hypertrophy, prostate cancer, deficient spermatogenesis, sexual dysfunction, etc.
Also, pregnant ladies exposed to EDs cause developmental issues, growth retardation and low IQ babies.
These hormones also damage the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, and testicle.
Endocrine disruption is a serious public health problem that must not be ignored. The environmental protection agency (EPA) has a herculean task since there are more than 100000 such environmental pollutions around us.
Meanwhile, the general population might reduce ED exposure by following simple yet essential. advice such as
1. Choose glass over plastic
2. Avoid using plastic containers repeatedly or plastic wrapping to microwave food
3. Avoid processed and packaged foods; Eat Fresh, whole, and organic foods.
4. Prefer pesticides free, vegetables, and fruits
5. Avoid excessive use of cosmetics and other personal care items; instead, use detergent, soaps, and eco-friendly shampoos
6. Pregnant women and children should be extra cautious in exposure to such chemicals
7. Avoid using pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides that are used to kill bugs, insects, fungus, etc