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I posted this comment today on my facebook page. I share it in an attempt to get this message to as many people out there as I can reach. This is vitally important!! Please share:
I have to speak up today. I will be doing this on all of my pages as this is an issue near and dear to my heart. I do not agree with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Although there are many reasons to be upset by this decision by Trump, my personal concerns have to do with adenomyosis and endometriosis. As most of you know, I have written two books on adenomyosis. I have done a ton of research (numerous scientific studies through the NIH) and have learned that xenoestrogens (man-made chemicals) in the environment have been implicated in many reproductive disorders. This is not speculation – this has been shown through well-controlled scientific studies. There is great concern that these xenoestrogens, which raise estrogen levels dramatically, are one of the possible players in adenomyosis and endometriosis. Trump’s decision today will more than likely lead to more and worsening cases of these two disorders. Chemicals in the environment are already linked to increases in cancer – ovarian, breast, and endometrial are just a few. I was so disturbed by his actions over the past couple of days that I posted my concerns on his twitter account. Within an hour of posting, my comments could not be found. I posted again, and again they could not be found an hour later. I have since learned that people are being blocked from his twitter account if they post something that disagrees with his views. I also wrote a letter to my Republican congresswoman, Barbara Comstock, detailing my concerns over this administration’s environmental policies and explained in detail how these decisions could adversely affect women with adenomyosis – hoping that since she was a woman, she might be more empathetic. Her response did not address either of these two abnormalities. So, I am posting this here and on all my pages to let women know that this administration does not seem to care one bit about women who are suffering from adenomyosis and endometriosis. They also don’t seem to care at all that there is science backing these concerns. They don’t want to hear it. I tried my best to get my point across, but they prefer to turn a blind eye to it. I am incredibly disappointed and upset that this administration has made it so much harder for women who suffer from adenomyosis and endometriosis by promoting policies that will increase xenoestrogen levels in the environment which may lead to an increased incidence of adenomyosis/endometriosis and worsening symptoms of those already suffering from these horrible disorders..
Since January, I have become increasingly disturbed by Donald Trump’s policies and how they will adversely affect women who suffer from adenomyosis and endometriosis. In recent years, we have made some great progress regarding better research and treatment regarding these female disorders of the reproductive tract, but since Trump took office, he and his administration have taken actions that will significantly impede this progress.
Here’s some of the proposed budget changes:
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be cut by an astonishing 31 percent and will eliminate 3200 jobs which is about 20 percent of the department. The proposal eliminates all funding for the enactment of the Clean Power Plan.
- The NIH spending will be cut 18 percent (5.8 billion). This will significantly damage our chances of more research for adenomyosis/endometriosis.
- The Department of Health and Human Services budget will be cut by 16 percent.
- Spending will increase for programs where oil and gas are drilled on public lands (see below for reasons why this is important).
- This budget proposal will cut or eliminate programs that support research of clean energy technology. In addition $120 million will be spent to restart the licensing of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility in Nevada. This program had been stopped under the Obama administration (see below for more information).
Why is this all important when it comes to adenomyosis/endometriosis? Studies have shown that man-made chemicals called xenoestrogens play an important role in the development of these disorders. Where do xenoestrogens come from specifically? Here is a short list of some of the most important sources of these dangerous chemicals:
- Petroleum products
- Fire retardant materials
- Oil field chemicals
- Epoxy and plastic resins
- Food coloring
- Coolant fluids
In short, many of the chemicals in our environment today have been labeled as xenoestrogens and have been linked to the development of these reproductive disorders. So, the defunding of the EPA in particular is a huge blow to those of us who fight for women with these devastating and incredibly painful disorders.
The following research studies solidify the concerns that I have regarding the defunding of the EPA:
- Bulayeva and Watson, 2004 – “These very low effective doses for xenoestrogens demonstrate that many environmental contamination levels previously thought to be subtoxic may very well exert significant signal- and endocrine-disruptive effects…”
- Atrazine is a herbicide and xenoestrogen. Tyrone B. Hayes from the University of California at Berkley reported that with increasing exposure to atrazine, frogs began to show both male and female sex organs.
- DDT, an insecticide and xenoestrogen, is currently banned in the U.S.; however, it is known to persist in the environment. Michael Fry, a toxicologist at the University of California at Davis found female cells in the reproductive tracts in male gulls after they were injected with DDT, DDE, and methoxyclor (all xenoestrogens).
- Lindane and Mirex are both organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and xenoestrogens. B-HCH is a by-product of lindane, and this chemical has been linked to an increased risk of endometriosis. Upson et al. report that women with the highest levels of B-HCH in his study were 30 to 70 percent more likely to have endometriosis than women with the lowest levels of this chemical in their blood serum.
- Phthalates are substances that are added to plastics to increase flexibility. A 2001 study by Moore et al. showed that the phthalate DEHP affects the development of the male reproductive system in rats and caused severe reproductive toxicity in five out of eight litters.
I became so concerned about Trump’s policies that I decided to write to my Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock in January. She is a Republican, so I wasn’t sure what kind of response I would get from her. I specifically explained my concerns regarding the defunding of the EPA and how this will adversely impact our fight against adenomyosis and endometriosis. This is the response that I received:
|Dear Ms. Yeager,
Thank you for contacting me about the Trump administration and their actions regarding federal agencies. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
I understand there is disagreement with certain actions taken by the executive branch. It is important to bear in mind the nature of our system of government and where authority is vested. The further investiture of power in the presidency in recent years is concerning and part of the reason why I have supported efforts to rein in executive agencies and restore greater lawmaking authority to the legislative branch as prescribed and articulated in our Constitution. Members on both sides of the aisle have increasingly recognized the issue of overreach and under appropriate circumstances the need to employ checks and balances accordingly such as legislatively limiting discretion given to the chief executive over federal bureaucracy.
At the same time, we must also consider the legality of actions taken and not necessarily whether or not they are objectionable when pursuing stronger responses and/or sanctions. In addition, I respect the authority granted to the different relevant bodies including the Judiciary Committee. Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind in my service to the 10th District.
Thank you again for contacting me. It is a privilege to serve you in the Tenth District. I may also be contacted at my Sterling office at 703-404-6903, or my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5136. By visiting http://comstock.house.gov, you can sign up to receive my email newsletters and follow my efforts to serve you. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates on my activities in Congress and in the District. If I may ever be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Huh?? Um, what is all that jabber about?? As you can see, there was absolutely no mention of either adenomyosis or endometriosis in that response. Did she even read my letter?? Probably not. This is probably some kind of automatic response or form letter. Clearly she didn’t address my issue at all. Since sending my letter, the situation has gotten even worse with the President not only defunding the EPA but also cutting NIH spending dramatically. We desperately need funding for the NIH so that more studies can be done on adenomyosis and endometriosis to find better treatment for all those poor women who are suffering from these disorders on a daily basis.
Representative Comstock, I voted for you in the last election. But you have lost my vote in the future. I am disgusted by the lack of attention that you have given to this incredibly important matter. These new Trump policies regarding the EPA and NIH will have dramatic and long-term damaging effects on so many people, especially those women who suffer from adenomyosis and endometriosis. If these policies are approved and go into effect, not only will research be slowed or even halted but it is also highly probable that the rates of these disorders will increase dramatically. I hope you can sleep at night knowing that you are putting millions of women in harm’s way by going forward with these damaging policies under the Trump administration.
My fellow endometriosis and adenomyosis sisters – keep on fighting. I will not stop, and nor should you. This blog post will also be sen t directly to Representative Barbara Comstock’s office. Please feel free to copy and send to your representative as well if you live in the United States 🙂
Looking for clean products that may help in your fight against adenomyosis? Check out these great products (click on images to purchase through Amazon):
Another excellent article from Bloomin’ Uterus. She mentions flaxseed also in this article and how she avoids it. I have always promoted the use of flax with endo and adeno as I had tremendous symptom relief during my struggle. However, as I recently discovered, there are some concerns with its use. After reading all the evidence, I still personally do promote the use of flax, and I will get into this in much more detail in a future blog. In the meantime, read up on parabens – it is really important to avoid the use of this type of xenoestrogen as much as possible! Thanks, Lisa, for another informative article!
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 […]
Xenoestrogens are synthetic (man made) estrogens that mimic the effects of estrogen found in the human body. They disrupt hormonal activity and can be extremely dangerous. These xenoestrogens can lead to the condition of estrogen dominance in which there is “unopposed” estrogen present in a woman’s body (see “Hormonal Imbalance?”). This condition has been linked to adenomyosis.
Some examples of xenoestrogens include:
PCBs – banned from use in 1979
PBBs – can be found in plastics
Pthalates – provides durability and flexibility to plastics
Petrochemicals – byproducts of oil and gasoline
Organochlorides – dry cleaning products, chemicals used in the bleaching of paper
BPAs – used in the lining of food and beverage cans
DDT – pesticide banned from use in 1972; however still present in environment
Dioxins – released during pesticide manufacturing and combustion processes
Endosulfans – insecticide
Atrazines – herbicide
Bisphenol A – food preservative
Parabens – lotions
Ethinyl estradiol – component of birth control pills
In women with known or suspected adenomyosis, it is strongly suggested that exposure to these chemicals be reduced as much as possible. Although it is impossible to completely get away from these chemicals, a few things can be done to reduce exposure such as:
1. Do not store or heat your food in plastic containers. Use glass whenever possible for food storage and heating. Avoid drinking from plastic water bottles. To drive this point home, let me tell you a true story. I have worked in a medical lab for about 22 years as a lab technologist. At the beginning of my career, I ran the acetylcholinesterase test. Acetylcholinesterase is a very important enzyme in the body that plays a key role in the functioning of the nervous system. The test that I ran was used to pick up possible neural tube defects in unborn children (spina bifida and anencephaly). Sometimes the test worked fine, but at other times it did not. After trying to figure out the problem and getting quite frustrated, we were finally able to identify the problem. When we mixed the reagents in a plastic container, the acetylcholinesterase band did not show up on the gel and therefore the test failed; however, when we mixed the reagents in a glass container, the test worked just fine. So, something in the plastic container was reacting with the acetylcholinesterase! Kinda scary to think that a chemical in plastic can react with such an important enzyme vital to the nervous system!
2. Buy fresh and organic food whenever possible. Avoid as much processed food as you can.
3. Buy hormone free meats.
4. Avoid farm raised salmon because this can be a source of PCBs. Buy wild salmon instead.
5. Use natural/organic lotions or even make your own homemade lotions. Avoid lotions that contain parabens. Try to use makeup that is paraben and phthalate-free.
6. Use natural pesticides. I use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and dishwashing detergent, and it works beautifully!!
7. Try to stay away from birth control pills. This one is a hard one, though, since birth control pills do give some relief for patients with adenomyosis. Just keep this in mind as you go through your treatment. I did have to take birth control pills to control my symptoms during my 17 year struggle. You may benefit from taking other steps first before resorting to taking bcps.
8. If you are considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms, try using bioidentical hormones.
9. Invest in a good quality water filter.
In doing research for my book, I was particularly interested in the fact that adenomyosis had been linked to a condition called estrogen dominance. This term has been coined by Dr. John Lee. It refers to a condition where there is insufficient progesterone in relation to estrogen in a woman’s body. This results in “unopposed” estrogen which has also been shown to play a role in other gynecological conditions, particularly breast cancer.
Some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Fibrocystic breast disease
Irregular or heavy periods
Spotting between periods
Cold hands and feet
Headaches (including migraines)
Weight gain in the hips, thighs, and abdomen
ZRT Laboratories now offer an at home saliva test that measures estrogen and progesterone levels and also gives a ratio of estrogen to progesterone. I was intrigued by this, so I decided to have my levels tested. Sure enough, my ratio came back at 67 indicating estrogen dominance (normal range is 100-500). Others who are suffering from adenomyosis who are interested in ordering this test and learning more about Dr. Lee/estrogen dominance should refer to his website, www.johnleemd.com.
Did you know that adenomyosis has been linked to estrogen dominance? Estrogen dominance occurs when there is not enough progesterone in a woman’s body to counter the effects of estrogen. This is a fairly recent finding. In the past, doctors would do simple hormone testing and as long as the estrogen and progesterone levels fell into a specific range, the assumption is that everything was normal. However, research has shown that the ratio of progesterone to estrogen is vitally important. These two hormones can be in the “normal range” while the ratio between the two can actually be abnormal.
So, why do some women have estrogen dominance? Well, there can be many reasons, but one important one is the excessive exposure to dangerous chemicals in the environment that act like estrogen in the body. These chemicals are called xenoestrogens. They are referred to as endocrine disruptors as they can easily disrupt the delicate hormonal balance in a woman’s body.
There are many different xenoestrogens in the environment, and it is virtually impossible to avoid all of them. Some examples include petroleum products, pesticides, and herbicides. About a week ago, I walked into an office building and saw a sign in the grass which said that the lawn had been treated. So, we literally get bombarded with them the moment we walk out the front door.
However, we can reduce our exposure. Pthalates and parabens are commonly used in cosmetics, and these two chemicals are known xenoestrogens. Since I love makeup and wear it all the time, I decided to do some research on chemical-free makeup. I have found that Bare Minerals does not contain pthalates or parabens, so I ordered their foundation and lipstick. I absolutely love it! It covers my blemishes and sunspots so well, and I have actually had strangers comment on how good my face looks! The Moxie lipgloss is my absolute favorite – I can just feel the moisture soaking into my lips. So, I have thrown away all my Maybelline and CoverGirl cosmetics and have become a loyal customer of Bare Minerals.
I was super-excited when I saw a segment on Fox News several days ago in which a doctor urged women to explore using chemical-free makeup. He explained how these xenoestrogens were endocrine disruptors and how it would be in the best interest of our health to go chemical-free. I have a feeling that this line of thinking is going to become quite popular as people begin to realize the dangers of parabens and pthalates.
There are so many choices for makeup out there. If you suffer from adenomyosis, it would be a good idea to check out makeup that is pthalate- and paraben-free as this will reduce your exposure to the dangerous xenoestrogens. For an in-depth discussion about estrogen dominance, xenoestrogens, and adenomyosis, be sure to look for my upcoming book which will be out by the summer of 2016.
Big hugs to all my adenomyosis sisters and warriors out there!
I have recently started to work on a new book on endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDC (also known as xenoestrogens). These chemicals have been implicated in the development of adenomyosis, but they have also been implicated in other reproductive disorders and cancers. I wanted to publish an in-depth review of these dangerous chemicals, but little did I know that I would be embarking on a huge project that is also quite disturbing.
I like to use PubMed through the NIH to get reliable information from actual clinical studies. The first study I read was “Mixtures of xenoestrogens disrupt estradiol-induced non-genomic signaling and downstream functions in pituitary cells” by Rene Viñas and Cheryl S. Watson at the University of Texas.¹
The first interesting thing I noted is that this group looked at the effect of mixtures of xenoestrogens, not just the effect of one xenoestrogen, on rat cells. This is particularly important since we are not exposed to one xenoestrogen at a time. In fact, we are exposed to hundreds of these dangerous chemicals each day. We are bombarded with them the minute we walk out our front door. This study showed that the cells responded differently when exposed to multiple xenoestrogens at the same time as opposed to a single xenoestrogen.
Although that fact is enlightening, the most disturbing thing I learned from this article is about bisphenol A, or BPA. This xenoestrogen is used to make plastics and epoxy resins, and it can be found in a slew of consumer products. Examples include water bottles, thermal paper (such as sales receipts, cinema tickets, airline tickets), CD’s, and DVDs. It is also used extensively to line the inside of food and beverage cans. It is one of the highest volume chemicals made in the world today.
In the last ten years or so, the safety of BPA has come into question. Studies have shown that it is an endocrine-disruptor. In particular, it has been shown to interfere with estrogen receptors. Because of this concern, years of discussion ensued in governmental agencies worldwide leading to a ban of BPA use in the production of baby bottles and other products in children under the age of three. Today, some of these products are listed as “BPA-free”.
However, this study from the University of Texas pointed out that many “BPA-free” products now contain BPS, or bisphenol S. BPS is now being used as a substitute for BPA. Shockingly, this study shows that BPS is also an endocrine disruptor as it also interferes with estrogen receptors!! So, according to this study, “BPA-free” is NOT safe. As I continued to do my research, I noticed that a 2011 study stated “Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled, independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source, leached chemicals having reliably-detectable EA [endocrine activity], including those advertised as BPA-free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA [endocrine activity] that BPA-containing products.” ²
I was stunned! Next, I read a very long and excellent article on Wikipedia about Bisphenol A. I came to the conclusion that this chemical hasn’t been banned altogether because of lobbyists/politics. Here are some interesting (and infuriating) facts:
- The FDA considers BPA to be “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.” They base this statement on two studies funded by the chemical companies even though there are hundreds of other studies out there that show this chemical to be an endocrine disruptor.
- The FDA had previously stated that the benefits of good nutrition outweigh the risks of BPA exposure when it comes to infant formulas/food. Since that time, BPA has been banned in baby bottles in the U.S.
- In 2011, the governor of Maine, Paul LePage, actually made the following statement when discussing the issue of bisphenol A: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.” In April of that year, the Maine legislature passed a bill that banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and some reusable food containers. Governor LePage refused to sign it.
- In 2009, the EPA planned on labeling BPA as a “chemical of concern; however, after lobbyists for the chemical company met with members of the administration, this didn’t happen.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I will get into much more detail in my upcoming book, but I felt the need to write a short blog on this topic now as to alert the general public about safety issues regarding BPA and so-called “BPA-free” products. After reading these articles, I have learned that virtually no plastic product is safe, regardless of what the government tells you.
The best advice I can give is to get away from processed food and go as fresh as possible. Organic is best. Try to stay away from canned foods as much as possible. It is important to note that we cannot avoid all xenoestrogens, but it is vitally important to reduce exposure as much as possible. This is particularly important for women who already suffer from estrogen-dependent diseases such as adenomyosis, endometriosis, and reproductive cancers.
Want more information on adenomyosis, an overview of endocrine-disrupting hormones, and tips to reduce your exposure? Check out my book, Adenomyosis: A Significantly Neglected and Misunderstood Uterine Disorder. Available on Amazon (Kindle or paperback).
¹Viñas, R. & Watson, C. (2013). Mixtures of xenoestrogens disrupt estradiol-induced non-genomic signaling and downstream functions in pituitary cells. Environmental Health Perspective. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-26
²Walsh, B. (2011). “Study: Even ‘BPA-free’ plastics leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals”. Time. Retrieved 14 September 2016.