Imagine your body as a collaborative machine made of gears, bolts, keys, and locks. Each spinning gear fits directly into the next, and every lock is paired with a specific key. These mechanisms perfectly represent how your endocrine system operates.
Though you may not be aware of it, your endocrine system is constantly hard at work. The complex collection of glands that make up this system produce crucial hormones that regulate bodily functions. Every hormone, or key, has a certain shape that can only fit into a limited number of receptors, or locks. Whether you are growing, thinking, or fighting off an illness, your endocrine systems takes on much of the responsibility, ensuring that these actions run smoothly. Each and every “gear” of the endocrine system must work together in order to perform necessary bodily functions. However, chemicals known as endocrine disruptors interfere with the critical measures that must be carried out by hormones.
While many people are familiar with human hormones, such as estrogen or testosterone, very few are aware of the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals. These substances go beyond basic interactions with the endocrine system and essentially have the opposite effect to that of hormones. Of course it is important to know about the chemicals that have positive effects on your body, but shouldn’t you know about those that have negative effects too? Endocrine disruptors cause “adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects,” by blocking the appropriate hormone from doing its job. In other words, endocrine disruptors are seen as an alternative key. Although they easily fit into the or receptor, or lock, they do not initiate the correct response.
Chemical disruptors are a growing concern in the scientific community, and they should be for you too! Just because you can’t see them, and just because your body can’t detect them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Now, how will you limit your exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals?
By Rachel Moss
Source: Endocrine Disruptors https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/