Guest post by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith
There are lots of reasons why women feel fatigued, depleted, and low energy. Your flagging energy could be caused by an underlying medical condition or too little sleep. It could be caused by stress or poor nutrition.
But there’s one place women forget to look: inside their house. All the chemicals we’re exposed to inside our own home become a major drain on our energy. Our detox organs, especially the liver and kidneys, have to work so hard to process all these chemicals that they become overburdened. Then we’re exhausted.
Every day, you may be running a gauntlet of chemical assailants with potentially serious consequences for your health. A dietary detox is great for restoring energy, but if you don’t remove the chemicals from your home environment before you begin cleansing your body, your cleanse may have limited benefits—like bailing out a leaky boat without plugging the holes.
If you suffer from low energy, you’ll feel a lot better after you detox your home. Here are some areas to focus on.
Cleaning Products Causes Low Energy
The cleaning products stocked in many homes are a case of chemical overkill, needlessly laced with powerful toxic chemicals. Numerous household cleaning agents include cancer-causing compounds, neurotoxins, chemicals associated with decidedly unsexy symptoms, and ingredients linked to birth defects. Another concern may be automatic-dishwasher soaps that include ingredients you wouldn’t want to ingest, even in minuscule amounts—and those “spot removers” for dishes that contain known skin irritants.
There’s a plethora of safe, natural alternatives you can use to keep your home clean—arguably much cleaner than if you use toxic pollutants—and you probably already have a number of healthy options on hand. Vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, castile soap, borax, and salt can be used in various combinations, with a little practice, to meet all your cleaning needs. You can find suggestions for cleaning your home safely by browsing the website of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and nontoxic cleaning agents are available at many health-food stores.
Cookware Causes Low Energy
Next, let’s take a look at your cookware, especially those Teflon pans. If you use nonstick pans to cook with, you may be exposing yourself to potential health risks that can seriously subvert your energy. Sure, they’re convenient, but at what awful price? According to a 2006 news release from the EWG, a panel of experts confirmed that a toxic chemical used in nonstick pans can cause cancer, and may be associated with birth defects and other health risks. The chemical, which doesn’t break down in the environment, ends up in your bloodstream when you use these pans. Healthy alternatives to nonstick pans include stainless-steel and cast-iron cookware.
Personal Care Products Causes Low Energy
Another area of concern includes everything from your shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to your makeup, nail polish, and even your sexual lubricant. Many commonly used items contain ingredients that are neither health-supportive nor libido-friendly. Some contain phthalates and other potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, including ingredients that could be potentially cancer initiating. Safe, healthy alternatives to chemically laden personal-care items abound at your local health-food stores and online. For information on chemicals in your cosmetics, visit the EWG’s Skin Deep website at: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.
Food Storage Causes Low Energy
And what about your food-storage containers? You may not be aware that the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, found in many plastics and commonly used in containers, can be released into foods and beverages, especially with temperature elevations. BPA can compromise your health and sexuality in multiple ways: it has estrogen-mimicking effects; potentially causes hormone disruptions in women and men; and may contribute to infertility, breast cancer, and early puberty in girls. Furthermore, exposure to BPA during pregnancy could negatively affect the fetus. To decrease your exposure, replace plastic food containers with glassware, and avoid canned foods if the cans have epoxy liners—a frequent source of BPA. If you drink from plastic water bottles, switch to glass or stainless steel.
In addition, you need to examine every other aspect of your home environment and daily routines, and ask yourself where you may be coming into contact with chemicals that could undermine your health and energy. For example, your sunscreens, laundry detergents, dry-cleaning services, pest-control treatments, and yard products like weed killers and fertilizers can all be sources of toxins and unhealthy synthetic compounds that put a major burden on your detoxification organs.
Ridding your home of as many toxins and chemicals as possible will make a huge difference in your energy level. And you’ll be helping the earth’s environment while you’re at it.
Dr. Laurie Steelsmith is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist with a 20-year private practice in Honolulu. A leading spokesperson on natural medicine, she has appeared widely on TV, radio, and in print. She and her husband, Alex Steelsmith, are coauthors of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine (Hay House, July 2012). Learn more at www.drlauriesteelsmith.com.