If you look for articles that explain why we are facing this change, you will frequently bump into simplistic formulas like “most cases of precocious puberty have no known cause”. Really?
What are environmental factors? These include everything that surrounds us and that is not natural: in our food, in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in the clothes we wear, in the cosmetics we put on our bodies, in the fragrances, household paints and scented candles we inhale, in flame retardants in the furniture, etc. This cocktail of chemicals, GMOs, heavy metals, electromagnetic frequencies, antibiotic compounds and hormones, creates havoc in our bodies. How often do we read or hear that “these levels of mobile telephone frequencies/ radiation/ heavy metals/ pesticides/ fill-in-the-blank are within limits that are perfectly safe for humans”? In trying to determine safe levels of any single substance we may be exposed to, regulators and the medical establishment miss the harmful effects of the cumulative exposure we get to all of these toxins in combination over many years.
Our brain has too much information to deal with, things that it doesn’t recognise, things that interfere with its interaction with the rest of the body such as hormone production, cellular detoxification, and the like.
You might wonder why our doctors don’t typically warn us about these things. Firstly, most doctors are treating symptoms not causes, and secondly, there is no course about environmental factors (and not even nutrition) at your standard university of medicine. Moreover, a large part of the medical academy, even the curriculum itself, is sponsored in large part by the pharmaceutical industry, which is only interested in promoting their drugs. Sickness and symptoms are a business opportunity for an industry interested in growing its portfolio of blockbuster drugs.
People with conditions that conventional doctors have no solution for often end up seeing naturopaths and other alternative therapists. Fibromyalgia, PCOs, endometriosis, IBS, ME, and other conditions are not in patient’s heads, figments of their imaginations. They are real conditions, and even the medical establishment concedes the point. However, we are asked to believe that early puberty is not a condition, or at least not something with a known cause that requires treatment.
What to do? Here are some common sense guidelines:
- Stay away from everything advertised on TV. Brands with big advertising budgets cheat with the ingredients, they are doing business with the main goal to make a profit, not to help you.
- Use organic cosmetics, especially shampoos, at least from birth to puberty. Mass market products contain many chemicals that are hormone disruptors. See for example the recent scandal involving Johnson&Johnson baby Shampoo (read a NY Times article here and a New York Daily News here). Same for perfumes! And big names don’t mean safety. Take a look at the chart below (by The Environmental Working Group), showing that Chanel, Armani and Calvin Klein top the list of products that contain heavy loads of dangerous substances.
- Use natural and/or eco-products to clean the house, dishes and laundry. The super good smell in your laundry softener most likely contains chemicals that are endocrine disruptors. When you sleep all night long with the face on your pillow, inhaling low-grade poisons all night long, it is not helping the brain or body to detoxify… and we spend roughly a third of our lives in bed! And almost all of our waking and sleeping hours clothed.
- Avoid processed food – cook your own! That is also valid for the little things you add to your own preparations which should be ORGANIC (baking powder, flavouring cubes, salt, etc). Make sure all meat and dairy products you buy are organic, from grass fed animals. Tell your children not to eat the likes of Mentos and M&M candies, Hollywood chewing gums, Danone Greek yogurts, etc. as all these contain harmful nanoparticles (not something that manufacturers are yet obliged to mention on the packaging). The potential health threat from this supposedly wondrous new technology is very real. Read more about nanoparticles here.
- When it comes to clothes, furniture and objects for the house, buy less and buy better quality (read more here). If you are restoring your home, think about using non-VOC paints, natural materials and carpets.
- Make sure you limit your child’s exposure to EMFs (Electromagnetic frequencies). It is crucial that they sleep the right amount of time (10 to 11 hours a night before they are 12 years old), in a clean environment: no electronics, television, cells phones in bedrooms, wifi off in the house at night. Pollution comes in many forms, not just the chemical variety! Read more here.
- Filter your water if you drink from the tap, and vary your water supply (there is no ideal solution so a good idea is to use 1/3 osmosis filtered – re-energised water, 1/3 carbon filtered water and 1/3 bottled spring water). Your city might claim their tap water is the best (bacteria-free), it is likely nevertheless to contain residues of a whole rainbow of chemical substances including traces of birth control pills and antibiotics. Trace amounts all add up over years in that chemical cocktail that you’re best avoiding.
A few years ago, Carmen Cimino, mother of 3 girls, took her youngest daughter to a kinesiologist to see if it was possible to slow down the puberty process that was clearly starting. “At 7, it was way too early. The most important has been to eliminate skin care, hair and body products. For Giulia they were one of the main culprits, especially shampoos like Pantene”.
Nutrition wise, Carmen’s daughter was given a list of supplements including vitamins and antioxidants. She stopped eating red meat and all soy-based products. She started eating mostly organic products. An intense sports practice also helped, as it prevented any tendency toward becoming overweight – the more overweight a child the faster periods are likely to come, a correlation that has been well documented.
“Giulia is now 12 and thankfully nothing has happened yet. Kinesiology, nutrition and sport (loads of tennis in Giulia’s case) really made a huge difference. It is a good idea to look at a low-estrogen diet (see a pertinent video by Dr Axe here) which will tell you what to avoid and what to maximise to rid the body of excess amounts of oestrogen”.
An encouraging case study of a family that was able to re-establish a more “normal” cycle in spite of environmental factors that risk speeding things up. Isn’t it time we all slowed down?
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