Chemical Overload

deodorant ingredients

I had a plan to do a series of posts on the toiletries that I am replacing in the bathroom. So today I brought my Sure anti-perspirant downstairs to the computer and sat down to research the ingredients.

Oh my.

For starters there are 35 ingredients on the list.

Why has it got so much crap in it?

And researching the items… oh man. It’s terrifying. The chemicals are complex, they are often derivatives of other chemicals that have been altered, or they are combinations of several other complex chemicals… it is a maze of long-chain-polymers that a layperson is really going to struggle with.

And then I started to get really paranoid.

Just think about what you do each day…

Sleep on bedding washed in harsh detergents, shower with chemicals in shampoo, shower gel, facewash, then spray on aluminum chlorohydrate to keep your underarms dry, dab on perfume (not even a disclosed list of ingredients here), brush your teeth with fluoride, eat man-made breakfast cereals that resemble nothing in nature, put on clothes that contain more detergent residue, sit on plastic chairs, work at plastic desks, eat food laden with preservatives so that it lasts on the shop floor for more than 24 hours, handle shop receipts laden with BPA, clean your house with a chemical list almost as long as your cosmetics ingredients, wash your hands with antibacterial soap, eat more food possibly containing too much fat, sugar, and even more preservatives, additives and other dubious sounding ingredients…

The total chemical load for each of us must be astonishing.

And yet our wonderful bodies soldier on through it all, for as long as they can manage.

No more.

I’m no hippy (just a wannabe hippy, ha ha!). I’ve eaten a standard western diet all my life. Used shop cosmetics and branded cleaning products since I left home. I’ve worked in an office for years on end. I live in a normal house, with normal chemical infused furniture, non-organic bedding and synthetic clothes.

But this has all got to change.

There are several studies that show hairdressers and nail technicians have a higher incidence of miscarriage and infertility (theorized that it is their exposure to chemicals on a daily basis that is the cause).

And your skin absorbs everything you put on it – that’s why we have nicotine patches and hormone patches.

So I’m not going to waste any more time trying to decide if it’s safe to do a daily application of 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, I’m just going to chuck my anti-perspirant in the bin and make my own deodorant!

On Getting Older

Mum
My Mum in Her Late Teens

I’m 38 you know.

And it seems so very old to me.

I had DS1 at 34 and DS2 at 36 (the plan was for no.3 to be here by now, but I’ll be at least 39 for the next one).

Now, for the first time in my life I FEEL my age, quite a lot of the time.

Because:

  • Having two children in 3 years takes a LOT of your energy, patience, sleep, nutrients and willpower. More than you ever imagine it could do. I look in the mirror now and I have aged more than 3 years in that time.
  • Bad lifestyles catch up with you eventually. Eating less than optimal food, not exercising enough, sitting on your backside in an office job, drinking too much, eating too much sugar, getting through the day with caffeine… All these things are water under the bridge in your twenties, but by the time you get to your 30s, your body starts to slow down. It can’t take the abuse any more. Toxic overload means you start to age, deteriorate, disintegrate!

And the combination of children and bad lifestyle just accelerates the process. You’re running on empty all the time. You’re demanding more of your body than it can give, so your body starts to look worse for wear, wrinkles appear around your eyes, your skin starts to sag, your tummy never looks the same, your joints start to ache with all the physical effort of caring for small people.

Basically your body is trying to tell you that you need to look after it a whole lot better.

And.

On the horizon.

The word I never thought would be part of my vocabulary.

Menopause.

I spoke to my mum yesterday and asked her when her menopause started, when she first noticed her cycles getting out of whack.

Do you know what she said?

44.

44!!!!

That’s 5.5 years away from where I am now.

That’s a little earlier than I expected. Mum has smoked all her life, which brings menopause on sooner, but even so. Women tend to follow the pattern of their mothers so now I am terrified that the end of my fertility is on the horizon!

I am terrified of being old, and gray, and barren, and used up.

My hair is going grey – have I mentioned that?

And when I see college students walking around, girls in their late teens who look so fresh and young and perfect, I realize that yes, I am old. I am aging.

And I’m still trying to have a baby.

It’s absolutely crazy isn’t it?

And then I realize how desperately important it is to eat lots of raw food, to rid my diet and my home of chemicals, to nourish my body, to honour this gift that carries me around every day and that has borne two beautiful children.

I know I can’t turn the clock back, but I think it is within my power (and everyone’s power) to slow that clock right down.

That’s what I need to do.

Because I don’t want to feel so old any more.

I Finally Ovulated

On cycle day 20.

20!!!

For a cd13/14 ovulator the last week has been agonizing.

Here’s my massive collection of opks:

Positive ovulation tests
The arrow shows ovulation day!

Thank goodness.

I’ve been so fed up and grumpy waiting to see my temperature rise for the last seven days. And for the last two days I was convinced I’d had an LH surge but had still failed to ovulate.

My body is still working, despite the dodgy flaxseed I’ve been eating this month, hurrah!

And so we enter the Two Week Wait. Again. 🙂

More Raw Week 3

Raw food

Well, this week has had its ups and downs. Monday was the last day of a weekend away and I just didn’t manage anything as we were eating on the run and then we came home to an empty fridge and a mountain of unpacking. No excuse I know.

I was really good in the week, and pleased with my totals, but then all this messing around waiting to ovulate and having my cycle run over like never before left me in an emotional state which led to comfort eating. Chocolate, takeaways and sandwiches for lunch instead of lots of lovely raw veggies and fruits.

I feel worse for it, so this morning, a fresh new Monday I was straight to the fruit bowl on rising. I’m planning on a more consistent week this week.

Flaxseed Delays Ovulation

And this is exactly why it is so important to do thorough research if you are going to self-diagnose.

(Guess who didn’t?)

I started taking ground flaxseed mixed in with my morning fruit and yoghurt on 15th April (cd6) after reading about studies here that found it reduced the incidence of miscarriage.

I skimmed the headlines and made an assumption that it was the omega 3 in flaxseed that was so beneficial. For years flaxseed has been used as a fantastic source of omega 3, which I was aware of.

However.

What I didn’t know is that flaxseed is also a phytoestrogen.

This means that it mimics the action of oestrogen in the body. It is so similar in fact, that lignan (the phytoestrogen in flaxseed) binds to our own oestrogen receptors thereby blocking the action of our own oestrogen.

Now there are two things that can happen:

1) If you have a cycle that has too much oestrogen, flaxseed might be beneficial because it balances out your hormones.

2) If you have a cycle that has the correct amount (or less than optimal) amount of oestrogen, your cycle will be deficient.

And an oestrogen deficiency means no ovulation.

I have had ovulation pain really badly this month, for five days in a row. I got my first ewcm on cycle day 7 (the day after I started flaxseed), but it then dried up.

I had two mornings where I thought I was seeing the start of a surge on my opks, but it tailed off to nothing later in the day:

phytooestrogens
The two arrows show the start of a surge on two consecutive mornings (cd15 and cd16) that didn’t actually happen until cycle day 17.

The day I finally got a positive opk reading (cycle day 17), I had skipped the flaxseed for breakfast because I went out with my son for croissants instead.

Today (day 18) I have woken up with no ovulation pain at all. My temperature has not risen this morning but I think I have ovulated simply because the pain has gone.

My cycle is usually as regular as clockwork. Even after each one of my miscarriages and chemical pregnancies I still had an astonishing 28 day cycle, with an ovulation around day 14.

In 25 years of periods I’ve never had irregular bleeding, so the fact that I am ovulating (at least) 4 days late this month, with ovulation pain for five days in a row, says to me that the flaxseed phytoestrogens were stopping my own oestrogens from working at a crucial time. My body was trying to ovulate, but the phytoestrogens stopped it.

I’m very worried about my egg this month being no good, having been kept in the follicle for those extra days, so even if I were to get pregnant, I wonder if it would it result in a miscarriage anyway.

And as you can imagine, the flaxseed is now going in the bin!

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