032 // Spring cleaning without damaging your thyroid or causing a Hashimoto’s flare

Health with Hashimoto’s is your free weekly podcast to discover true, simple, and sustainable tips to improve your energy and health.

Many cleaning products contain hormone disruptors. Those environmental chemicals are toxins that can trigger Hashimoto’s. In this episode, I’ll teach you what to look out for and what to substitute. Because nobody wants to make themselves sick by spring cleaning!

You will find this episode below in audio format and a written summary because I know not everyone is an audio learner. Some links may be affiliate links that will support me without increasing your price.

Each episode of Health with Hashimoto’s is for informational and educational purposes. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your trusted healthcare professional.

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Show Notes:

MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:

Goat Milk Stuff https://goatmilkstuff.com/

The Environmental Working Group’s guide to cleaning products: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/

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Read the Transcript:

Welcome to the Health with Hashimoto’s podcast. This is where you will find true, simple, and sustainable things that you can do on your path to whole health. And you can have whole vibrant, energetic health, even if you have Hashimoto’s. 

I know most people who have Hashimoto’s complain of fatigue, they complain of depression, they notice things are just not working right. Everything is slow, whether it’s their metabolism, or whether it’s their thinking– maybe brain fog. Maybe it’s your gut like things are just slow. You can have whole health: body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment, even when your body is dealing with an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s even when things are just not quite right. And you have to overcome that. There is a path to health and that’s why you’re here. 

I am Esther, I am an RN and I’m here to help you figure that out. 

Spring Cleaning

Today we’re gonna talk about spring cleaning because, in the northern hemisphere, it’s spring. It might not feel like spring today where I am in Minnesota. Right now I just checked the weather it is 33 degrees Fahrenheit and one degree Celsius. So doesn’t really feel like spring, but it’s coming. The sun feels warmer when it’s coming to my windows. I always want to open my windows even though it’s freezing outside. And when it’s spring we want to clean out the house. It’s just the rhythm of life. 

So today we’re going to talk about spring cleaning and how you can do it without damaging your thyroid because one of the triggers of Hashimoto’s is environmental chemicals. And of course, you do not want to go cleaning your whole house only to discover that you just triggered a flare or you just triggered Hashimoto’s in general.

Thank you for 10K

But before we start talking about spring cleaning, I have a huge thank you to you. I just hit 10,000 downloads on this podcast. Thank you so much. Thank you for listening to this episode. Thank you for listening to previous episodes. Thank you for leaving ratings and reviews. Those helped this podcast get shared with other people. Thank you for sending this podcast to other people. Hey, I noticed that you have Hashimoto’s listen to this episode by Esther. I love it when people tell me that they’re doing that or they heard about this podcast from a friend. It means that my mission of helping you find a true, simple, and sustainable path to Whole Health. That mission is coming to fruition is actually working for you enough that you want to share it with others. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for making this podcast a success so that I can help other people as well.

Maybe not “spring” for everyone

Not only did I hit 10,000 downloads, but this podcast has been listened to in over 20 countries. And of course, I know that that means it’s not spring for everybody. I have a lot of listeners in Australia and New Zealand. I know that you guys are moving into fall, and I’m moving into spring. But it’s the rhythm of life. When we change seasons. We want to refresh things we want to clean we want to organize. We want to make things look nice.

Spring cleaning can be a Hashimoto’s trigger

So whether you’re doing fall cleaning or spring cleaning, let’s talk about how to do spring cleaning or cleaning in general without damaging your thyroid. As you know, because you’re a listener of this podcast, there are three things that every person with an autoimmune condition has number one, a genetic component, number two a gut component, and number three a trigger or more than one trigger. And the top eight triggers include stress, vitamin D levels, hormone changes, food reactions, environmental chemicals, blood sugar issues, iodine, and infections of any kind. So when we talk about spring cleaning, that’s going to target the environmental chemicals trigger.

Now most of us who have an autoimmune problem have more than one trigger because quite honestly, we all deal with stress, right? And a lot of the other triggers increase that stress we talked about blood sugar issues and how low blood sugar is a stressor on the body. So when we talk about that trigger of blood sugar issues, yes, blood sugar issues are the trigger but they also increase the stress which is another trigger. So we all have multiple triggers.

Hormone disruptors

Today, environmental chemicals and back in episode 29. I talked about hormones and improving your hormone health. And I told you when your hormones are working well you are working well because hormones are the chemical messengers that coordinate every single function of your body. A lot of the chemicals that are in cleaning products are hormone disruptors. Now they might go by the fancier name endocrine disruptors, but as I told you in Episode 29, endocrine is just a fancy name for hormones. So endocrine disruptors are hormone disruptors that are including products that can cause problems to a whole bunch of different parts of you. They can cause problems with your development, your reproduction, your thinking your neurological state, and your immune system. And of course, you are listening to this podcast episode because you are concerned about your immune function.

How they disrupt

So let’s talk about how to clean our house without interfering with our immune system via the hormone disruptors. The chemicals that are exposed to when we are using cleaning products or personal care products just have a ton of them and they primarily affect our immune system and our hormones in three different ways. Number one is they bind to the thyroid receptors and they mimic your own thyroid. Now of course, this is going to be a problem because if you have anything that isn’t mimicking the real deal, well it’s a counterfeit, so it’s not going to work, right? And especially it’s not going to work right if it’s not even thyroid at all. So it’s a chemical that is used in a cleaning product that your body is like oh, this is thyroid. No, it’s not. And what it’s doing is it’s blocking that actual thyroid from getting to the receptor because now the receptor on your cell is full so it can’t take the thyroid. If you listen to the episode where I talk to you about the different parts of your labs, and we talked about the T four, which is the inactive form of thyroid that your actual thyroid produces. Then we talked about the T three which is the active form. That’s the form that the cells need.

Well, if you have something taking up that receptor spot on the cell, it doesn’t matter if you have T-three available because it can’t get there. So we need to make sure that our cells are open and receptive to what they need in order to work. So a disruptor can send an ill-timed or stronger signal than the natural hormone it just blocks that. And in doing those things it can also interfere with or block how your natural hormones and receptors are made and managed. So there’s a feedback loop all the time your body is saying oh I have enough of this or oh I don’t have enough of this because your body always wants to maintain this homeostasis. This even playing field everything has to be in the right amount.

Balance is key

Nothing in life is good when you have too much of it. Even water even air you can’t have too much water or you’re gonna cause electrolyte imbalances. If you have too much oxygen that screws things up because then you don’t have enough carbon dioxide. Yes, we actually need carbon dioxide in our body to trigger our breathing. Everything is in balance and your body is always working to maintain a balance. So if you have chemicals that are interfering with your natural hormones, then they’re gonna throw things off balance. And that’s one reason why environmental chemicals can be a trigger for Hashimoto’s or any autoimmune disease.

How can you spring clean without toxins?

So what can you do about it? The number one thing that I did when I had to go through my entire house and figure out you know what the toxins were I looked for anything smelly. Anything that had a man-made fragrance it was out that was so easy to look at because it’s obvious my nose knows! Laundry detergent, laundry softener, cleaners, and air fresheners if you use those, anything that has a fragrance is a hormone disruptor.

Your health is more important than your nose

You might like the smells of it, but I promise they are not good for you. And it’s not worth it. Your health is more important than your nose. No, I’m not saying that nothing can smell good. If you go out in nature. It smells wonderful. There are definitely things that you can do so that your house smells good, like open your windows. If you live out in the country or if it’s a clear air day and you live in a city, open your windows. Study after study has shown us that our indoor air quality is more polluted than outdoor. So unless you live in a really polluted area, open your windows when the weather’s appropriate to air out your house, and then look for the things that have a smell and start there. 

Spring cleaning your laundry

The biggest thing that I look at is laundry because laundry is always touching us. My husband and I have an argument: I think “laundry” is any clothing that’s not on me or in a drawer or closet. He thinks laundry is only the dirty stuff. I don’t know; what do you think? 

But I do know that laundry is always touching us our clothing is always touching us our bedding We sleep in our you know surrounded by that. So if you put your stuff through the wash, and you use scented things, and then you put it through the dryer and you use dryer sheets or you use a fabric softener that leaves a residue on your sheets and on your blankets on your pillow. And when you go to sleep, your pores open, ever woken up in the middle of the night and you’re sweaty? Well, you go through different cycles in your sleep. And in some of those cycles, you get warmer and when you get warmer of course your pores open and they can absorb more things. So just think about it. You’re laying in these sheets that are coated with chemicals designed to make you think that they are soft and good smelling, but in actuality, they could be causing problems with your health. They could be hormone disruptors. You don’t want that.

So start with things that are smelling and start with your laundry. Look for things detergents that don’t have a smell but don’t have an artificial fragrance. I add a couple of drops of essential oils to dryer balls. They’re just woolen balls that are pretty much softball size and they beat against the clothes in the dryer to make them softer. And when I put essential oils on those balls and they add a fragrance that is not damaging to my body or to my immune system or anything and they make it smell good. That is the only way that I add a scent to have my laundry.

Clean doesn’t have a smell

Clean doesn’t actually have a smell. If you pull something out of the dryer or you take it off of the clothesline, and it smells flowery, well, unless it was on a clothesline right next to a flower garden, it’s not actually clean. It just has chemicals and chemicals are not really clean. So start with you know if it’s smelly, stop using it, and then look at your laundry.

Soap and water work

The next thing is we’re always washing our hands. Plain soap and water are better than antibacterial soap. Plain soap and water are better than alcohol hand sanitizer. Those two things antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer have chemicals in them that are hormone disruptors. Plain soap and water are great and effective and more gentle on your skin. I guess it depends on what kind of soap you get.

I get my soap from goat’s milk stuff. I love their bar soap. They also have bar shampoo. They also have lotions, they have laundry detergent. I love their little company, the small business it’s family-owned. I love looking at their pictures of their goats and their kids, their family culture. I love to support them. And I love that when I use their products. I’m not getting any chemicals. I’m not getting any hormone disruptors. I’m getting pure, simple, clean soap. It works so well. 

Microfiber cloths work

But sometimes you don’t even need soap. Think about the mirrors in your bathroom. Do you actually need a smelly ammonia-based window cleaner for your mirrors in your bathroom? I don’t think so. 

I taught my kids to spray them with a little bit of water and then use a microfiber cloth to wipe them down and it’s perfectly fine. You don’t need chemicals. A lot of the chemicals that we use we use because we have been taught that it cleans more effectively. But if you actually look at it, a microfiber cloth and some water will clean so many surfaces that you don’t need the chemicals for. 

As far as dusting, do you actually need a dusting spray? I know when I grew up I loved to dust because my mom had this lemon-scented pledge and I would spray it on it was kind of a foamy spray. So I had that texture and it smelled really good. And I could draw in the foamy spray because, clearly as a little kid, I was not focused on efficiency. I was focused on fun, but I also thought that you had to have a dusting spray in order to dust you don’t. The reason you dust is to get rid of the dust. You don’t necessarily need to spray. Again a microfiber cloth that’s a little damp so that it hangs on to the dust is gonna work just fine for so many of the surfaces in your house. You don’t need to add extra chemicals. 

When you need extra cleaning power

And sometimes like in the bathroom, you do need something extra to clean. I have four boys. My husband is fabulous. My boys are not so much clean as my husband and I the bathroom can get kind of gross. So we need to make sure that we are cleaning with good chemicals. And that means doing a little bit of research so that I can figure out you know how best to clean my toilets: the inside and the outside and the floor around them. I know, too much information I’m sorry, 4 boys; it can get kind of gross sometimes. 

But I want to know how I can best clean the bathroom and all the surfaces without hormone disruptors. And one resource I love for questions like that is the Environmental Working Group. So if you go to www.ewg.org, they have personal care stuff and they have cleaning products that they rate.

Now your country might have a rating of its own. I know in the United States, we have one. It’s put out by the EPA, which is the Environmental Protection Agency. But honestly, over the last couple of years, we have seen so clearly that money talks more than actual truth. So I don’t trust the EPA. You might and that’s okay, you can trust your own country’s government agency. But I’m going to look at the EWG because they say right on their site that the money never affects their rating. Their rating is based on the ingredients. 

So I look at the EWG and they do have a guide for cleaning products. And you can look through that there’s a whole ton of them. So I’m not gonna list them right now because there are like 2000 I’m not going to list those for you, you can head over to the EGA

Eliminate toxins and open your windows

So to recap, remove chemicals as much as possible. Start with the things that are smelly, and then move on to laundry because you spend your entire life including washing, and drying, and you spend your sleep in sheets that have been washed and dry. So start there if you want a simple place to start, and then look at the EWG for safe cleaners, and throw open the windows as much as you can. 

Would you consider leaving a review?

Thank you again so much for helping me get to 10,000 downloads. If you have been listening and you haven’t left a review yet would you head to your podcast player– I mean you’re already there in your podcast player, and leave a review? I know that in Apple, if you are in this episode, you can’t scroll down. But if you go to the show itself, so Health with Hashimoto’s, and then scroll down, that’s where you can rate and review. 

Now it’s a little bit different Spotify and an audible. I checked the stats earlier today and people listen to this podcast on over 15 different podcast players. So obviously I cannot tell you how to leave a rating and review in each one of those but Google knows. That is how I learned how to leave podcast reviews on Apple because I would always scroll down but I was in each episode. And when you scroll down you don’t get to a rating and review spot unless they changed it. Maybe they have. I had to google it back when I started listening to podcasts and wanted to leave reviews because it is a free and simple way that you can say thank you to me or any other podcast hosts that you listen to the ratings and reviews really do make a difference for how much the podcasts get pushed out into the world by the different platforms.

Thank you so much for joining me today for the spring cleaning episode when you’re listening to it, and if you open your window or you know throw out your laundry, take a picture and post it in your stories. and tag me on Instagram @EstherY.RN. You can find me over there and I’ll share your story. It’s so much fun to see how people are implementing the tips that I give you every single time because of course in every single episode I want to give you a true, simple, and sustainable path to Whole Health. I’ll see you next week. 

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. Please be sure to discuss any concerns and plans with your trusted healthcare professional

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

This transcript is auto-generated by OtterAI and may have slight errors.

Phone screen shows Health with Hashimoto's podcast playing with text "spring cleaning safely for Hashimoto's"

Images used in this post include those from: Kelly Sikkema,  Good Soul Shop, and Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash