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Poor Air Quality in Dallas — Is Your Hormonal Health at Risk?
It’s common knowledge that poor air quality negatively affects our health. Residents of an industry-heavy and automobile-dependent metropolitan area like Dallas-Fort Worth have reason to be concerned.
Even though the air quality here in Prosper is pretty good, most of us drive into the greater metroplex on a daily basis, so being aware of the air quality in the larger cities is still important.
For the most part, when we discuss air pollution, people express concerns regarding asthma, allergies, lung cancer, or contaminated drinking water.
However, one problem that often goes unnoticed is the potential effect poor air quality in cities like Dallas could have on our hormones — let’s discuss.
Poor Air Quality and Endocrine Disruptors
Our bodies’ endocrine systems produce and manage our hormones, and our hormones are messengers that influence a variety of bodily processes, including:
- Nutrient absorption
- Blood pressure
Toxic chemicals or pollutants from the low-quality air of urban areas like Dallas are taken into our bodies and may cause negative reactions in the endocrine system, disrupting our hormones. These pollutants are referred to as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs).
EDCs can negatively affect our bodies in a number of ways, such as:
- Increasing the production of certain hormones and decreasing the production of others
- Imitating hormones
- Interfering with hormone signaling
- Binding to essential hormones, rendering them inert or useless
- Instructing cells to die prematurely
- Competing with essential nutrients
- Accumulating in organs that produce hormones and disrupting production
None of these effects are desirable.
Poor Air Quality and Stress Hormones
Recent studies are supporting the hypothesis that breathing dirty air causes stress hormones to spike. Stress hormones, like cortisol, cortisone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine rose with exposure to polluted air.
Sudden increases in stress hormones repeated over our lifetime could help explain why air pollution in cities like Dallas is associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and a shorter life span — EDCs may be causing harmful changes in the endocrine system.
In one such study, Dr. Haidong Kan of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, tested the effects of one form of EDC known as particulate matter (PM), which are tiny particles produced by heavy industry and fossil fuel combustion, on 55 healthy college students.
Some students in the study slept in rooms with heavily filtered air, while the remaining students were given placebo filters that didn’t actually improve air quality.
Those who stayed in rooms with poorer air quality saw significant increases in stress hormones.
Dr. Kan Dr. Kan told Reuters Health that, “Our result may indicate that particulate matter (PM) could affect the human body in more ways than we currently know. Thus, it is increasingly necessary for people to understand the importance of reducing their PM exposure.”
Poor Air Quality in Dallas — What’s the Takeaway for Residents?
How bad is the air quality in or near Dallas?
D Magazine, a popular Dallas publication, recently described a phone app that applies a mathematical calculation to pollution measurements, coming up with a very relatable and frighteningly realistic equivalent — cigarette smoking.
According to this app, on smoggy summer days when the air quality index in Dallas often nears or exceeds 150, we essentially smoke a cigarette or two for that day.
That’s a lot of pollution being absorbed into our bodies, and poor air quality in Dallas could be negatively affecting your hormonal health.
Worried About Hormone Imbalance? — TCT Clinic Expands to Prosper
If you’re a resident of Prosper or work in the North Dallas Area, and you’re concerned about your hormonal health, come by and speak with the experts at Testosterone Centers of Texas. Your first consult is free, and you can schedule it here.
Walk-ins to the TCT Prosper Clinic (or any of our 4 other clinics) are always welcome.
Click the button below for more information on TCT’s Prosper clinic. We’re here to help you maintain your hormonal health and feel your best.