Deciphering Endocrine Disruption: Navigating BPA’s Impact on Health with Kaileigh Lauren

by | Jun 19, 2024

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Synopsis

In this episode of the Modern Vital Podcast, Dr. Ben Reebs interviews Kaileigh Lauren, also known as Coach Kailes, a functional nutritionist and wellness professional. They discuss the prevalence and impact of endocrine disruptors, particularly BPA, on hormone balance, especially in women. Kaileigh shares her observations of clients with hormone imbalances linked to these chemicals and offers practical tips for reducing exposure, such as using apps to scan for healthier product alternatives. The episode emphasizes the importance of personalized approaches, high-quality testing, and sustainable lifestyle changes to improve overall health and hormone balance.

Be sure to visit Kaileigh Lauren’s website for more resources and information. Follow her on Instagram @kaileighlauren.

Don’t miss the video version—watch it here.

 

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Complete Transcript of Episode 15276797

Deciphering Endocrine Disruption: Navigating BPA's Impact on Health with Kaileigh Lauren

Kaileigh Lauren: A lot of these endocrine disrupting chemicals, we call them EDCs for short, they are in our water bottles and our lotions and our shampoos, you know, and so many different products and things we use day to day that they mimic estrogen the body then reads it as more estrogen. And so then we kind of get this body fat proliferation and stubborn fat. You know, that kind of stuff. So that’s the dominating symptom if you would call that a symptom, maybe a sign.

[Show Intro] Welcome to the Modern Vital podcast, where we delve into the dynamic interplay between environmental factors and human health. I’m your host, Dr. Ben Reebs, founder of Portland Clinic of Natural Health, guiding you through a journey that merges ancient wisdom with the latest in scientific understanding. Each week, I’ll discuss topics of interest in health, offering insights to optimize your well-being and prevent chronic disease through naturopathic and functional medicine approaches.

Dr. Ben Reebs: On today’s episode of the Modern Vital podcast, we’re going to talk a little bit about endocrine disruptors specifically BPA. Today’s special guest is functional nutritionist Kaileigh Lauren, also known as Coach Kailes, a renowned wellness professional with a background in kinesiology and human nutrition from studying at OHSU. She’s also a certified personal trainer and a certified sports nutrition specialist. She’s impacted thousands of clients with her inclusive approach to nutrition and fitness, and she’s currently based in Monterey Bay, California, dedicated to making wellness accessible and enjoyable. Her mission is to demystify the world of wellness, making it more enjoyable and less dogmatic for everyone. She also hosts the Rebel Wellness podcast. Welcome to the show, Kaileigh.

Kaileigh Lauren: Thank you, Dr. Reebs. I’m so happy to be here.

Dr. Ben Reebs: It’s great to have you. So endocrine disruptors like, do you see this in your practice come up among your clients?

Kaileigh Lauren: Yes, I actually see it definitely the most dominantly. I coach females predominantly, and I would say that females show hormone imbalance quite visibly. And so I would say I definitely have noticed once we dive into the lifestyle of my clients, especially the ones who seem like there’s an imbalance going on, that there is tons of exposure to endocrine disruptors. And in many ways.

Dr. Ben Reebs: And what are some of the symptoms that you notice or, you know, signs or symptoms? I mean, as you’re working with them, taking their history.

Kaileigh Lauren: Yeah, I would say it’s kind of a mixed bag because, Well, it isn’t, it isn’t. I’d say a dominating thing that I see is what’s blanket termed, what you might call it, blank for a second. estrogen dominance. There you go. So I’ll normally see a lot of body fat patterning that is common with estrogen dominance, which if those who are listening don’t know what that is, usually looks like we have enough progesterone in the female body in relation to estrogen. So there’s more estrogen in comparison. Right. You can fact-check me on that one. but so what I usually see is a lot of belly fat in the lower belly, a lot of thigh fat, a lot of glute fat, you know, back in the arms fat. You know, it’s a normal body fat patterning for females, but we would see it a lot more, in a way where it’s stubborn, like it’s not moving. And so that’s usually my sure-shot sign that there’s too much estrogen in the body. And a lot of these, we call them EDCs for short, but endocrine disrupting chemicals, they are in our water bottles and our lotions and our shampoos, you know, in so many different products and things we use day to day that they mimic estrogen and they the body then reads it as more estrogen. And so then we kind of get this body fat proliferation and stubborn fat, you know, that kind of stuff. So that’s the dominating symptom. If you would call that a symptom, maybe a sign something like that that I tend to see. So that would be the first, the main one I would say.

Dr. Ben Reebs: That’s so profound too, because it’s like I mean, how many people have that and and then how few practitioners actually think of endocrine disruptors and things like BPA and phthalates and PVC. It’s in all these different chemicals that are in our environment, actually, you know, throwing off the hormones and then causing, the fat to be laid down and actually being maybe a root cause or a mediator of that deposition of fat. It’s just so… So what do you do to test or kind of work with that? Like, how do you dig in there?

Kaileigh Lauren: So usually I actually, I am not somebody who can run these tests. So I refer to people like you and different functional medicine doctors specifically because, as I’ve referred clients to try to do it through their general practitioners. Most insurances ask too many questions and won’t cover it. So that’s where you guys come in. And usually, they’ll go and get that done. We tend to get it confirmed. There’s not really been a time where I haven’t seen it come back balanced. I usually always see too much estrogen, you know, maybe not enough testosterone. A lot of all the sex hormones, like, all over the place, you know? But it’s not only just the sex hormones. I mean, endocrine disruptors. Everything in the endocrine system gets disrupted, right? I’m sure you see that a lot in labs.

Dr. Ben Reebs: Yeah, definitely. There’s a lot of evidence that it can throw off the thyroid, too. And then it seems like indirectly, we see a lot of adrenal fatigue as a result of the thyroid and the estrogen. And what’s interesting, too, is not only can they, I guess, make too much estrogen or kind of turn on the estrogen production, but then they can also block estrogen production all the way and kind of lead to, I guess, an extra estrogen deficiency as well. And sometimes it can be a little tricky to tease it out. I mean, I’m not a women’s health expert, but yeah, see it a lot as well.

Kaileigh Lauren: Yeah, I would say that that’s also the unique angle I would have. I have the most experience with estrogen dominance, but I would say I’ve definitely had clients that are lacking estrogen and they have more testosterone. I mean, we start to see it a lot with PCOS, which I do have a lot of PCOS clients. And I’m sure you’ve experienced quite a few PCOS patients, right? Yeah, and that’s definitely an interesting one because it’s elevated androgens and lowered estrogen and progesterone usually, which is super complicated because that’s also becoming a blanket statement is, oh, you have PCOS. I think that’s like but what does it mean? And it’s like kind of a spectrum, you know.

Dr. Ben Reebs: Yeah. Yeah, it really is. Yeah. That’s interesting too. How BPA is, I guess, processed in the liver through phase two, just like estrogen is and mold and a lot of other things. And so it’s like, how can we get that phase two detoxification going again? You know, to support, I guess, the BPA to move out as well as the estrogens and the other chemicals and things that we see. Like, what are some practical tips you give your clients to kind of get started?

Kaileigh Lauren: Yeah. And then also, on that note, before I get into that, it is also in that kind of hot topic of this year of forever chemicals, you know, I mean, those have been a topic for a long time, but now they’re really getting to the public because like the Biden administration finally kind of made a comment about it, you know, and made some moves on it. And so, I’ve gotten a lot of people asking questions about PFAS and such, and that’s been that was a really interesting thing to dive into. But those are chemicals that stay in your body forever, you know, and it’s a very much part of the endocrine disrupting chemicals because they’re hanging out like you said, they just hang out in your body and like, how do you get them out? Like, we don’t know yet entirely, you know, and so but my best tips, like you were asking, would say, the easiest thing you can do is start to do, like, an in-home environment, exploration, I guess I’d call it, where you can either go to, like, a morgue or, I like telling people to use, like the Yuka app. I have no affiliation. It’s just an easy app. It’s Yuka, and you can just go around your house and scan all your products, even your food, you know, all that stuff, and they give you this really great list. Well, they’ll give kind of a rating and tell you why, and they’ll tell you each different chemical and what it’s known to do, you know, on record. So it’s not kind of like this could do this. It’s this does this because we’ve had enough cases, you know, so it’s not one of those things where you’re like, maybe it’s lying, you know. So I think that that’s a really great place for somebody to start because you’ll become more aware of the products you’re using. And it also gives you recommendations of swaps like healthier swaps that you can do, which is important because, you know, like, what do you do when you get rid of your deodorant and you’re like, what can I use? Right. So yeah, can’t live without your deodorant.

Dr. Ben Reebs: I have to check that out. The app sounds great.

Kaileigh Lauren: Yeah. No, it’s pretty great. It’s pretty great. And there’s a free version and then there’s a paid version, of course, but I just don’t use the free.

Dr. Ben Reebs: In my practice right now, I’m seeing a lot of really high BPA. And it’s interesting too, because like mold, you know, shuts down the kidneys and so does Lyme disease. And the kidneys are the main way that BPA moves out. And so it seems like people with mold illness end up with lots of chemicals building up in their system. And I’m seeing a lot of BPA that’s like in the 99th percentile. And then all of these patients have lots of hormone imbalance, kind of across the spectrum.

Kaileigh Lauren: Yeah. And it’s fascinating too, because, unfortunately, we don’t even realize that, like, our aluminum cans, like, we can buy a healthy soda or whatever, but the aluminum can is lined interiorly with plastic, and it typically has BPA, you know, unless it specifically says BPA free, which I’ve looked at a lot of cans and they don’t say that all the time. So it’s like there’s just one of those little smoke and mirror things that’s like it’s hidden in your can you think it’s aluminum, but it’s not. And, you know, a lot of people consume, a lot of products in different ways. So they’re either consuming it, I don’t know if you would call it consuming it on your body, but you’re absorbing it, you know, with a lot of fragrances, you know, all that kind of stuff. Whatever it was in if it was heated and it leached out of the plastic because everything’s in plastic, you know, and so bottles that are for cosmetics don’t always have to be BPA free either. And so I’m sure that’s where you’re getting a lot of exposure in your patients is we are all thinking of BPA-free Ziploc bags and stuff. But in reality, it’s a lot of it’s everything plastic, you know, BPA and everything plastic almost.

Dr. Ben Reebs: Yeah, it’s crazy to how it’s lipophilic. And, you know, it comes from plastic which is lipophilic and loves fat. And then it literally goes into the body and then causes more fat to get laid down. And then it probably can get stored in that fat as well. We really don’t know much about that. But obviously these chemicals stay in our fat. And then when people lose weight, they dump all of these toxins into their bodies. And a lot of times they get kind of sick for a while from it.

Kaileigh Lauren: Oh, that’s interesting.

Dr. Ben Reebs: You probably know quite a bit about that. Being a personal trainer and working with bodies for so many years.

Kaileigh Lauren: Yeah, yeah, I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten to see it from that scope. So that’s a really interesting viewpoint from your experience. But I have definitely seen people go through physical changes that also alter their health. I would say I’ve seen people who lose, like a mass amount of fat, and then they’ll like, lose hair. And I’ve seen a lot of misinformation online where people would be like, oh, when you lose weight, you lose your hair. And I’m like, not always. That’s kind of a sign of a deficiency or something’s wrong. Have you noticed any of that before with patients?

Dr. Ben Reebs: The hair loss or which particular?

Kaileigh Lauren: Deficiencies come with whatever version of weight loss they tend to go.

Dr. Ben Reebs: Yeah, definitely. And always trying to figure out what’s causing the deficiency, you know. Was it there before or is it being driven by something new? And then it’s crazy how deficiency kind of leads to more toxicity, and toxicity can lead to more deficiency. And so it’s like kind of sometimes two sides of the same coin. I’m curious when you have people make these changes, you know, download the app, replace their personal care products, like, how long does it take for you to start seeing some changes where they’re like, oh, hey, like I’ve lost a couple of pounds or I’m just feeling better, you know, or you see some changes in their history that indicate it’s working.

Kaileigh Lauren: I would say the fastest part because a lot of this is super unsexy. Like I say like my approach to health and your approach to health are unsexy. But at the same time, it’s a long game. We’re all playing the long game, right? So the short-term things that do happen immediately are if there’s somebody who gets reactions on their skin. So like eczema versions of psoriasis, you know, things like that, like where it’s kind of that gut-skin connection. I will usually see if they’re getting affected by like EDCs in, like fragrances, like in candles or lotions or perfume, you know, all that kind of stuff. Detergents, laundry detergents, you know, I’ll see that immediately improve. Like, they’ll start to see, like, fewer rashes, you know, maybe less itchy, dry skin, all that kind of stuff. That’s something that somebody can look forward to immediately. For the long-term, though, I would say the clients that have cleaned up their household products and their own products, it’s like a two-year thing, and it’s the ones who are willing to invest in their health because healthcare is sick care. So like, you have to invest out of pocket for the better quality tests. As you know, usually not a lot of insurance will cover like Dutch tests or GI maps, you know, all that kind of stuff. And so the ones that we get to actually track their progress, like through a Dutch test, like I have one in mind, she has cleaned up a lot of her toxin load in her house and done a really good job prioritizing that. And we’ve gotten a test every year and we’ve seen her hormones and everything improve. But it’s a slow game. It’s definitely like you’re investing in yourself and you’re taking care of yourself and you’re being patient. But I see a lot of those external symptoms are immediate when you start to take out those environmental endocrine disruptors. But the internal stuff is a little bit of a process, you know?

Dr. Ben Reebs: Yeah, I see a lot of patients who make a bunch of progress, and then they kind of hit a wall or they stop, you know, and then usually it’s they’re not able to lose that extra weight, you know, in men and women. And then I say, you really need to do the environmental toxicology screening because there’s probably some environmental toxicants and factors that are playing a role in this. And then they really think about it for a while. And sometimes they just they can’t come up with the money to do it. And at that point, I usually can’t really help them much more. I mean, I can give them basics, but you know, so it’s kind of like, all right, well, and you know, they’ll be doing Orangetheory Fitness every day and they’ll be in the sauna, you know, three times a week, and they’ll be eating the healthiest, you know, modified paleo whatever, ketogenic diet. And they’re not getting the results they want. Yeah. But it’s sometimes environmental toxicants that are just in their system.

Kaileigh Lauren: Absolutely. Yeah. And that’s a really good point. I would say that I’ve definitely seen a lot of clients who kind of refuse to change certain things in their lives that are outside of it. Like they love their little cheapy target candles, they love their, you know, all this kind of stuff. They’re lighting it every day, or the Bed, Bath and Beyond, or whatever it is. So, no, it’s been Bath and Body Works. So everyone loves that candle sale. But those are like massive endocrine disruptors. I mean, I used to do it too like it was, it was definitely me. Yeah. It’s really hard to cut that out because it’s little, little comfort things. But I think getting to the mindset shift, like when clients hit a wall like that, that’s definitely where I usually have to either see how much deeper can we get into the mindset shifts, like how much does your health and maybe trying to move this weight make you okay with being like, we’re gonna either change the quality of your candles just using that example, but or cut them out altogether, at least for six months, you know, like set like a date, like a stamp time stamp type of thing. And then like, usually it’s a little bit better than just being like, you have to get rid of this forever. And then they’re like, no. And they’re like, I’m gonna go run and see if I can run it off, you know? And that never works. So I would say that that is definitely a really tough part. It definitely comes with changing habits. And like, humans are just habitual, you know, and comfort brings what dopamine and such. And people don’t really want to cut all of it out when they’ve already changed so many other things. And it’s really tough. It’s really tough.

Dr. Ben Reebs: Well, this has been really great. Where can people find you online?

Kaileigh Lauren: Yes, I am at kaileighlauren.com and you can also sign up for my newsletter if you want to be a part of the health group. You can also find me on Instagram @kaileighlauren or on our podcast Rebel Wellness Podcast. Those are great places.

Dr. Ben Reebs: Well, thanks so much for joining us, Kaileigh.

Kaileigh Lauren: Thank you for having me.

Dr. Ben Reebs: That concludes today’s episode of the Modern Vital Podcast. We’d love to hear from you. We really value your feedback and if you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to me at Ben@ModernVital.com. Also, please leave us a review if you enjoyed this episode, and we look forward to having you join us next week for another exciting episode of the Modern Vital podcast.

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About Me

Dr. Ben Reebs, ND, is an award-winning, naturopathic physician with a focus in environmental medicine, which looks at how environmental factors can cause chronic disease. He specializes in chronic infections, autoimmune disease, and digestive health.

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