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Dr. Johnson - Red Deer Advocate

Seven things to know about your cosmetics

How many personal care and hygiene products do you use in a day?

A recent consumer survey estimated that women use an average of 12 and men use an average of six personal care products daily. This adds up to an exposure of more than 80 unique ingredients!

The problem is that many of these ingredients don’t have a proven track record of safety. In fact, new research is making the connection between our health and cosmetic ingredients. With a few easy tips, you can avoid the most harmful cosmetic ingredients and find cleaner alternatives.

When we take stock of how many products we have in our bathroom cabinet, we can quickly see that our exposure to potentially harmful ingredients may be quite high. Many of us use some combination of body lotion, shampoo, perfume, soaps, deodorants, shaving creams, makeup, gels ... and the list goes on.

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The thyroid test you have been missing out on

Fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and hair loss are common symptoms of a low-functioning thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). This is a fairly common condition, however, 70 per cent of patients through my clinic have not had the appropriate testing completed to confirm that their thyroid is actually working properly and efficiently.

For instance, a 42-year-old female patient visited my clinic with concerns of extreme fatigue, a low mood and an inability to lose weight — despite all her hard work, healthy eating and working out with a personal trainer.

This patient was extremely frustrated as she was working so hard to feel better and lose weight, but was not getting any results. In an attempt to get some answers, her family doctor ran a full panel of labs. However, the patient was told that everything came back normal, including her thyroid results. She was even instructed to be more physically active and eat better to lose weight, regardless of the fact she was doing both of these already.

On her first visit to my clinic, I had requested a copy of her most recent labs, including the thyroid result. After a thorough review, I noticed that only her thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) had been tested, which unfortunately is a very common situation and does not provide all of the needed information about thyroid function.

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