How to Treat Hormone Imbalance in Women with Acupuncture and Alternative Methods
Hormones play a significant role in the human body as they’re responsible for most of the actions that occur inside. Even the smallest increase or decrease in their number can lead to hormone imbalance, which can affect vital processes in the organism and cause many health inconveniences.
Hormone imbalance can affect both men and women, and they will feel different symptoms depending on which glands and hormones are affected. Such an imbalance can be treated in many ways, and some of the most practical and efficient methods are based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture and herbal therapies are widely used to reestablish hormone balance and improve their overall function, and they have proven their efficiency in treating symptoms provoked by this issue.
This article will provide a more detailed explanation about hormone imbalance and recommend potential solutions on how to balance hormones efficiently.
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What are the Signs of Hormone Imbalance?
Hormone imbalance symptoms vary depending on which glands and hormones are affected. If you notice some of the following signs, your body may be alerting you that something is going on with your hormones:
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
- Dry skin
- Increased or decreased heart rate
- Muscle weakness and tenderness
Hormone imbalance is not the same in men and women since different factors cause it. Besides, women are more prone to hormonal disorders since they pass through different periods during their lifetime – puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, menopause, and post-menopause. These periods naturally trigger hormone imbalance, and its symptoms are more expressed then.
Symptoms of hormone imbalance in women include:
- Irregular or painful periods
- Osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones)
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Breast tenderness
- Uterine bleeding not associated with periods
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- Clitoral enlargement
- Deepening of the voice.
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What Causes Hormone Imbalance?
Many factors can provoke hormone imbalance, but the most common ones include the endocrine glands‘ malfunction. Endocrine glands are responsible for producing, storing, and releasing hormones into the blood, and several ones control different organs, including:
- Adrenal glands
- Gonads (testis and ovaries)
- Hypothalamus gland
- Pancreatic islets
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary gland
- Thyroid and parathyroid glands.
The malfunction of the endocrine glands is often triggered by certain medical conditions, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors that play an integral role in hormonal imbalances. That said, hormone disorders may come as a result of:
- Chronic or increased stress levels
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- Overproduction of glucagon (hyperglycemia)
- A higher level of insulin produced than the level of glucose in the blood (hypoglycemia)
- Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Abuse of steroid medications
- Low levels of cortisol
- Benign tumors and cysts
- Exposure to toxins, pollutants, or dangerous chemicals.
Hormone imbalances in women are typically triggered by disorders that have to do with the reproductive system or by taking certain kinds of pills:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Hormone replacement
- Birth control pills
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
- Ovarian cancer.
It’s essential to identify the specific factor that provokes hormone imbalance in order to get adequate treatment and make sure your organism functions the way it should.
How to Balance Hormones Naturally?
The best way to deal with hormone imbalance includes natural treatments, which have been used for addressing this issue for centuries. Natural remedies have proven their efficiency in reestablishing hormone balance and promoting general well-being safely and efficiently.
The most common forms of natural remedies originate from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and they encompass acupuncture, herbal therapies, and diet recommendations. All the approaches focus not only on the specific condition but also on the person’s overall health. They aim to strengthen the immune system and establish balance in the organism, which is a vital component of living a happy and healthy life.
Acupuncture for Hormone Balance
Acupuncture originates from China, and it has been practiced for over 2,000 years. It involves the insertion of small and fine acupuncture needles into the specific anatomic points (acupoints) placed all over the body. Once set, the needles stimulate these points, encouraging blood circulation and the flow of the vital energy (qi), which flows through the meridians in the human body.
Acupuncture stimulates the pieces of energy that have been stuck, which is a key to retrieving the balance and establishing the order in the organism. Acupuncture has positive effects on the internal organs, physical, and mental health, and it’s entirely safe and painless.
Acupuncture therapies have proven to be efficient in treating PCOS, amenorrhea, infertility, and other conditions associated with women’s health. Knowing that these conditions are closely related to hormone imbalances, you’ll see improvements pretty soon.
Your acupuncturist will determine the specific number of therapies you should receive, and it will depend on your condition and overall health. It’s essential to follow their instructions and suggestions in order to get better and more long-lasting outcomes.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, PCOS is associated with dampness (accumulated fluids), blood stagnating (stabbing pain), liver qi stagnation (PMS, irritability), spleen deficiency (digestive problems and bloating), and kidney energy deficiency (hormone imbalance). All these inconveniences can be solved with adequate herbal and acupuncture therapies, a balanced diet, and a healthier lifestyle.
Herbs for Hormone Imbalance
Another efficient natural treatment for hormone imbalance includes herbal therapies, often used as a complementary treatment to acupuncture. Herbs have a strong therapeutic effect on the human body, and they can solve any disorders associated with hormones and potential dysfunctions in the organism. Besides, herbs tend to promote overall health and general well-being. They are safe and generally free of side-effects, but it’s not recommended to use them on your own. Consult your practitioner prior to taking any herbal therapy since some plants can interfere with the meds you might be using at the moment. TCM tends to connect hormone imbalance with the liver’s health, which plays a critical role in regulating and normalizing hormone production. That said, the following herbs are mostly focused on strengthening the liver and promoting hormone balance:
- Vitex (Chasteberry): This herb is widely used to improve hormone imbalance and regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Wild yam: It is suitable for both men and women, and it’s excellent for promoting endocrine and liver health.
- Dong quai: This herb is used in Chinese medicine, and it has a significant impact on hormone production through its work with the liver and endocrine system. It’s also suitable for men.
- Dandelion: Dandelion is efficient for improving the liver function, as well as for the reproductive system. Both men and women can benefit from it, especially when it comes to regulating hormone production.
- Saw palmetto: This botanical is great for men since it helps raise sperm count, motility, and libido.
- Licorice: It is known for nurturing the adrenals and the entire endocrine system.
- Maca: This is another excellent herb suitable for hormone modulating and helping with libido in both men and women.
- Rhodiola: It has shown remarkable results in treating infertility in women and improving erectile dysfunction in men.
There are many more herbs convenient for solving problems with hormones, and Chinese herbalist will recommend you the most appropriate herb to balance hormones based on your condition and optimal health.
Natural Treatment for Hormone Imbalance: A Healthy Diet and Nutrients
A healthy diet and certain lifestyle modifications can have a considerable impact on your health and hormones. Unhealthy food is one of the most common reasons why people face hormone disbalances, high blood pressure, obesity, or even develop diabetes type 2. Even a small diet and lifestyle changes can bring significant improvements and make you feel much better.
Here are the six vital tips for helping you balance hormones naturally with the adequate diet:
1. Eat More Protein
Eating enough proteins is key to a healthy diet. You can find an adequate amount of this nutrient in dietary food, which provides essential amino acids that our body cannot make on its own. Protein is excellent for building muscles, strengthening bones, and improving skin health.
It’s recommended to consume a minimum of 20-30 grams of protein per meal to optimize hormone health, boost metabolism, and foster fat burning.
2. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity is vital for hormonal health and well-being. The most significant advantage of regular exercise is the ability to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity – since insulin resistance is one of the most common causes of hormone imbalance, it’s essential to engage in regular exercise.
Note that any type of regular physical activity is beneficial – from walking and riding a bike to resistance and aerobic training.
3. Avoid Processed Sugar and Refined Carbs
Refined carbs and processed food, in general, have been associated with many health issues. Food that’s rich in processed sugar (sodas, candy bars, cookies, etc.) and refined carbs (white bread, baked goods, etc.) can promote insulin resistance, especially in overweight people.
Instead, eat whole foods and follow a low- or moderate-carb diet to reduce insulin levels, lose weight, and establish a hormone balance in the organism.
4. Reduce Stress Levels
Two major hormones affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline. Stress is quite common today, mainly due to the busy and overwhelming lifestyle, but it shouldn’t become chronic. Chronic stress leads to high blood pressure, anxiety, and elevated insulin levels, which can significantly harm your health.
Lower your stress levels by engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, meditation, massage, listening to relaxing music, etc. These techniques encourage the increase of mood-boosting hormone, serotonin.
5. Improve Sleeping Habits
High-quality sleep is an essential factor that improves quality of life. Poor sleeping habits may have adverse effects on your health as it’s been linked to imbalances of many hormones, such as insulin, cortisol, leptin, and growth hormone. It’s best to have at least seven hours of high-quality sleep at night in order to maintain optimal hormone balance.
6. Use Natural Supplements for Hormone Imbalance
You can take many natural supplements to improve your hormones’ health – vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, etc. – as well as the herbs we have mentioned earlier. Although these supplements are quite beneficial, generally, you shouldn’t overdo them. Instead, try to get as many vitamins and vital nutrients through food.
Benefits of Natural Ways to Balance Hormones
Treating hormone imbalance with acupuncture and other natural methods is beneficial for a person’s overall health. The significant advantage of these treatments includes a drug-free approach and whole, clean ingredients that won’t harm your organism or cause severe side effects.
However, there’s nothing wrong with applying Western medicine practices (surgeries, medications, etc.) for treating hormone imbalance. In fact, they can help you solve the hormonal issues and combat infertility with success. What’s the problem then?
The most significant disadvantage of Western medicine is the inability to create an individual treatment that would meet the patient’s unique needs. Since all the treatments are designed to be universal, they are not suitable for everyone. Consequently, some men or women may face severe side effects or even the worsening of their hormone imbalance.
On the other hand, Chinese herbalists and acupuncturists use various combinations to create unique formulas for their patients. Thanks to the herbs’ versatility, they can be used for a wide range of conditions, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Weak immunity
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
Stress, anxiety, and emotional disorders can trigger various diseases and imbalances in the organism. Luckily, herbs offer direct benefits for emotional and mental health, and their effects include the following:
- They make you feel psychologically lighter
- Relax and calm your thoughts
- Open your perspective on yourself and life
- They help you become more patient and peaceful
- Boost your self-confidence
- Induce a more peaceful sleep.
Used along with acupuncture, herbs deliver more significant outcomes regarding both your specific condition and overall health. You’ll notice incredible improvements right after completing the first couple of sessions, and you’ll never want to undergo Western therapies again.