Tips for Balancing HormonesAt New Leaf Acupuncture, Dublin, we see many women experiencing hormonal imbalances for many reasons. When conception is not happening naturally, blood tests can be done on certain days of your cycle that may pick up these imbalances.
Factors that can affect the hormonal imbalance include:
Age: oestrogen production declines as women get older
Bodyweight: as oestrogen is stored in body fat, being under or over weight can affect the hormonal balance and cause problems with ovulation. So maintaining a healthy weight or body mass index is quite important
Excessive exercise will reduce the levels of circulating oestrogen – the ratio of body fat to lean mass is important
Smoking can affect the body’s ability to use oestrogen efficiently
Stress, anxiety and environmental factors can affect hormonal balance
Tips to help balance hormones
Hormones are derived from good fats and cholesterol, so a diet lacking these can cause problems. Toxins and chemicals that mimic these building blocks, or that mimic the hormones themselves, can inhibit proper hormones development also.
Fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to boost your body’s ability to create and balance hormones:
AVOID HIGH OMEGA-6 POLYUNSATURATED FATS
Man-made fats found in vegetable oils contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats, and these oils have replaced many of the natural saturated fats in our diets since the 1950s.
The body needs fats for rebuilding cells and hormone production, but it has to use the building blocks we give it. When we give it a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats instead of the lower ratios it needs, it has no choice but to incorporate these fats into our cells during cell repair and creation.
So, avoid fats like vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening, or other chemically altered fats. Choose fats like coconut oil, real butter, olive oil (don’t heat!) and animal fats (tallow, lard) from healthy sources instead and eat lots of high Omega-3 fish.
Caffeine disrupts the endocrine system, especially if there are also other hormone stressors involved like pregnancy, presence of toxins, imbalances of beneficial fats, or stress.
Reduce or, better still, eliminate coffee and tea and replace it with beneficial herbal teas.
This can’t be emphasized enough. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your hormones will not be balanced. Full stop.
Fortunately a beneficial side effect of acupuncture is improved sleep.
In a perfect world, we would be rising and sleeping with the sun, getting vitamin D from the sun and magnesium from the ocean while relaxing and exercising in great balance each day in a stress-free world. Since I doubt that describes any of us, taking a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is good all-round replacement.
If you have a hormone imbalance, intense extended exercise can exacerbate the problem in the short run. Sleep is actually more important, at least during the balancing phase. So focus on relaxing exercises like walking or swimming and avoid the extended running and cardio for now.
LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS
While extended cardio can be bad, short bursts of heavy lifting (kettlebells, deadlifts, squats, lunges) can be beneficial since they trigger a cascade of beneficial hormone reactions. Aim for a few sets (5-7) at a weight that really challenges you, but make sure to get help with form and training if you haven’t done these before as bad form can be harmful.
EAT SOME COCONUT OIL
Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, sleep, reduce inflammation, and even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Acupuncture’s approach to treating hormonal imbalances is to restore the Yin and Yang balance in your body. If the yin and yang energy are not balanced, the body can produce excess heat (insomnia, hot flashes, acne, irregular periods) or kidney yin deficiency (low back pain, fatigue) can occur.
Acupuncture helps to redirect the flow of energy and blood in the whole body to bring balance and harmony to the body. By placing acupuncture needles in the meridians connected to the kidneys, heart and uterus, it can help to balance the hormones and lessen the symptoms one experiences.
Modern research has found acupuncture can cause the following influence to female reproductive system:
- To influence levels of FSH and LH and to regulate the communication between the brain and ovaries, know as the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. These will improve the ovaries’ function
- To adjust thyroid gland’s function
- To balance the estrogen and progesterone
- To promote ovulation
- To increase the blood flow in the uterus to improve the chance of conception
- To relieve stress so as to ensure a better ovulation and conception
Posted by Niall O’Leary
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