Top Tips for Happy Hormones
At New Leaf Acupuncture Dublin, I am working more and more with people to balance their hormones in a natural way. That is, through a healthy diet of traditional food, with food supplements and by offering lifestyle advice.
Here I’ve put together my Top 9 Tips for Happy Hormones.
But first, let’s look at the common symptoms of hormone imbalance and who is affected?
Hormonal changes affect us all from our first breath to our last, yet we seem to have a very negative association with the term.
For women, the most pronounced changes tend to come in their 40s and 50s. Many more are now having hormonal symptoms earlier. This has a lot to do with our lifestyle and diet, as well as exposure to pollutants, toxins and xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals that act as oestrogen in our bodies).
The Most Common Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances
Persistent Weight Gain – A hormonal imbalances makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Unaddressed insulin resistance is one of the most common.
Belly Fat And Loss Of Muscle Mass – When your endocrine system is under stress there’s an underproduction of certain hormones and an overproduction of others (mainly cortisol). This makes your body store fat for future use.
Low Libido – One of the most noticeable symptoms of hormonal imbalance is low libido. Without quality sleep our sex hormone production can diminish leading to a poor libido.
Fatigue – That feeling that you can’t make it through morning or afternoon without some sort of pick-me-up. It can be a sign that you need stabilise your blood sugar.
Anxiety, irritability and depression – Anxiety and depression are clues that you have an imbalance, toxicity, are overworked, stressed out, and most likely aren’t nourishing your body the way it needs.
Insomnia and poor sleep patterns – This starts the cycle of physical stress and increases cortisone levels, which directly causes many hormonal imbalances.
Sweating – For many women, night sweats and hot flashes are the first uncomfortable sign that something is amiss.
Cravings – Common causes of cravings and excessive eating are adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, and other hormonal imbalances.
Please note that many of these symptoms can be linked to other physical problems, and a simple blood test can tell you if there are other underlying concerns.
Top Tips to Help Balance Hormones
With some effort applied to improving diet and digestive health, managing stress, improving sleep and engaging in physical activity, true holistic health is yours.
1. Avoid High Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats
Avoid fats like vegetable oil, peanut oil, margarine, shortening, or other chemically altered fats. Choose fats like real butter, coconut oil, olive oil and animal fats from healthy sources and eat lots of high Omega-3 fish.
2. Limit the Caffeine
Cut down the coffee if you can, or replace with beneficial herbal teas. Caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system.
3. Avoid Toxins
Toxins found in pesticides, plastics, household chemicals, and even mattresses can contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. Avoid heating or storing foods in plastic. Find organic produce and meat whenever possible.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your hormone will not be balanced. Bottom line. At New Leaf Acupuncture, Dublin, we offer tips to help improve your sleep. This can singlehandedly improve hormones and is even linked to longer life.
5. Supplement Wisely
In a perfect world, we would be getting al our 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 we live in the real world, supplements can fill in the gaps. Consider some of these:
Maca – A tuber in the radish family that has a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Many women notice less PMS, increased fertility, and improved skin while men notice increased sperm production, libido, and better sleep. Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it great for hormones.
Magnesium – Magnesium supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is great for hormones!).
Vitamin D – A pre-hormone is supportive of hormone function. Best obtained from the sun if possible, or from Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
6. Exercise Lightly
If you have hormone imbalance, intense extended exercise can actually make the problem worse in the short term. Sleep is actually more important, at least during the balancing phase, so focus on relaxing exercises like yoga, walking or swimming.
7. Lift Heavy Weights
While extended cardio can be bad, short bursts of heavy lifting (kettlebells, 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.
8. Eat Some Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, reduce inflammation, and even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
9. Boost Your Leptin
Leptin is a master hormone, and if it is out of balance or if you are resistant to it, no other hormones will balance well. Fixing leptin will also help boost fertility, make weight loss easier, improve sleep, and lower inflammation. The fix? Eat whole foods, steer clear of sugar, and get some sleep.
If you would like more information on how acupuncture can help restore hormone balance – or for an appointment or free consultation – call Niall on 087 2632732
Posted by Niall O’Leary
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