Suspect a Hormonal Imbalance? Acupuncture Might Help
If you’re suffering from signs of hormonal imbalance, you’re not alone. Statistics reveal that hormonal imbalance is quite common among women; close to 80% of women suffer from symptoms due to a hormonal imbalance and men can also suffer from gradual hormonal imbalances as they age as well. With that said, it can be difficult for healthcare providers to detect hormonal imbalances initially, because they tend to emerge through a variety of symptoms as the body changes and ages.
For both men and women, paying attention to diet, lifestyle, and protecting yourself from exposure to toxins can contribute to whether these imbalances turn into a disease or progress over time, impacting the state of your mental health. So, what can be done about it? Below we’ll discuss what factors are linked to hormonal imbalances and how acupuncture may provide some relief.
Key Factors for Women
In most cases, both the causes and effects of hormonal imbalance are usually linked to one another. Factors such as menopause, adrenal hormones, ongoing stress, dieting, consuming synthetic hormones (such as birth control pills) and xenoestrogens (found in household cleaning products and cosmetics) can all lead to different levels of hormonal imbalances.
Health conditions often linked to hormonal imbalances include:
Fibromyalgia — This targets the soft tissue and musculoskeletal system
Digestive bowel disorders — These can manifest in several ways and can include disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Endometriosis — This condition occurs when tissue forms outside of the uterus, causing moderate to sever pelvic pain
PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PMS/PMDD — Premenstrual symptoms that can be mild or severe
Adrenal Fatigue — Feeling exhausted or completely depleted of energy
Thyroid issues – These issues may refer to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
Common Symptoms Women Experience
- Anxiety and depression
- Extreme exhaustion with hormonal changes
- Weight gain
- Problems with ovulation and fertility
Key Factors for Men
Aging is the biggest factor for men suffering from hormonal changes. A man can lose close to 14% of his testosterone for every decade that passes, which plays a significant role in the imbalance. Certain health conditions that can be associated with hormonal imbalances in men are:
Andropause — This is a type of menopause men go through as their testosterone levels begin to drop.
Adrenal fatigue — A build up of stress over an extended time period directly affects the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to high levels of exhaustion and feelings of depletion.
Hypothyroidism — This occurs when the thyroid glands are underactive and fail to produce the desired levels of thyroid hormones to function, which slows down the body’s metabolism.
Hyperthyroidism — The opposite condition is an overactive thyroid gland, leading to too many thyroid hormone levels. This is usually demonstrated through an atypical increase in one’s metabolism.
Common Symptoms Men Experience
These symptoms are common when men are experiencing a hormonal imbalance and go beyond the simple affects of aging. These can occur slowly over time but can contribute to unwanted health problems, like:
- An increase in body fat
- Depression and anxiety
- Mood swings and irritability
- Sleep issues including sleep apnea, night sweats, and insomnia
- Heart palpitations
- Constipation or increased bowel movements
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory loss
How Acupuncture Can Help
Traditional Chinese medicine believes hormonal imbalances and the conditions stemming from such are directly connected to the liver’s functionality. In other words, it is thought that your liver is responsible for your metabolism as well as your mental health and emotional state. When there are problems with the liver, it can cause hormones to get out of balance, throwing the body and mind off, all of which translate to several unpleasant symptoms.
Acupuncture can regulate the body effectively. It helps to eliminate excess heat that develops due to dilated blood vessels, lowering blood pressure at the same time. Detoxifying the liver specifically is critical in removing the factors that cause hormonal imbalances to regulate estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone reduction in men. Your acupuncturist will speak to you and discuss the symptoms at hand, determining which treatment is best for you. Through the help of acupuncture, a well-balanced diet, appropriate levels of exercise, sleep and hydration, you should see improvements with these symptoms almost immediately. They should become more manageable and even disappear altogether in some cases!
If you are suffering from any symptoms discussed above, at All Points Acupuncture we’d love to help treat your condition. Please come in and see us for an appointment today!
Have general questions? We are happy to discuss any concerns with you.
September 17, 2019