Hormones may be small, but they are mighty. These tiny messengers play significant roles in how our bodies function. They manage how you use energy, how much weight you put on, how happy you are, how well you sleep, and your ability to create healthy children.
Unfortunately, hormones are also tricky. They are released by your endocrine system in precise amounts that can easily be thrown off balance. When one hormone gets out of whack, it can cause a chain reaction of other hormone imbalances that lead to a range of physical and mental health conditions.
Our modern lifestyles are full of traps that throw our hormones off. From a standard diet to unrelenting daily stressors, our bodies are constantly bombarded with issues that prevent a healthy hormone balance.
While your body is a master at maintaining homeostasis, sometimes it needs a helping hand. With some smart lifestyle strategies and a reset from acupuncture, you can put your hormones back on track naturally.
Read on to see if hormone imbalance may be at the root of your health issues and 4 steps you can take to find your balance!
Are You Off-Balance? How to Know if You Have a Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance is often at the root of our most frustrating health conditions. If you’ve had symptoms or a health condition that doesn’t seem to improve no matter what you do, hormone trouble could be a factor.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
There is a broad range of symptoms related to hormone balance. Here are some of the most common:
Your appetite, weight, or metabolism has shifted:
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Increased or decreased hunger or appetite
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Constipation or more frequent bowel movements
Your mood has declined (unrelated to a life event or trigger):
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Mood swings
Your appearance has changed abruptly:
- Thinning or brittle hair
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Skin discoloration
- A hump of fat between the shoulders
- Puffy or rounded face
- Increased stretch marks
- Skin discoloration
- Acne on face, chest, or upper back
Your reproductive health is suffering:
- Decreased sex drive
- Change in your menstrual period flow
- Missed periods or stopped periods
- Hirsutism (hair growth on the face, back, or other parts of the body in females)
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Cyclical headaches
- Breast tenderness
- Development of breast tissue in males
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of bone mass
You have symptoms without a clear cause:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Pain, stiffness, and tenderness
- Excess sweating
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Increased heart rate
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Testing for Hormone Imbalance
With such a wide range of symptoms that are linked to imbalanced hormones, it can be hard to know what’s at the root of your health issues. For the most comprehensive understanding of your body’s hormone levels, consider getting bloodwork done to assess your body’s current levels of the most essential hormones. In most cases, you’ll want to opt for a complete thyroid panel (one that includes free T3 and T4) and a sex hormone panel based on your gender.
While some tests can be ordered online, it’s best to speak with your trusted healthcare professional to determine what tests to use. At Wellnest Denver, we’re happy to help you determine the most appropriate tests for your conditions.
4 Steps to Balancing Your Hormones Naturally
Whether you know you have a certain hormone imbalance, you suspect hormone imbalance may be at the root of your issues, or you simply want to maintain a healthy hormone balance now and in the future, these four steps will help you thrive.
1. Eliminate hormone disruptors.
The first step to creating a better hormone balance is to clear the air – literally and figuratively! We live in a toxic world – from environmental toxins to unhealthy foods to stress-inducing schedules, our lives are full of things that can set our hormones off balance. We may not be able to completely eliminate these triggers, but we can make big changes with a few tiny changes. Here’s how:
Swap toxic household products with healthier alternatives.
Many of the chemicals and compounds used in household products, candles, and air fresheners are endocrine disruptors, meaning they throw our hormones off balance. These days there are many natural products that do just as great a job. Check out this list for the top items to swap.
Plastic can also interfere with hormones. Avoid using plastic whenever possible, especially with food or drinks. Replace plastic food containers with glass, stainless steel, or bamboo alternatives.
Clear out conventional self-care products.
Unfortunately, some of our favorite personal care products (like shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, cleansers, makeup, nail polish, and creams) contain harmful compounds that disrupt our hormone balance and increase our body’s toxic load. Swap with all-natural alternatives that make self-care fun and nourishing.
Simplify your life.
Excessive stress is a major cause of hormone imbalance as well as a host of troubling health issues. Where possible, remove yourself from your most stressful commitments. Limit contact with people or experiences that cause you stress. Find your focus by doing less.
2. Restore balance with acupuncture.
One of acupuncture’s most impressive claims to fame is its ability to balance hormones. This has made acupuncture a go-to therapy for those experiencing menopause symptoms, fertility challenges, menstrual pain, thyroid conditions, metabolic conditions, and more.
But you don’t have to have a diagnosed medical condition to benefit from the hormone balancing benefits of acupuncture. Here’s how acupuncture can help you restore balance, no matter your conditions:
Acupuncture reduces cortisol to reduce stress.
Excessive stress leads to excessive cortisol. And too much cortisol in the system can lead to a range of health issues such as insomnia, acne, anxiety, weight gain, and more. Acupuncture has been proven to reduce cortisol to a healthy level and naturally boost the body’s resilience to stress. With less stress, the body naturally returns to a more stable hormone balance across the board.
Acupuncture improves melatonin production to improve sleep-wake cycles.
Melatonin is the hormone that helps you fall asleep soundly at night. Studies show that this bedtime hormone may also have an impact on our mood, anxiety levels, and even fertility. Acupuncture can increase the body’s nighttime melatonin levels, making it easier for you to relax and fall asleep on time to get the rest you need. But this doesn’t just mean you’ll benefit from more melatonin – better sleep means a better hormone balance overall.
Acupuncture moderates sex hormones to improve reproductive health.
Acupuncture is one of the best natural therapies for regulating female reproductive health and offers amazing results for women hoping to conquer conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, menopause, or who are trying to conceive. Even in healthy women, acupuncture can maintain a healthy menstrual cycle and prevent issues from developing in the future. Because our sex hormones have a strong influence on our mood, skin quality, aging, and more, the effects of acupuncture have a holistic and wide range of health benefits.
3. Eat for Balance.
Food has the power to make or break your health, especially when it comes to hormones. To make sure we’re striking the perfect hormone balance to stay healthy and happy, here are a few diet tips:
Eat enough protein.
Protein is necessary to keep ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger, in check. Experts recommend 20-30g of protein at each meal to maintain a healthy, yet balanced appetite and prevent overeating.
Say no to refined sugar.
Sadly, sugar is no good for our hormone balance. Excess sugar and refined carbs cause the hormone insulin to skyrocket, which can eventually lead to issues like insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with a range of health issues including PCOS and weight gain. Sugar has also been shown to cause adrenaline and cortisol surges which can lead to anxiety, fatigue, acne, and brain fog.
Load up on foods that balance hormones.
Nature knows best. Filling your plate with fresh plant-based whole foods is a great way to keep hormone levels balanced. Here are some of the most delicious, hormone-balancing foods to enjoy:
Foods that Balance Sex Hormones
- Wild salmon
- Sunflower Seeds
- Flax Seeds
Foods that Balance Thyroid Hormones
- Brazil Nuts
Foods that Balance Adrenal & Stress Hormones
- Bell Peppers
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sea Salt
4. Live in Balance.
Finally, the last step is to maintain your results and live in balance. Adopt healthy habits that keep your mind, body, and hormones in balance. Most of these habits are related to keeping stress low and your body functioning optimally:
- Exercise daily or at least 3-4 times per week.
- Stay hydrated with fresh water.
- Meditate or practice mindfulness to relieve stress.
- Prioritize your sleep.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day to refocus.
- Keep up with regular acupuncture visits to maintain a healthy balance.
Achieve Better Hormone Balance with Wellnest Denver Acupuncture
Balancing your hormones is often about balancing your life. When we take the necessary steps to improve our health and wellbeing, our hormones can easily fall back into a natural state of health.
If you’ve been struggling with frustrating or unresolved health issues, hormone balance could be at the root. At Wellnest Denver, we use Chinese medicine’s ancient healing principles on balance and research-backed therapies to get to the root of your health issues.
Your body can return to balance with the right wellness plan. Schedule your consultation today!