Hormone Imbalance and Fatigue
Stress, anxiety and fatigue are common symptoms of modern-day living which are not often addressed until symptoms worsen to the point of affecting work and family life. A common tale is “I use to have lots of energy, now I’m just exhausted all the time”. Acupuncture is great tool to relieve stress, anxiety or fatigue. With a customised Acupuncture Track, we look at the root cause of these symptoms and help you get back to your best self.
Our body reacts with stress; the sympathetic nerve system turns on. It’s also called ‘fight or flight response’ or the acute stress response. A large portion of the blood supply is diverted to the muscle tissues, and our heart rate goes up to pump more blood. This reaction is meant to be reserved for immediate and physical threats however we are seeing more and more people suffering chronic conditions as a result of their fight or flight remaining actively engaged over a prolonged period of time. Increased blood flow to the muscle tissues naturally reduces blood supply to the gastrointestinal system, because digesting food matters very little when we are in life or death situation. Thus, digestive issues arise such as loss of appetite, heartburn, bloating and acid reflux altogether with sleep problem from being very alert to changes (confronting stress or a bear) to the surroundings.
The acute stress response can also put an enormous strain on the immune system and can cause severe hormone imbalances. The over production of cortisol and other stress hormones can interfere with the normal production of other ‘everyday’ hormones such as insulin and oestrogen, and results in a domino effect of ailments throughout the body.
Our treatment protocol begins the diagnostics process through a customised patient history and detailed assessment of physical symptoms. Treatment typically requires three to six months of continuous care
Fatigue comes in many forms and has many causes, but severe debilitating fatigue should first be reviewed by your General Practitioner to rule out the more serious causes. Other causes of fatigue include obesity, sleep disorders, adrenal malfunction, blood sugar imbalances, hormonal imbalances, digestive system disorders, improper diet, food allergies, latent viruses (chronic fatigue, Esptein Barr) and the list goes on and on.
The most important factor in treating fatigue is determining the primary cause of imbalance in the body and using acupuncture, nutrition, hormone profiling, or supplementation to correct it. General lifestyle tips for beating simple fatigue include obtaining adequate rest (this is an obvious one, but the majority of patients are not getting the necessary 7 hours per night), balanced stress, exercise moderately, eat a healthy balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. If making these changes does not improve your lack of energy, additional help from acupuncture and natural medicine may be necessary.
Try to map out your fatigue; take notice if it comes on at a certain time every day for instance. If energy improves after 3pm followed by difficulty falling asleep, the adrenal glands may be imbalanced. If fatigue occurs after meals, a digestive disorder or food allergy could be implicated. If fatigue is constant and unrelenting, a chronic virus or hormonal imbalance may be at fault.
Your fatigue will be address by evaluating your complete health history, determining the cause of fatigue, and developing a customised treatment plan to address your specific constitution and imbalances.
Acupuncture and Thyroid Conditions
Acupuncture for hypothyroid conditions is an increasingly popular treatment as more people in the West begin to embrace the medical knowledge of the East. The World Health Organization now recognises that thyroid problems can be effectively treated with acupuncture.
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for improving the immune system. Since hypothyroidism is a condition usually caused by an immune system malfunction or the effects of medication, it makes sense that acupuncture would be effective. Stimulation of the Qi (pronounced chee) and the kidneys can help regulate energy flow, stimulate the immune system and strengthen the blood. Acupuncture can also be useful for treating symptoms of hypothyroidism, even if the condition itself is not addressed in the treatment. For instance, acupuncture is noted for reducing the stress response, lowering blood pressure, increasing energy and causing recipients to feel more relaxed, all of which are helpful for a person with hypothyroid.
It can also help with aches and pains, hay fever and allergies, even some of the menstrual abnormalities that may come with hypothyroid.
How does acupuncture help with weight loss
In order to achieve meaningful weight loss, lifestyle changes have to be made and acupuncture can help people with this. People are often concerned about a lack of energy, increased stress levels, and difficulty coping with the pain that can occur when starting a new exercise regime. Acupuncture can be incredibly helpful with weight loss as it helps increase a person’s energy levels helping them maintain motivation to exercise. It also relieves the pain that they feel as a result of exercising.
It can be useful to balance metabolic conditions that results in weight gain and increase the body’s metabolism, reduces food cravings, and improve circulation. More specifically, acupuncture has been found to reduce both weight and cholesterol levels by mobilising energy stores. Acupuncture also helps to regulate sleep, and this is also majorly beneficial for weight loss. This is because regular sleeping patterns sustain the body throughout the day, help to maintain a balanced lifestyle, and allow the metabolism to find a balanced and steady rhythm to cope with the gradual changes made.
Acupuncture typically uses acu-points in the ear for both weight loss and the general detoxification of the body, however there are other specific points in the body that can also be used. This is why it is so important to have a detailed consultation with your acupuncturist. The acupuncturist needs to know your eating habits in order to ascertain digestive problems as well as your appetite. They will also check your pulses to determine your general energy states and measure the state of the stomach energy. The tongue is also checked for cracks and yellow or white coatings. These provide clues to the person’s condition and the reasons for gaining weight.