Hormones! They haven’t got the greatest reputation and are commonly associated with crazy irrational behaviour. However, these little chemical messengers are incredibly important. And have the complex job of maintaining proper body function such as metabolism, growth development, reproduction, sleep and mood. There are different glands that produce hormones including the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes, fat tissue, kidneys and the gut.
The glands are located all over your body. And there are over 70 hormones acting on their individual target receptors on organs and enacting change so that your body is kept in balance. This system, the endocrine system, is a tightly regulated system and when there is too much or not enough of a specific hormone it can cause numerous issues.
Common signs of hormonal imbalance are not limited to but include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Weight gain/unintentional weight loss
- Irregular menstruation
- Dry skin/hair
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety, nervousness
So if you have identified with a few of these signs here are 5 ways to help your body’s endocrine function.
- Get enough protein Most people I see in the clinic are not getting enough protein in their diet. And it’s essential in balancing the metabolic hormones such as insulin and leptin. Make sure you are getting a minimum of 20-30 g of protein per meal.
- Get moving Exercise has endless health benefits and affects your hormones in various ways. Studies have shown it improve metabolism through modulating insulin sensitivity and levels. In addition it has been shown to boost hormones that decline naturally with age.
- Get enough rest
I speak about sleep in most of my articles but it really is paramount in good health. Sleep can influence your cortisol, insulin, leptin and growth hormones affecting your stress response, metabolism and musculoskeletal growth and recovery.
Prioritise sleep and set up good bed time habits to ensure you get at least 8 hrs of quality sleep.
4. Get out of your head
The all pervasive effects of stress in our society can lead to our bodies being constantly in the state of stress. This leads to our stress hormone, cortisol, being elevated which can lead to weight retention around the belly, and obesity.
Make it a habit to set aside 10-15 mins of your day to do some yoga, meditation, or mindful walking.
5. Get acupuncture and herbs
Finally, acupuncture and herbs can help kickstart, reinforce and sustain the good habits you implement.
Research has shown it’s many effects on regulating the endocrine system, reducing stress, improving sleep and metabolism.
Through a course of sessions I work with each patient by looking at their lifestyle and environment and making the necessary changes. Most of my patients see positive changes in their sleep, digestion, metabolism and menses within a few weeks of treatment.
Written by Dr. Rebekah Loh
Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist
Rebekah is a super qualified and enthusiastic practitioner. She has a double degree in Health Science and Chinese Medicine she also has a degree in Biomedical Science. Rebekah completed further study in hospital internships in Nanjing, China and Taichung, Taiwan. She speaks English (fluent), Mandarin Chinese (intermediate) & Cantonese (beginner).
Rebekah can help with a whole range of conditions, and she is particularly passionate about women’s health, obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility.
In her spare time, Rebekah likes to play Futsal, Badminton and Viola.
Rebekah is available:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday.
Call (03) 9486 5966