Many of you might wonder how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help with endocrine disorders. Well, look no further! At Naturna, we specialize in treating many syndromes and disorders linked to fertility issues, one of which is polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, and we’d love to help!
For those of you who don’t know, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder in which there is an imbalance of sex hormones. The causes of PCOS vary from woman to woman, which makes it very complex to diagnose and treat. In some cases of PCOS, the woman’s ovaries may be covered in small cysts, hence the name “poly (multiple) cystic.” PCOS is the most common reproductive endocrine disease with a prevalence of 5-10% in women of reproductive age (Lauritsen et al., 2014). And good news – here at Naturna, we definitely offer acupuncture treatment for women with PCOS!
Symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular periods
- Excess androgen
- Polycystic ovaries
- Weight gain
- Trouble conceiving or infertility
- Insulin resistance
- Changes in mood
- Low sex drive
- Low HDL cholesterol
- Male pattern hair growth
- Deepening of voice
The primary goal in the treatment of PCOS is to increase insulin sensitivity, which can be done through dietary modification, sleep routine changes, and acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine.
- Diet: we want you on a low-sugar and nutrient-dense diet! This includes the following foods: kale, broccoli, asparagus, beans, lentils, grapefruit, apples, walnuts, and almonds. Eating more fiber rich foods like celery, dark leafy greens, artichokes, chia and flax seeds, avocado, and sweet potatoes will also help.
- Things to avoid: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, packaged and processed foods, unhealthy fats like sunflower or corn oil, and dairy or gluten products.
- Reduce stress: stress increases cortisol, which upsets the insulin balance and leads to whole body chaos. Lower stress by spending time in nature, doing yoga, meditating, or journaling.
- Get enough sleep: the general recommendation is to sleep seven to nine hours of sleep per night for hormone regulation and stress control.
Acupuncture also helps in PCOS treatment by increasing blood flow to the ovaries, reducing the number of ovarian cysts, and increasing insulin sensitivity. Chinese herbal medicine can help too! In one particular case study, PCOS was treated with two sets of Chinese herbal formulae to benefit both the liver and ovary function, and the woman with PCOS was able to achieve pregnancy and a healthy live birth (Qu & Ong, 2015).
If you or someone you know would like to receive acupuncture treatment and dietary counseling on PCOS, our acupuncturists are so well-versed in different types of treatment that we’re confident we’ll find the right fit for you! Want to learn more? Schedule an initial consultation and acupuncture appointment with us today!
Lauritsen, M. P., Bentzen, J. G., Pinborg, A., Loft, A., Forman, J. L., Thuesen, L. L., … & Nyboe Andersen, A. (2014). The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a normal population according to the Rotterdam criteria versus revised criteria including anti-Müllerian hormone. Human reproduction, 29(4), 791-801.
Qu, X., & Ong, M. (2015). Successful treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and infertility with Chinese herbal medicine: A case report. Endocrinology and Metabolic Syndrome.