What is PCOS?
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is one of the leading causes of female infertility. It is also a common problem among women, ranging from 10 to 25% of the female population are diagnosed with it.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
Hair on the chin or belly
Hair loss/male pattern hair loss
Cysts on the ovaries
The name PCOS is confusing because the diagnosis does not require cysts to be seen on the ovaries. There is no specific PCOS test but is diagnosed by excluding other diseases and then meeting two criteria:
Irregular cycles (less then 21 days or greater than 35 days)
Evidence of excess male hormones (blood work or physical signs of hirsutism)
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What causes PCOS?
PCOS is a metabolic problem. The root cause is insulin resistance and inflammation that turn on genes in a predisposed person. Think family history of diabetes, thyroid disease, etc.
Insulin is the hormone that regulates our blood sugars. When our body secretes insulin but the cells are resistant than the body produces more insulin. The excess sugar not being metabolized leads to weight gain. And the excess insulin causes androgens to be produced. The excess androgens (male hormones) lead to hair loss, acne, weight gain, and infertility. The high male hormones inhibit ovulation leading to infertility.
Inflammation is caused by environmental factors such as endocrine disrupting chemicals, poor diet, and lifestyle factors. Excessive inflammation causes oxidative stress and the body can not repair itself like it should leading to gut issues, mood issues, and chronic diseases.
How do I treat it without the pill?
Unfortunately, most health care providers offer the pill only. I prescribe the pill and for women who want to use it, no problem. The issue in my mind is it masks the symptoms and people feel better but never treat then underlying cause. Eventually, it will need to be addressed. But if you do not want to be on a pill that is ok.
Natural treatment of PCOS starts with treating the root cause of PCOS: inflammation and insulin resistance.
Treatment of PCOS includes nutrition, lifestyle, and supplementation.
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I use my T.H.R.I.V.E. protocol to help women with balancing their hormones naturally.
Pay attention to your body. What are your symptoms? Hair loss, weight gain, irregular cycles, PMS. Journaling is a fantastic way to record what is going on with your body. Knowing your body is key to making the right changes.
Then when you implement a PCOS specific nutrition plan, then you can see what symptoms improve. My PCOS nutrition plan is based upon the anti-inflammatory diet. For a quick start, check out my FREE GUIDE 5 ways to detox for your hormones.
How you can choose the right exercise for your body. Did you know based upon where you are in your cycle, you should focus on certain exercises. This is called cycle syncing, to learn more, click here.
Rewire your brain and body
It is very difficult to reverse the symptoms of PCOS. Mindset work to accept the diagnosis, learn about what works FOR YOUR BODY, and how to make those changes can be challenging. You have to learn to accept the NEW YOU! And love your NEW BODY! This will decrease stress and then lower inflammation and make you even healthier. I believe in the mind-body connection and work with my clients on mindfulness work.
And also learning how to have an attitude of gratitude.
Integrate all three pillars of health: nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset with a health care professional. Health coaches like me are invaluable in helping you take the necessary steps. Want to work with me, click here.
Celebrate the small wins on the journey to wellness. Baby steps as we say are so important.