PCOS: What you need to know.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition that results in enlarged ovaries with many partially formed follicles on the ovaries, which each contain an egg. The word "Polycystic" literally translates as ‘many cysts’.
Having PCOS can be a very stressful condition as the symptoms can be quite severe. Woman with PCOS may get extreme acne breakouts and may even grow facial hair. This is because this condition creates high levels of testosterone within the body. Consequently woman with PCOS then may have problems with fertility, either they don't have periods, never had a period or they get very erratic or shortened cycles.
So what are the common factors to contribute to PCOS?
Here are some of them, you might be surprised why!
Man-made Chemicals and Toxins
Sadly we get them from almost everything that we use and eat every day!
From the processed foods that we eat, the products that we use in our house, and even to the cosmetic products we put on our bodies.
What these chemicals do is they disrupt your whole hormonal system (not just your ovaries). Our bodies produce 150 hormones! Man-made chemicals are called "xenoestrogens or hormone disruptors" because they act like estrogen in the body "disrupting" your natural hormone balance. Therefore, it's essential to stop using commercially produced personal care and cleaning products and start using eco friendly and natural options instead.
Stress really does affects your hormones in a bad way. Our bodies are designed to cope with periods of short-term stress (days to weeks) but not long-term (months to years). When long-term stress is occuring your body will prioritize making stress the hormone (cortisol) over sex hormones as its in survival mode. When we are in survival mode there is NO time for baby making, so out go the nice high levels of progesterone required for making babies and having a regular cycle. Ever wondered why you don't feel like having sex when your stressed? This stress mechanism is the reason why. What we need to do here is make some lifestyle changes: such as cutting our hours at work, learning to say no, learning to meditate and breathing deeply. Booking in regular time to relax, chillout and out turn off is essentail in today's busy world.
Problems with Blood Sugar Management and Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is often playing in the background of PCOS. The easiest way to think of this is it's kind of like pre-diabetes and your body maybe having problems managing the sugar levels in your blood. Metabolic syndrome is characterised by the following indicators: abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia due to impaired glucose metabolism, high blood pressure, and abnormal blood lipid levels. The great news is that metabolic syndrome can usually be balanced though diet and lifestyle changes.
So what else can we do about it???
Diet, Sleep, and Exercise!
Diet: When we've got this problem our mission is to relieve the bodies burden so it can start to heal itself. Having a healthy and clean diet is the first step as this is how we get the vitamins and nutrients that our body needs to be healthy and to be able to heal itself.
The way to do this is to eat a lot of veggies (pesticide free where possible), get away from alcohol, away from processed food, sugar, bad fats etc. Stop eating all that stuff we know isn't good for us.
Sleep: The average adult needs 7 hours of good quality sleep per night for healthy hormone production and overall health and wellbeing. So if your sleep is disrupted or problematic this is the first place to start.
Exercise: It doesn't matter what type but we all need to move every day! When you exercise your insulin will start to work better and the sugars in your blood will be used to make energy and not stored as fat :) So just by working on these things, you can make a really big difference.
There's a whole other conversation around the pill, and other synthetic hormones commonly used to treat PCOS but that's for another post. However the basic message here is Don't Go There. I know it makes the symptoms appear to be better, but what it is actually doing is completely overloading the liver and this makes all hormonal problems worse... it's silently escalating the whole problem without you realising it.
There are lots of natural herbs and vitamins that can help. There's often pathogens such as bacteria, parasites and fungus that are also in the mix. It is a syndrome, so just keep in mind that there are multiple things going on at one time, and it's complex. Therefore, working with a skilled practitioner is recommended.
If you want to talk to me about how I maybe able to help you please book yourself in for a free 30 minute balance appointment or come join my 3 month online hormone reset program.