PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal disorder. It is a complex disorder involving hormone balance, as well as genetic, metabolic, nutritional and emotional factors. 

One of the main causes of PCOS is insulin dysregulation, resulting in chronically high insulin and blood sugar levels. Naturopathic Medicine focuses on treating the root cause of PCOS.

ABOUT

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition that can cause a number of issues resulting in mental and physical symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body hair, scalp hair loss, acne, obesity, reduced fertility, low self-esteem acne and obesity, It can also have other serious consequences increasing the risk of diabetes, heart attack, type 2 diabetes and endometrial cancer. It is the most common endocrine abnormality seen in reproductive-aged women, with an estimated 1 in 10 women in the UK being affected by it. Similar to endometriosis, women with PCOS will often consult a number of different doctors over several years before an accurate diagnosis is made. However,  diagnosis, and symptomatic relief, can be found sooner when health professionals know what to look for.

At the Integrative Nutrition clinic, our practitioners are adept with this condition and understand the signs of PCOS and use functional diagnostic testing to help you find the answers you’re looking for.

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PCOS text is written on a tablet lying o

CAUSES

Many patients with PCOS present with imbalanced hormones and ovarian dysfunction which can lead to infrequent periods or even complete lack of them. However, it is important to note that PCOS is not the only cause of failure to menstruate, and other causes must always be excluded.  One of the main causes of PCOS due to diet-induced insulin resistance with up to 95% experiencing this. Insuling resistance prevents from performing its function of transferring glucose from the bloodstream into the cells where it can be used for energy,  

 

What ensues is elevated levels of insulin and glucose circulating in the blood which cause inflammation throughout the body and, of course, a higher amount of glucose we don’t use is stored as fat. Furthermore, the high circulating insulin causes increased estrogen and androgens which cause low SHBG which increases free Testosterone. This creates a  cycle of more and more male hormones being made and further imbalances. This can lead to a number of issues including excessive body hair (hirsutism), male pattern hair loss involving the scalp, and a muscular male-like figure.  

 

The other consistent causes that have been identified among people with PCOS include genetics, hormones levels, diet and lifestyle factors.

SYMPTOMS

Weight gain, particulary around the abdomen

Thinning hair on the head

Acne

Irregular menses

Non-restorative sleep

Infertility 

Inflammation

PCOS Treatment: Common & Conventional Approaches

The conventional medicine approach to managing PCOS often involves addressing each of the different signs and symptoms separately such as irregular periods, acne, excess hair, acne, obesity and fertility challenges. This can include.

  • Oral Contraceptive Pill 

  • Gonadotrophins: 

  • Surgery 

  • Weight loss drugs: 

  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs:  

  • Acne medication 

  • Metformin 

OUR TREATMENT

Our approach to  PCOS is also multifaceted, where we look to address the underlying causes of the condtion rather than masking symptoms with a band-aid.  We will use diagnostic testing with some of the latest gold standard testing to determine which systems are out of balance including liver health, hormone levels, adrenal and thyroid function and personalise a plan depending on your health history, symptoms and test results.

Balance Blood Sugars: We can use specific supplements to lower blood sugar in addition to some dietary and lifestyle changes which will positively impact blood sugar levels.

Supporting thyroid function: An underactive thyroid increases the risk of PCOS. One of the main minerals for thyroid and ovary health is Iodine Iodine so increasing the intake of this nutrient with supplements or foods, such as seaweed may be beneficial for PCOS. 

Balancing hormones: Hormone health is a very important to the health of the ovaries, as they regulate periods, reduce body hair growth, and improve skin health.

Our practitioners may support hormonal balance with various supplements, which have been found to stimulate aromatase which converts testosterone to oestrogen. Our practitioners will also look at specific supplements in conjunction with folate to reduce testosterone and hormone-related acne and hair growth issues.

Weight loss: Weight loss is very important and is it will improve insulin resistance, which will aid hormonal balance and reduce blood glucose levels. As well as getting regular physical exercise, healthy weight loss can also be supported with a low glycemic diet rich in whole foods avoiding inflammatory and highly allergenic foods.

Stress Reduction: We know the devasting chronic stress which leads to adrenal dysfunction, releasing stress hormones which elevate androgens. This in turns leads a number of issues including mood disorders, acne, hair growth, weight gain, 

creates a vicious cycle which contributes to mood disorders, weight gain, acne, fertility issues and unwanted hair growth, while also causing fatigue which in turn makes it difficult to exercise. Our practitioners can work with you to personalise a protocol helping you improve moods, help overcome stress and improve energy levels through a combination of lifestyle changes including improved sleep, relaxation and optimising the diet.

Book a discovery call today