What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS can be categorized as a metabolic disorder that causes with hormone imbalance creating a vicious cycle of weight gain and hormone issues. In fact, PCOS is known as the most common forms of hormone imbalance in women. Most symptoms include: Irregular menstrual cycles, bloating, weight gain, hirsutism (Unwanted hair growth), alopecia (balding) and acne.
The conventional medicine model, more often than not, will treat by prescribing birth control or metformin to alleviate PCOS symptoms. Surprisingly, I have yet to meet a patient who has reported that their primary care doctor discussed diet changes, exercise or other modalities to help with symptoms. But what I can tell you is that each and every single one of these patients have been prescribed oral contraceptive pills and/or sometimes metformin.
The effort on their part is to try and regulate these women's periods in order to relieve their symptoms of irregular menstrual cycles. But, what they’re doing is regulating bleeding and not ovulation. The pill is only mimicking the menstrual cycle. Consequently, these women believe they have a regular cycle because they bleed regularly.
And, many of these patients have been on birth control for years before seeking a functional medicine provider.
How to alleviate PCOS
Mindfulness techniques such as meditation, yoga and breathing techniques help to reduce stress and stress reduction has been studied to help many different conditions. The psychoneuroendocrinology immunology means that each and every one of our cells and organs and our mind is all connected in everything our body does. Therefore, if we are constantly stressed, which I know majority of us are, the side effect of that stress can and will affect our cells, our nervous system and brain and our overall health and well-being. So keeping our stress at bay will help to start alleviate many many of our issues. This shows the interconnection which can throw us off balance, hormonally, metabolically, psychologically, immunologically and well, you get the picture. It’s all connected. Get your mind right and the rest will fall into place.
Majority of our PCOS patients have constipation and or bloating. Stool testing is crucial in identifying and treating problems that could be the root of the issues. The human microbiome works to help our body regulate androgens and other hormones. It aides with immune system, digestion, gut lining, helps to process certain vitamins and more! When our microbiome is off balance, we call that dysbiosis. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) has also been identified in the majority of PCOS patients. This is when the small intestines get invaded by bacteria that should not be there. So testing testing testing then treating these issues are of the utmost importance to start with your treatment.
Identify some other Root Cause Issues-
Roots Wellness will do comprehensive testing to identify biomarkers that tell us what is going on in the body. What will be identified with PCOS? Secondary to subjective reports of irregular periods is: elevated blood sugar levels, and A1C, higher insulin levels, elevated cholesterol, high androgens such as DHEA-s, Testosterone and DHT. There might be cortisol issues and thyroid issues that caused changes in this patients menstrual cycles; so always check thyroid and cortisol. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies must be addressed. For instance, vitamin D is more of a hormone than a vitamin. So keeping optimal levels of vitamin D is going to help keep hormones in check. Magnesium, B vitamins, zinc is a must to help treat. I can talk forever about that but that’s for another day.
What to do next?
Lower stress. Try mindfulness and exercise, fix insulin resistance, low carb diet and make an appointment with a functional medicine provider who will not only identify the root cause but help with treatment to regulate blood sugar, menstrual cycle and balance hormones. A trained functional medicine provider will discuss specific protocols for diet, gut health and hormone balance which will help the PCOS patient with weight, have less gut symptoms, alleviate hirsutism (unwanted hair), scalp hair thinning/balding and more.
Roots Wellness is here for you. Book your appointment via Tele-medicine or in person.