PCOS is an endocrine disorder usually diagnosed through the identification of a combination of symptoms commonly including but not limited to:
- absent or irregular periods
- hormone imbalances (commonly: elevated testosterone and decreased progesterone )
- insulin resistance
- excess weight or obesity
- cysts on the ovaries
- unwanted hair growth (hirsutism)
- skin tags
Not only are most of these symptoms highly unfavorable, but having PCOS increases the female’s risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, endometrial cancer, miscarriage, preterm delivery and more.
In a world teeming with endocrine disruptors, the exact causes of PCOS are not known, however scientists believe there is a strong hereditary component involved as well as stress management. Additionally, we know a driving factor is the presence of insulin resistance, which itself can be caused by a multitude of influences.
Conventional treatments for PCOS include lifestyle modifications, birth control, diabetes medications and fertility medications. These treatments, while addressing some of the individual symptoms of PCOS, rarely impress upon the underlying causes of the condition and often leave patients with undesired side effects.
Naturopathic medicine is EXTREMELY effective in treating PCOS in a way that addresses and corrects the underlying causes of the disease. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be overweight or have cysts on your ovaries to have PCOS. The hormonal and endocrine dysfunction can be present in lean females. However, these females are still likely to have at least a few of the other symptoms and almost always have insulin resistance. Needless to say, every case of PCOS can look a little different and we make it our prerogative to treat each patient according to her individual needs. In general, when treating PCOS we address hormone balance and metabolism using Precision Hormone Testing. They test free and metabolized hormones in the body, which is extremely important when analyzing a hormone profile and developing a treatment plan. Check out their website for some valuable hormone information. In addition, we look at cardiovascular and metabolic health, explore any underlying gut issues and of course, address the insulin resistance. In our clinic, PCOS is commonly treated with herbs and supplements. Inositol is a nutritional component we supplement that is highly effective in treating and correcting insulin resistance. Herbal supplements are effective in supporting the adrenal glands and herbs in the form of biotherapeutic drainage are highly effective to normalize testosterone levels and the overall balancing of hormones. Click here to read more information on biotherapeutic drainage.
Since it's PCOS awareness month, I challenge you to be more aware of your body. If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, don't ignore it. We can help!. Contact Revive Naturopathic Medicine today to learn more about how you can get your hormones in check!
Here are several studies and medical journal articles corroborating the scientific evidence behind the treatment of PCOS with inositol:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome ( PCOS ) Fact Sheet. (2014, December 23). Retrieved September 4, 2015, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html#b
Stafford Mador, L. (2013, March 3). Treating PCOS Naturally. Retrieved September 7, 2015, from http://cms.herbalgram.org/heg/volume10/03March/PCOSherbs.html
By: Katie Koniakowsky