Polycystic ovarian syndrome generally affects women of childbearing age. Studies have shown that PCOS is responsible for 70% cause of infertility in women.
It affects around 5 – 10% of women of reproductive age. Another study performed in the United States of America reported that 5 million women of childbearing age suffer from PCOS.
What Really is PCOS?
It’s an endocrine disorder of the female ovary associated with hormonal imbalance (hyperandrogenism); insulin resistance, acne, hirsutism, high blood sugar level, irregular periods and lack of ovulation.
Common Causes of PCOS:
- Endocrine-disrupting chemicals exposure
- Hyperinsulinemia (high level of insulin)
- Poor food choices (high glycemic index food)
- Chronic inflammation
- Genetic predisposition (hereditary)
- High-stress level (cortisol)
What are The Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Before treating polycystic ovarian syndrome identifying the symptoms and also performing a pelvic ultrasound scan is of paramount importance and supports in ensuring a proper and definitive diagnosis.
Below are the common signs and symptoms of PCOS:
- Excess Androgen:
There’s increased levels of androgen with features such as alopecia, excess facial and body hairs known as hirsutism.
- Irregular menstrual periods:
This is the commonest symptom of PCOS and results to prolong menstrual period for more than 35 days, or the inability to menstruate for 4 months or longer.
- Polycystic ovaries (fluid-filled cysts):
There is a multiple of fluid-filled sacs visualized on the ovaries, which is a strong clinical indication for identifying PCOS in a reproductive-age woman.
Other Symptoms of PCOS:
- Obesity: There is weight gain due to insulin resistance and the inability of the body to make use of available glucose.
- Acne: This is due to the circulating excess androgen
- Infertility: Due to androgen resulting to lack of ovulation and miscarriage, as a result of low or deficient progesterone hormone secretion.
- Depression (mood changes)
- Low sex drive (poor libido)
- High cholesterol (could lead to heart diseases)
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Acanthosis Nigricans (dark spots under the armpits, neck etc.)
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Risk of developing DM 2
- High risk of developing heart disease
How to Treat Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:
To treat PCOS, Gynaecologist usually prescribe medications such as Metformin to lower blood sugar level by increasing insulin sensitivity to cell receptors and Clomid to induce ovulation, without addressing the root causes.
Although this intervention has worked and helped a handful of couples to conceive, however, recent findings have shown that subjecting the female ovary to several cycles of Clomiphene Citrate comes with adverse effects like reduces the quantity and quality of a woman’s cervical mucus and thins your womb lining due to its anti-estrogenic effects.
When a woman does not secret alkaline-rich cervical mucus which occurs towards ovulation, this creates difficulty in falling pregnant as this special fluid is very necessary for transporting male sperm cells into the womb, and fallopian tubes for a good chance at conception.
Natural Treatment Intervention for Treating PCOS:
- Eat Foods with Low Glucose Value:
PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system with a cascade of symptoms and insulin resistance, going on a diet with a low GI will help prevent sudden sugar spike.
The amount of carbohydrate intake should be in a lesser proportion taken alongside with a high protein diet (1:3) to allow for slow absorption and metabolism of sugar.
Examples of foods with low glycemic index:
Also cut off poor food choices laden with artificial sweeteners, preservatives and saturated oil, such as:
– Corn syrup
– White potatoes
– Starchy foods
– Packaged and processed foods
– Hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils (soybean, sunflower, corn)
– Common sensitivity, dairy products, and gluten
- Eliminate Chemical Toxins:
Toxins are endocrine disruptive chemicals we get from foods (processed and packaged food); personal care products, the air we breathe and water etc. Endocrine disruptive chemicals interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism or elimination of the body’s natural hormones; they do so by binding to tissues cell receptors thereby mimicking the action of the normal hormones leading to disruption in the normal endocrine activities.
Examples of Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals:
– Dry cleaning chemicals (chlorine)
– Bisphenol-A (used in can foods)
– Phthalates (used in making plastics)
The effective way to eliminate the above chemicals toxins Endocrine disruptive chemicals is by doing a fertility cleanse or detoxification, a natural blend of phytonutrients and high potent antioxidants that help to mop up these chemicals out of the body for elimination.
- Consume High Nutrient Diets:
Foods high in nutrients are essentially needed to treat PCOS naturally and improve the associated symptoms. The goal of these nutrients is to introduce vital minerals and vitamins to boost your immune health and combat ongoing inflammatory activities due to stress and insulin resistance.
Foods rich in nutrients are:
– Green veggies (kale, spinach etc.)
– Essential fatty acids (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil etc.)
– Nuts (chia, hemp, almonds, walnuts)
- Reduce Stress:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome natural treatment focuses on stress management via the mind-body connection therapy approach. Stress being a hallmark symptom of PCOS due to secretion of cortisol worsens the condition by causing inflammatory and hormonal imbalance.
To effectively address the issue of stress the following therapies are recommended:
– Yoga exercise
– Mindful meditation
– Adequate sleep (for cell generation and hormone production)
– Adaptogen Herb (plant-based remedy for stress reduction)
- Weight management:
Most PCOS sufferers are overweight, this is, as a result of poor insulin absorption and high circulating cortisol both leading to excessive weight gain.
The best ways you manage your weight and burn off excess pounds is through physical exercise which aids insulin absorption and sensitivity across your cell receptors.
However, too much exercise or high-intensity exercise should be avoided which can lead to stress-induced inflammation and could worsen the PCOS.
- Go Natural:
The ultimate goal for treating PCOS effectively is to reduce blood glucose due to insulin resistance; restore hormones imbalance (androgen) and achieve a regular ovulation. Hence, Adaptogens or herbal remedy has been found very effective in achieving these objectives goal by working in harmony and supporting your body to naturally restore hormonal imbalance and correct insulin sensitivity gently.
But most importantly, avoiding the root causes and risk factors for developing PCOS is of paramount importance, as the symptoms of PCOS can still recur even after a successful treatment if you further indulge in lifestyle habits, or eat unhealthy food choices that could aggravate PCOS.
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