Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS

PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women (12-45years). For many women it is asymptomatic, which means you might not have any symptoms.

So what is it? It is when cysts grow on the ovaries, causing an imbalance of your hormones needed to ovulate or produce a healthy and regular period. This is why it is one of the leading causes of infertility.The following symptoms are potential indicators of PCOS:

PCOS
  • Irregular or no periods
  • Infertility
  • Low libido
  • Acne
  • Hirsutism (excess hair growth)
  • Weight gain
  • Sugar cravings
  • Ovarian pain

 

 

Treatment

The good news is that PCOS has been treated successfully for many years with nutrition and herbal medicine. This condition is something I see frequently in clinical practice and often requires a large shift in diet and lifestyle for many women.

The basis of treating PCOS starts with regulating blood sugar levels. This is done with a low sugar diet, and I mean very low sugar! Limited natural sugars (from fruits- 1 serve per day maximum), and absolutely no refined carbohydrates or processed sugars (e.g. soft drinks, pasta, bread etc). Often herbal medicines and nutrients such as chromium and magnesium are helpful in bringing the insulin levels down quickly.
Once this is achieved we start to work on getting the hormones regulated with herbal medicines, to promote ovulation and encouraging the body to produce eggs regularly.

Diagnosing PCOS is done by your GP or gynaecologist. A blood test is necessary to determine what all of your hormones are doing. Often there will be a high FAI (free androgen index), elevated insulin levels (high blood sugars), and low SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). If the blood test indicates PCOS then a pelvic ultrasound is also performed. This gives images of your ovaries and how many cysts, how large they are, and where in the pelvic cavity they may be.

So if you suspect you have this condition ask your GP to run some blood tests to determine whether or not you have Polycsytic ovarian syndrome.

Here are some simple tips to introduce if you have PCOS:

  1. Cut sugar our of the diet completely
  2. Drink licorice tea to reduce androgens
  3. No alcohol
  4. Incorporate foods high in magnesium: almonds, red meat, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, cacao beans
  5. Take a good quality fish oil supplement (this will act as an anti-inflammatory)

For more information contact Claire today