All About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Symptoms, causes, and treatment!
PCOS is commonly found to be undiagnosed. If you believe you may have PCOS, check with your doctor. In the mean time, here’s some background information as well as potential treatments that can help!
Poly- more than one
Cystic- Dealing with “cyst” or rather follicles (eggs released by the ovary).
Ovarian - Dealing with your ovaries
Syndrome - a group of symptoms that occur together
Some background info
- All woman produce certain levels of testosterone. Variations of testosterone levels, can create differences between women such as higher/lower levels of aggression, excessive weight gain, heavy facial hair, irregularity or complete absence of periods, and/or deeper voices. This has NOTHING to do with someones gender identity, it is simply an imbalance in the production of hormones in ones body.
The “cyst/follicle” in PCOS
What's supposed to happen
Your ovaries contain your lifetime supply of eggs. The eggs are stored in a tiny water filled structures called “follicles”. Each month the pituitary gland secretes follicle stimulating hormone(FSH), and luteinizing hormone(LH) into the bloodstream After the two hormones reach the ovaries, several hundred eggs starts to mature. As the eggs mature, the follicle secret estrogen. Once the amount of estrogen in the blood reaches a certain level, the pituitary sends a surge of other hormones to the ovaries, that causes the most mature follicle to open, and release its egg to begin the process of ovulation. The remaining follicles and and unfertilized eggs dissolve and then shed in the next menstrual period.
- If you have PCSO the pituitary gland may realize abnormally high amounts of LH, as a result our follicles does not mature and ovulation does not occur that could possibly lead to infertility. Some of the immature follicles do not dissolve and remain as fluid filled sacks, or cyst. PCOS may be the presence of multiple cyst/follicles on a woman ovaries HOWEVER, not all woman that have PCOS may have cyst on their ovaries.
What are some symptoms of PCOS?
Many woman suffer from one or two of the symptoms.
- Residing hair line
- Facial hair
- Weight gain
- Fertility issues
- Raises risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart diesel, high blood pressure, and cholesterol abnormalities.
What may cause PCOS?
Some people may have PCOS due to one or more of these reasons. Others may have unknown factors:
- High LH, explained above.
- High androgens
- High Insulin
- Food intake. GMO chemical foods (that can cause hormonal imbalances)
- Overactive Adrenal/ Stress
How do these things cause PCOS
The “Ovarian” in PCOS
High Androgens - There is a sack around the ovary that makes androgens. The androgens are supposed to be converted into estrogen(female sex hormone). With PCOS, an enzyme(aromatase cytochrome c4-15) that converts androgen into estrogen gets blocked. So now you will have high amount of androgens, because it’s not being converted into estrogen. What can potentially block the conversion of androgen to estrogen is glyphosate. Read on..
Food intake- Along with sugar, many foods have a chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is a herbicide that is in a lot of GMO foods. This chemical blocks the pathway that converts androgens being converted into estrogen.
High insulin -Along with glyphosate, eating too much sugar, will trigger a high level of IGF-1(Insulin-like growth factor). It is a hormone made by the liver that helps you regulate sugars when you’re not eating. When you have too much insulin, you will have a spike of IGF-1, that ultimately converts into more androgens! Too much insulin can lead to excess production of testorone(male hormone).
Overactive adrenal - Not only does a woman ovaries make androgens, but so does the adrenal gland (in your brain). Having an excess amount of stress, will produce more androgens.
Genetics -Based on ones gene composition, PCOS may result as well.
What can I do to treat PCOS?
- Try your best to eat whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, etc. Stay away from GMO foods, especially those containing glyphosate - check ingredients.
- Reduce intake of sugary foods. (Foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, etc. will help a lot.)
- Try your best to limit your stress levels. Try simple at home exercises, write in a journal, get adequate amount of sleep, use lavender essential oil at nights to relax your body, eat a BIG healthy whole food breakfast.
- Metformin- A diabetes medication, that lowers insulin levels and regulates menstrual cycle. It helps you to control your metabolism and your weight by helping to fight food cravings.
- Anti-Androgen drugs- Reduces abnormal hair growth and acne.
- Fertility medication- Stimulates ovulation to become pregnant.
- Hormonal birth control- Prevents pregnancy, but regulates menstrual cycle, reduces testosterone production in ovaries.
Other Nutritional things you can do
- Milk- regular cows milk has a high amount of growth hormones that will increase testosterone levels. Try drinking soy or almond milk. It will take some adjusting to get use to at first, but one you adjust you’ll love it!
- Red meats/Dairy - Saturated hydrogenated and transfer should be avoided. They hinder absorption of nutrients that will ultimately lead to weight gain. So foods such processed foods, margarine, steaks, etc.
- Veggies- Try your best to eat green leafy vegetables(kale, spinach, et.c). They are rick in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B. Vitamin B plays a particular roles in PCOS symptoms as it regulates sugar and fat metabolism and balances hormones.
Here’s an additional article that you can find that list all other healthy food options. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like me to link you to the research articles that I’ve taken all this information from, feel free to ask and I’ll be sure to email them all to you! http://www.pcosdietsupport.com/the-best-pcos-diet/