Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder with the primary defect being higher than normal levels of insulin in your blood, or insulin resistance. PCOS can be a genetic disorder or can be acquired through an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It is not limited to women who are overweight, as woman who are thin can also have PCOS. Symptoms tend to get worse in perimenopause and menopause, as insulin resistance increases with age.
PCOS often goes undiagnosed in women lacking many of the signs of PCOS, as only 50% of women have outward signs.
Some of the common and classic signs of PCOS include
|Scalp hair loss||Acne||Hirsutism (unwanted hair growth on the chin or neck)|
|Increased belly (visceral) fat||Ovarian cysts|
Many women have great difficulty losing weight and many also report a strong craving for carbohydrates and sugar. Some women with PCOS have high cholesterol, infertility and heavy or no periods. Elevated DHEA-sulfate levels are common, as well as higher than average levels of testosterone.
Why do we treat PCOS?
It is important to treat PCOS for many reasons. With PCOS, there is a four-fold increased risk of both uterine (endometrial) cancer and breast cancer and an increased risk of both Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. The miscarriage rate for women with untreated PCOS is approximately 50%. With proper treatment, these risks can be lowered by up to 80% and infertility related to PCOS can be improved.
How do we treat PCOS?
Treating PCOS first starts with optimizing your diet and lifestyle through a low glycemic, primarily plant-based diet. We work to heal your intestinal system (gut), which largely contributes to insulin resistance. We will balance your hormones to improve symptoms and regulate your menstrual cycle, either with bioidentical hormones, herbs and/or medications. Treatment is rarely directed at lowering testosterone levels, but instead, lowering hypersensitivity to testosterone.
We’d love to speak with you to help you find the best way to address your concerns of a previous diagnosis of PCOS or to help you find out if you have PCOS. In most cases, a simple blood test will help us as we work with you to customize the best way to help you with your goals of addressing PCOS and insulin resistance.