What is PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the number one cause of irregular periods and infertility across all age groups.
PCOS is caused by abnormal blood sugar levels, including high spikes, low crashes, or both. This blood sugar rollercoaster disrupts the hormonal signals that govern a woman’s cycle, egg development and ultimately ovulation.
Blood sugar issues cause an increase in two important hormones, cortisol and testosterone. Both of these suppress a woman’s reproductive hormones and egg development, causing delayed ovulation and long, irregular cycles.
Cortisol is the body’s response to stress.
With high levels of cortisol, the body thinks it’s in “fight or flight” mode rather than “feed and breed” mode. By design, high levels of cortisol suppress the reproductive hormones. Cortisol levels are further increased when one’s blood sugars are either high or low.
As a result of abnormal blood sugars, testosterone levels often increase as well. High testosterone negatively impacts egg maturation and delays ovulation. Over time, when there is no ovulation eggs accumulate in the ovary, thus the name polycystic ovaries.
What are the Symptoms of PCOS
- Long irregular periods, typically less than 4 per year
- High levels of free testosterone
- Many small follicles in the ovary, resembling a necklace of pearls on ultrasound images
- Excess hair growth, especially on the chin and abdomen
- Male pattern hair loss
- Overweight or underweight
How to Treat PCOS Naturally
Natural PCOS Treatment: Diet
Abnormal blood sugars are the cause of PCOS. A diet low in carbs and high in protein is the best way to manage blood sugars. Following either a Paleo or Keto meal plan can be a smart choice for women with PCOS.
- Limit carbs
- Emphasize protein
- Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast
- Eat regularly, with a meal or snack every 3 -4 hours
- Include protein with every meal and snack
Natural PCOS Treatment: Supplements
Inositol (3 grams daily)
- Regulates blood sugars
- Increases ovarian function
- Improves quality of both eggs and embryos
- Recommended: Ovasitol by Theralogix, Sensitol by Designs for Health
Melatonin (3 mg at bedtime)
- Antioxidant – prevents or slows damage to cells
- Supports better sleep
- Improves hormonal balance
- Increases quality of both eggs and embryos
- Recommended: Melatonin by Designs for Health
CoQ10 (600 mg daily)
- Supports the energy production that powers all cells, including the egg
- Improves egg maturation and embryo quality
- Helps normal chromosome replication
- Recommended: NeoQ10 by Theralogix
Natural PCOS Treatment: Exercise
Exercise works wonders to regulate blood sugars. For best results, just enough mild to moderate exercise daily is ideal, such as a 30-minute walk. Strenuous exercise increases cortisol levels and can make PCOS worse.
Natural PCOS Treatment: Sleep
Consistent sleep, at least 8 hours per night, contributes significantly to balancing hormones. It matters when you sleep. Ideally one is in bed from 10 pm – 6 am. Our bodies are naturally regulated by the dark and light cycles of night and day. In modern times electricity has disrupted these circadian rhythms, interfering with normal hormonal balance. Melatonin can be very helpful in reestablishing healthy sleep patterns and supporting regular menstrual cycles.
Natural PCOS Treatment: Acupuncture
Acupuncture has many benefits for treating PCOS:
- Balances hormones
- Improves blood flow
- Reduces stress
Acupuncture is fantastic for balancing hormones. In addition, you will get expert advice from your acupuncturist on how to best support your blood sugars, along with coaching on how to stay on track with your plan. Furthermore, research has shown that acupuncture successfully increases the blood flow around the ovaries, which improves their ability to support healthy eggs. Acupuncture is also excellent for relieving stress.