I often get asked what is the cause of PCOS...
And the straightforward answer is we don't really know. There are genetic factors that react to your environment that can cause a variety of symptoms. It is called a Syndrome because it has a wide range of symptoms that can look differently for each person.
You may struggle with weight, body hair, acne. While another woman may struggle with irregular periods and fatigue. No two women with PCOS are exactly the same which is where traditional treatments often go wrong.
But what we DO know is that the factors and causes that contribute to PCOS can be a bit different for everyone.
So what this means is that we need to look at what may be affecting YOU. By finding the contributing causes you can heal yourself from the symptoms of PCOS and manage the syndrome naturally.
Dr. Lara Briden, a leading PCOS Doctor, classifies PCOS into 4 main types:
Insulin resistance PCOS -insulin and leptin resistance impairing ovulation and causing excess androgen production.
Pill Induced PCOS - after getting off of hormonal birth control (not just the pill) your body could experience a condition like PCOS that you need to support your ovaries and ovulation to get going again.
Inflammatory PCOS - If you do not fit into one of the 1st two categories then you may fit in this category. Environmental toxins and inflammation affect your hormone and adrenal system.
Hidden cause PCOS - If you have figured out that you are not necessarily in one of the 3 main categories then you fall under "hidden cause," this just means that you need to still identify what is causing your symptoms. It could be something like a vegan diet thats not supporting you, nutritional deficiencies or thyroid disease.
These categories can give us somewhere to start to look to find your particular causes of PCOS. In traditional medicine, unfortunately, they typically just tell you to go on the pill. However, this is not going to fix anything and can likely make your fertility and health concerns worse. The good thing is, with a little time, dedication, and investigation we can figure out how you can naturally heal yourself from PCOS.
Here are the main areas that we investigate and work to improve:
- Diet: because insulin resistance is a large part of many women's PCOS this is one of the first places to adjust. Balancing your blood sugar by eating natural, whole foods, getting rid of sugar and adjusting your carbohydrate intake to your appropriate level can decrease symptoms and help you lose excess weight. We also want to look into your sources of food and make sure you are eating to support nutrient levels and hormone production while removing any foods that can be causing inflammation. This diet can look a little different for each woman so it is best to work with a nutrition professional and not just rely on cookie-cutter programs.
- Gut Health: A dysfunctional gut and imbalanced gut bacteria can contribute to insulin resistance, as well as make your body want to use sugar instead of fat for energy and cause inflammation. The majority of women that I work with are surprised to learn that their guts may not be as healthy as they thought, even when they have no GI symptoms. This is an area often overlooked in traditional medicine but can be the key to healing your PCOS as it was for me.
- Exercise: You may hear all the time to exercise, but are you exercising in a healthy way? For those that have PCOS there can be a fine line between too much and too little exercise. We want to support your adrenal system, your insulin response and your metabolism to aid to healing. This means focusing on weight lifting (no it will not make you bulky!) and say no to that hour on the elliptical. It may mean you need to adjust what you think of as exercise to promote ovulation and hormone balance.
- Environment: You can take all the supplements, eat a great diet, workout... but if your environment is full of toxins, or you work late nights, or you are never outside connected with nature, it may be hard to ever heal. Supporting healthy circadian rhythms , removing chemicals and pollutants, and a not pushing pedal to the metal all the time can be the difference between how you feel and how fertile you are.
Once you start making changes, slowly but surely, and really listening to your body then you can heal from PCOS.
There may be different factors for your particular PCOS but that does not mean that it has to be overwhelming to manage or heal from. If you suffer from PCOS and are lost on how you can investigate what is causing your symptoms or how to make these changes then please Contact Me and we can chat!