PCOS is an extremely common, complex endocrine/metabolic condition in women, much if which is still unknown. It affects 15-20% of women.
Signs and symptoms include cysts, acne, overweight (elevated BMI), hair growth in male pattern (called hirsutism) and irregular or no periods.
Insulin resistance is often a fundamental driver of PCOS.
Comorbidities include obesity, type II diabetes, gestational diabetes, infertility, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune thyroid disease; increased risk for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers.
There is clearly a genetic component, as sisters share a higher incidence of PCOS. It is a heterogeneous, heritable disorder that affects women throughout their entire lifetime.
That said, lifestyle factors (diet, exercise, stress) also play a very strong role in development of PCOS.
How can I change my nutrition and lifestyle to help PCOS?
4) Stress Reduction
Weight loss improves menstrual irregularities, symptoms of androgen excess, and infertility and reduces the co-moborbidities.
Clean up the GI system with nutrition – I recommend elaborate treatment plans in my office but you can start on your own by eliminating wheat/gluten, sugar, processed foods while increasing fruits and vegetables to 6-10 servings per day. EAT ALL COLORS OF THE RAINBOW!
Add the needed nutrients that are missing – vitamin D, Iodine, B complex, multi-vitamin, probiotic and adaptogenic herbs.
We are having more hormonal imbalance than prior generations. This is likely due to poor diet, increased BMI, and increased toxins which are referred to as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which represent a broad class of molecules such as organochlorinated pesticides and industrial chemicals, plastics and plasticizers, fuels, and many other chemicals that are present in the environment or are in widespread use.
We need to detox these EDCs and focus on the 4 pillars above.
Cleansing/detoxing helps to lower glucose, reduces insulin resistance, lowers cholesterol, and releases toxins stored in fat cells.
See Dr. Cristyn Watkins for a wellness appointment to discuss more options for these hormone imbalances.