The leading form of endocrine disruption in women of reproductive age is something called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) (2.) Here we have a situation where multiple cysts develop on the ovaries and can cause some very unpleasant symptoms. We're going to take a look at a major causative factor, some accompanying symptoms as well as some important practices to implement to reduce the likelihood of PCOS.
There are numerous causes that play a role in the development of this condition. However, I'm really just going to elucidate one that carries a lot of weight when it comes to causative factors. This top cause is called insulin resistance. This is a situation where insulin doesn't as easily bind to glucose to take it into the skeletal muscle and liver. Therefore the glucose stays the blood stream longer and more insulin is produced from the pancreas. Ultimately this insulin resistance can lead to other issues like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. There is a way to naturally improve insulin resistance that will be addressed more in the solutions section of this article.
There are a myriad of symptoms that correlate with PCOS. One that has a very strong relationship with this condition is infertility. They are very closely connected. The hormonal output changes, sometimes quite significantly, with PCOS and can pose major challenges for the development of the zygote, embryo and fetus. Other symptoms include: irregular/missed periods, heavy flow, weight gain, acne, hirsutism (due to androgen excess), changes in mood as well as low libido.
So now we arrive at some natural solutions to help combat this syndrome! The first and I believe most important natural approach is to revise diet appropriately. This would include making sure carbohydrate intake is not in excess. Again insulin resistance issues really become exacerbated with the sugar intake. Carbs get broken down into simple sugars and can impact insulin sensitivity negatively. I recommend focusing on health fat options, such as: coconut oil and coconut products, chia and flax seeds, nuts like walnuts and almonds, avocados and fatty fish like salmon. I also recommend some clean proteins sources like: organic chicken, grass-fed beef, wild caught fish and bone broth protein. For carbohydrates I'd focus more on berries, sweet potatoes, squash and limited amounts of quinoa and wild rice. But overall I think keeping the carb count on the lower side (perhaps 50g-100g/day) at this time is going to be beneficial for combatting PCOS.
Restful sleep is essential here, as it is with everything health wise. During sleep our body can rejuvenate and our hormones can naturally balance. Exercise is important to aid in proper circulation, weight management and mood elevation. I think it's important to limit exposure to endocrine-disruptors as best as possible. These can be found in plastics, cosmetics and household cleaning products. Supplementally inositol has shown promise here due to its ability to promote ovulation and balance mood.
Almonds are a great source of fat and an acceptable food for those with PCOS.
I believe implementing these solutions, especially the diet modification, can help significantly turn the tide in those who are dealing with PCOS. These symptoms reducing can drastically elevate the quality of your life in numerous ways. I'm an open resource to those wanting more information or to those who have questions. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Seamus Allen
CFMP, DACBN, DC