What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
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Being diagnosed with PCOS has probably left you with a bit of confusion. Perhaps you have been trying to have a baby, or walk around with hormonal acne, and want to learn more about PCOS, so that you can find the right treatment for you.
PCOS does not have to be a lifelong curse. Read this post until the end, so that you can learn everything you need to know to understand PCOS better, which will allow you to take the first steps towards a healthier you, and perhaps even more.
Just like every person is different, PCOS symptoms and experiences can be different as well. While the common symptom that most women experience is irregular periods, a woman only needs one or two other symptoms to be diagnosed.
Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about PCOS:
What is PCOS Exactly?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal condition that affects one out of every ten women, and half of them are not even aware of it. It leads to elevated levels of male hormones (androgens) in a woman’s body. High insulin levels are also common in women with PCOS.
What Causes PCOS?
Even though experts are not 100% sure about what causes PCOS, it is known that anxiety and stress, which are causes of high cortisol levels, as well as high insulin levels (caused by elevated blood glucose levels) trigger the ovaries to produce more testosterone, which then causes various symptoms and problems.
Women with PCOS are often deficient in the following nutrients, which could be some of the causes of symptoms, and supplementing can be the first step towards building an effective PCOS treatment plan and eliminating some causes:
In fact, having the MTHFR gene mutation, which is associated with high levels of homocysteine and low levels of folate, can increase your chances of developing PCOS. People with high homocysteine levels often have low amounts of B vitamins in their system.
If you have this gene, your body will not be able to use folic acid (the synthetic form of folate), and you should supplement with methylated folate instead. Also eat folate-rich vegetables like spinach, brussels sprouts, beetroot, liver, and broccoli.
What Are The First Signs of PCOS?
As mentioned, irregular periods can be a sign of PCOS, and are often the reason why women seek medical attention in the first place, which leads to them being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (although not all women with irregular periods have PCOS).
Acne that persists well-after you have said goodbye to your teenage years can also be a sign of PCOS. Especially if most of your acne occurs around your jawline, it can be an indicator of elevated androgen levels (male hormones).
By raising your androgen levels, which causes enlarged ovaries, ovarian cysts, and other PCOS symptoms, such as:
Hormonal acne, especially around the jawline.
Excess hair loss.
Hirsuitism/excess hair growth. Many women even develop full beards. Excess hair also typically appears on the hands, arms, and under the navel.
Weight gain and struggling to lose weight.
Struggling with infertility.
Many women are first diagnosed with PCOS when they go to the doctor to find out why they cannot lose weight, or why they are struggling to become pregnant.
Perhaps you have tried countless diets, but cannot figure out why you cannot lose weight. The good news is that you can still lose weight with PCOS. It just takes a different approach.
Is PCOS a Serious Condition?
Other than interfering with your fertility, PCOS increases your chances of various other conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Can You Get Rid of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
There is no known cure for PCOS, but by managing your diet and lifestyle, you can get to a point where your symptoms are under control, and where your life is not as affected by it. Many women end up falling pregnant simply after losing weight and lowering their carbohydrate intake. Some also claim that symptoms improved after pregnancy.
What PCOS Treatment Options are Available?
When seeking treatment for PCOS, doctors will often recommend that you take birth control, in an attempt to balance your hormones. They also recommend following a low-GI diet to manage polycystic ovarian syndrome, but this is often not good enough, and insulin levels can still remain too high.
Most women with PCOS will benefit from following a low-carb diet instead, such as the ketogenic diet (low-carb, high-fat) or a simple low-carb, high-protein diet. However, due to the fact that too much protein in your system will lead to a process called gluconeogenesis, where your body converts the extra protein into glucose. This will raise insulin more than desired, so it is important not to consume too much.
Some of the best natural treatment options for managing PCOS symptoms that you can try are drinking spearmint tea and consuming flaxseed on a daily basis. Two cups of tea and two tablespoons of flaxseed powder daily both help lower androgen levels and can help balance some of your other hormones, such as progesterone.
Supplementing with folate and inositol are also popular and safe treatment methods for PCOS that you can try. The folate will help with DNA building and repair, stimulate the production of follicle stimulating hormone, and promote ovulation.
Inositol, on the other hand, aids insulin regulation. The most common forms of inositol that are used for PCOS treatment are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. Inositol can help improve other symptoms like low progesterone, high testosterone, and hirsutism as well. When struggling to lose weight, supplementing with inositol causes an improved internal environment for weight loss by regulating insulin.
Now that you know a little bit more about what PCOS is, and some of the know the symptoms, causes, and treatment option, perhaps you can start changing your diet and lifestyle to help you manage the condition and get relief. We don’t know what causes so many women to struggle with PCOS, but at least a diagnosis does not have to be detrimental to your happiness.
If you are trying to lose weight with PCOS as part of your treatment plan to manage symptoms or just to look good, I highly recommend that you download my eBook, which you can get free below, as it contains tailored information to help manage PCOS symptoms, and make weight loss easier and possible.
Losing weight with PCOS is possible. Just fill in the form below and receive my Free eBook that will teach you everything you need to know to start losing weight with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
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