I’ve been told I have PCOS, now what?
Dr. Ashley Margeson
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder in women. The exact cause is still unknown, but we know there is a metabolic base to the PCOS picture. Genetics and environmental factors play a huge role in the development of PCOS. PCOS is the number one leading cause of infertility and is said to affect 1 in 10 women (10 million women in the world).
I have many patients who come into my office after a diagnosis with PCOS who have already done so many things they hear about on the google-net. They’re eating a healthy diet the majority of the time, they’re exercising, they’re watching their stress. But their symptoms are still there and they’re not quite ready to go on metformin.
Now, I love metformin. It’s something I recommend many of my patients talk to their family doctor or OBGYN about if they’re trying to conceive. But what about women who aren’t looking to conceive (or who have already conceived) and want to manage their PCOS without medication? That’s when we start to follow the research.
Supplements such as berberine, inositol and n-acetyl-cysteine have been shown to be helpful in managing PCOS symptoms. A change in nutrition and exercise (and I generally recommend my patients follow the research.. which shows that changing up exercise routines is very helpful) can help stabilize the insulin resistance that comes along with PCOS in some cases. And a strong focus on managing cortisol and adrenaline is so so helpful for women who are looking to stabilize their PCOS without medication.
We also want to do some further testing for insulin sensitivity, especially if blood sugars are “normal”.
Finally, we want to support the breakdown of androgens to ensure that your system can stabilize it’s hormonal levels. This generally results in a change with skin and energy, but the genetics involved in this are very different.
PCOS is not a “take this one thing because we know it will help” approach. PCOS has many different factors that can show differently in women. That’s why testing and understanding how the research applies to your specific needs is so important.
For more information on the approach to PCOS that we take at Cornerstone, feel free to reach out; or find a qualified Naturopathic Doctor in your area.
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