The Truth About PCOS
Contradictory to what is believed, PCOS is not one condition, it is instead a set of symptoms. If you know what type of PCOS you have you are more able to find the suitable treatment.
Not all women experience the same symptoms, such as insulin resistance, acne, excessive hair growth or hair loss, and the reason is because there is not one type of PCOS. Each type of PCOS has it's own symptoms. Believing that there is no one type of PCOS slows down the diagnosis process but also effects the treatment route.
Furthermore, it is important to note that without undertaking the relevant tests, such as blood test to examine whether testosterone levels are high, a PCOS should not be accepted.
PCOS being described as one condition is far from the truth. This may surprise you, but there are actually 4 types of PCOS!
4 Types of PCOS
Insulin - Resistant PCOS
This is the most common type of PCOS. High insulin levels cause Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) to spike and this stimulates the production of androgen. Too much insulin causes the ovaries to make too much testosterone. As a result of elevated insulin and testosterone levels, ovulatory problems occur, such as irregular periods and infertility.
Research suggests lean women who have PCOS can also suffer from insulin resistance, elevated androgens findings demonstrate that women with PCOS who are normal weight or thin respond to a reduction in insulin release. This is consistent with the observation that although these women are not obese, they nonetheless tend to have an increased waist to hip ratio and are insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic compared to their normal counterpart.
Insulin resistance is caused by poor diet and lifestyle, excess sugar, trans fat, smoking and environmental toxins and obesity.
Treatment, exercise, even walking has been shown to help with lowering blood sugar levels. Avoid sugar and lose weight. Known nutrients that can help are fish oil, chromium, vitamin D, magnesium, and polyphenols found in cocoa. Moreover, intermittent fasting has shown to improve insulin sesnsitivty.
Inflammation - based PCOS
Inflammatory PCOS is caused by exposure to environmental toxins, foods such as dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) and gluten. Studies have shown consumption of A1 Casein was associated with increased gastrointestinal inflammation. Excess stress is also a key cause of inflammation. Too much stress causes an overactive adrenal, resulting in more androgens being produced.
Treatment; Reduce stress and exposure to endocrine disruptors such as pesticides, cans and plastics. Cut out the inflammatory foods such as dairy, wheat, and sugar. Supplement with magnesium, as research has shown it to reduce inflammation.
Synthetic Hormone - induced PCOS or Pill - Induced PCOS
The purpose of the Birth Control Pill is to suppress ovulation. Women who have been on the Birth Control Pill or other synthetic hormones for several years, who then decide to come off often, find that their period does not return. Most women, however, find this effect to be temporary, yet others find their periods not do not return for months or even years.It is important to know all the facts and be sure about the Birth Control Pill before you decide to start it.
Hidden Cause - PCOS
This type of PCOS is caused as a result of something blocking ovulation. Knowing what it is and addressing it can help ovulation return. The hidden causes are:
– Thyroid disease. Low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with the release of an egg from your ovary.
– Vegetarian and Vegan diet. A vegetarian diet can cause vitamin deficiencies. Supplement with Vitamin B12, Zinc and Omega 3.
– Iodine deficiency, because your ovaries need iodine. Consult with your doctor before supplementing with iodine.
– Artificial sweeteners, research suggests that artificial sweeteners cause an insulin spike.
– Avoid eating too much soy. Soy is a phytoestrogen and research has shown that phytoestrogens have anti - estrogen effects. Studies have shown over consumption of phytoestrogens, such as soy, can reduce the occurrence of ovulation in some women.
– Not eating enough starchy carbohydrates. Our hormones need some carbohydrates, without sufficient glucose the liver struggles to convert T4 to T3. Moreover, a moderate consumption of carbohydrates ensures leptin levels increase enough to indicate to the hypothalamus that the body is being fed. Leptin is needed for reproductive function.
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