Natural PCOS Treatment
I’ve made a quip that PCOS stands for “please cut out the sugars and starches,” because one of the things that aggravates this problem more than anything else are sugars and starches, and it’s associated with an over production of insulin.
Overall, about 30% of those with irregular cycles or trouble conceiving, infertility, have PCOS.
We also know that just a little weight loss can make a big difference. 5% to 10% weight loss restores ovulation in more than 55% of the cases, so that makes a big, big impact.
If you suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), then you have probably grappled with irregular periods, infertility, excess facial hair, adult acne and weight gain. You may have even experienced the extreme pain of an ovarian cyst rupturing. It’s important for you to know that there is a natural PCOS treatment that doesn’t involve taking prescription drugs, and you don’t have to suffer anymore. In this podcast, Dr. Donald Ellsworth discusses the causes and natural solutions for PCOS.
Paste the below link into your browser to listen to our podcast on PCOS:
Dr. Ellsworth: Hi. I’m Dr. Don Ellsworth at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center talking to you about polycystic ovarian syndrome, often abbreviated PCOS. This is actually a very common problem, and many women will experience this where the issues include enlargement of the ovaries. There’s a lot of small cysts present. They will often have infrequent or actually prolonged menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, and this can occur in adolescence. You want to think of this when you see some things like infrequent or absent menstruation, especially if you have some acne and some increased weight. Do keep in mind that as cycles start, frequently they start off irregularly. I’m referring to once it’s established and girls are getting to be 17 or 18. It’s quite possible that’s one of the issues going on.
This is actually an issue that’s been described for a long time. Back in the 1800’s, they would describe this, and it was called cystic oophoritis. The common word “ovary” has been around for a long time, and they were initially thinking it was kind of an inflammation, which is actually not a bad description, and it certainly is cystic. Then later in the 1950s, Stein and Leventhal described this, and some people are calling this Syndrome O because the ovary gets confused and disrupted.
Causes of PCOS I’ve made a quip that PCOS stands for “please cut out the sugars and starches,” because one of the things that aggravates this problem more than anything else are sugars and starches, and it’s associated with an over production of insulin.
Now it begins in many cases with the pituitary gland. What’s going on is that the production of the two key hormones that regulate the ovary is off, LH and FSH, and that can be related to genetics. We do see this running in families, but it’s also aggravated by certainly having sugars and starches in our diet that are beyond what we can handle. This is a common problem. Five to 15% of women have this issue. There’s some racial connections, Caucasians, roughly 5%; Latin, Hispanics, 13%; African American, 8%. If you have a mother who had it, you have a 35% chance of having it. Similarly, you have about 35 to 40% chance of having it if your sister has it. Overall, about 30% of those with irregular cycles or trouble conceiving, infertility, have PCOS.
Now we know that excessive insulin is a key factor to throwing off the pituitary, and, again, sugar and starch intake is a major reason for it going up. We know that in most cases with PCOS, you actually are not ovulating properly. If you look at the levels of the hormones, you can see that you just have a very strange, flat process instead of the normal spike in the production of LH and FSH. We do know inflammation is one of the reasons for this problem, and inflammation can be related to some of the toxins that are in our environment, but extra body weight also causes inflammation. There’s a lot of other issues that can be associated, like this can move on to Type 2 diabetes, this can move on to have hypertension, but not necessarily so, so I don’t want you to think it’s inevitable.
Now the diagnosis has been debated, depending on the criteria that are being used. Some people will have stricter criteria than others. Basically, the things you want to look for are symptoms of too many androgens, which is the general term for things that have a testosterone-like effect. I’m talking about having hair in the wrong places, acne, even getting some of the hair loss that men can get and perhaps even blood levels that are high for those different chemicals like testosterone, but that’s not felt to be an absolute criteria by most doctors, by the way, to diagnose this because many women do not develop it. Having irregular cycles is also something to look for. If you get an ultrasound done, it often does show the ovaries are enlarged with cysts.
Natural PCOS Treatment Now most importantly, what do you do about this? Now the traditional treatment for this can involve birth control pills. It can involve things that actually shut down the whole process of making the different hormones, and also diabetes-type medications. We would recommend going back to some basics, eating more veggies, reducing your sugar intake, eating meat, nuts, berries, seeds. Avoid sugar, flour, and milk. By the way, dairy often has hormones in it that throws things off. Avoid fast food and processed foods. Limit potato and rice, avoiding plastics and pesticides. Canned foods actually can throw things off, and so can tampons and soy. Of course, you want to exercise.
Now some key things that we would do at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center that are frequently not addressed would be optimizing progesterone by actually giving progesterone, and I would contrast this to the often-taken approach by physicians would be to use birth control pills, which are not actually the same as what your body makes. We would want to use real progesterone. We would also want to optimize your thyroid status. Inositol is an interesting supplement. It’s a B vitamin which can actually reduce testosterone. It helps some women lose weight, and it increases the chances of starting to have normal cycles.
I would also recommend doing some things to detox your body. I’m a big fan of far infrared sauna, which is something you can actually do on your own at home. You can also do some cleanses. We have the Paleo Cleanse detox powder that’s very useful. While many doctors use metformin, I would recommend using some natural things like chromium, cinnamon, and berberine. Berberine is an herb we’ve been using, and berberine at a dose of about 1,500 milligrams a day, often 500 milligrams 3 times a day, has actually been shown to be as effective as the drug metformin for PCOS. This is actually a published study published in 2012, so we know that there are some very nice natural solutions for addressing PCOS without taking drugs.
Weight Loss We also know that just a little weight loss can make a big difference. 5% to 10% weight loss restores ovulation in more than 55% of the cases, so that makes a big, big impact. The more you consistently eat healthy, exercise, take these supplements, the more likely will restore function. In fact, in many of the studies, they showed very high rates of ovulating, up to 92%; 85% of those who are trying to conceive become pregnant. There’s a lot of options that are in the natural realm for those who are suffering from PCOS, and it really starts with understanding. The natural solutions that are available are what we can help you with at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, and we would be honored to do so. Let us know if we can help.
Originally published at www.hotzehwc.com on October 26, 2015.