I am 20 years old and recently been diagnosed with PCOS
i am 5ft tall, weigh around 8 stone. am vegetarian and i work 6 days a week at a stable yard.
over the past year and a half i have had around 4 periods (all lasting for a normal amount of time, not painful or really heavy/light)
i have noticed an increase in spots, hair (lip, stomach, darker hair around the nipples and darker hair on legs) and also mood swings.
i had a blood test and was told all my insulin levels etc are fine, just a slightly higher testosterone level. They have reccommended i go back onto the contraceptive pill.
however i want to look more into natural remedies or changes to my diet etc before going back onto the pill. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?
A friend of mine has PCOS and we were Googling around and noticed some stories of how use of Chinese herbs (about 2 months usually?) seemed to help some women, as paying for birth control wasn't an option for them anyway.
That could be worth researching. I'm sorry I can't recall enough to come up with the sites again.
I personally would rather use Chinese herbs for a few months and rebalance hormones than stay on birth control anyway. But then I live in a heavily Asian part of town and finding an experienced herbalist isn't a problem.
PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is an endocrine disorder that is
the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and
is a leading cause of infertility. It occurs among all races and
nationalities. The primary features are lack of regular ovulation and
irregular or absent periods. There is also an excessive amounts or
effects of androgenic hormones. The symptoms and severity of the
syndrome vary greatly between women. While the causes are unknown,
insulin resistance (often secondary to obesity) is heavily correlated
Other symptoms may include acne, weights gain (but not always) or
have trouble losing weight, male pattern baldness or thinning hair on
the scalp, hair growth on the face, back, or chest or sometimes, high
blood sugar (hyperglycemia). About half of women with PCOS have high
insulin and blood sugar levels called insulin resistance. When the
body doesn't use insulin well, blood sugar builds to high levels. If
not treated, this can lead to diabetes. High cholesterol levels are
also common with PCOS.
In PCOS, there are multiple cysts in the ovaries, which are actually
small, undeveloped follicles that have had their growth stunted. The
cysts, as well as the connective tissue around them produce male
hormones called androgens. Androgens are then released into the blood
stream and alter the feedback within the hypothalamic-pituitary-
ovarian axis (HPO axis). The amount of estrogen then increases in
relation to progesterone causing an increase in testosterone and
Luteinizing hormone (LH).
The two most important key factors that any woman could do to lower
her risk of PCOS is to eat heart-healthy, low glycemic foods, along
with regular exercise.
Foods to Avoid:
-Cut out all forms of refined sugar
-Cut out all refined (simple) carbohydrates. Follow the Full Spectrum
Diet. This says to cut out all white foods, which include all white
bread, rice, pasta, low fiber foods, most breakfast cereals and rice
-Reduce animal products and fats
-Avoid all soda, fruit juice and sugary drinks
-Avoid milk and dairy products
-Avoid alcohol and caffeine
-Avoid fertility diets that suggest you eat large amounts of yams.
This is not appropriate for PCOS
-Reduce the intake of oily, fried, and sugary foods, fried snacks and
-Do not miss meals; and do not starve in terms of total quantity of
Foods You Should Eat:
-Eat adequate amounts of protein
-Eat as much fresh vegetables as you can
-Eat foods, which nourish the liver such as dark green vegetables,
lemons, carrots and beets
-Eat fruit light in sugar and sweetness such as berries
-Eat complex carbohydrates (lower glycemic carbohydrates), which tend
to have more fiber such as bran cereal, brown rice, whole wheat,
whole-grains and nuts and grains like quinoa, whole oats, and bulgur.
These foods help women with PCOS to maintain steady blood sugar and
insulin levels and may assist in weight loss. A diet composed of
mainly low-GI foods will also help to combat the effects of insulin
Supplements and Herbs
-Chlorophyl helps reduce symptoms of hypoglycemia without raising
blood glucose levels
-Include supplements that help improve insulin resistance such as B
vitamins, magnesium, alpha lipoic acid and chromium. Chromium
increases the sensitivity of insulin receptors. Recommended dosage is
-Essential fatty acids, including flax oil, evening primrose oil
(Oenothera biennis), and black currant oil, act as anti-inflammatory
and hormonal regulators.
-Supplementation with antioxidants, including zinc, and vitamins A,
E, and C, is also recommended.
-Western herbal medicine uses phytoestrogen and phytoprogesteronic
herbs, such as blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) and false
unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum), as well as liver herbs, like
dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum), to work toward hormonal balance.
-Acupuncture works on the body's energy flow according to the
meridian system. As an acupuncturist/herbalist who sees this
particular problem in my office on a daily basis, the combination of
acupuncture/herb is amazing at getting to the root of the problem and
Chinese herbs, such as gui zhi fu ling wan, can be effective. Please
consult your local acupuncture/herbalist.
-In naturopathic medicine, treatment focuses on helping the liver
function more optimally in the hormonal balancing process.
-Exercise is the second most important key to PCOS. Exercise helps
the body's cells use glucose as energy, reducing blood glucose
levels. A structured exercise plan can help the body use insulin more
efficiently and gradually reduce insulin levels. Regular exercise
also improves circulation, reduces blood pressure, increases levels
of high density lipoprotein (HDL), your good cholesterol and helps
with weight loss.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac
__________________ "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanual Kant~