PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders. It is estimated that 3-10% of women have PCOS.
In fact, I was diagnosed with PCOS at 25 after battling my own hormonal issues for years. From then on, I made it personal mission to learn everything I can about PCOS.
What is PCOS?
PCOS typically develops in late teens to early 20’s. It is the #1 reason for anovulatory infertility in women of reproductive age. The cause of PCOS it currently unknown, but may include several different genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Current research emphasizes incorporating nutritional, botanical and exercise prescription with pharmaceutical interventions. This has been shown to improve metabolic and fertility outcomes in these patients.1
The Rotterdam Criteria states that two of the following are required for diagnosis:
- oligo/anovulation (little or not ovulation)
- hyperandrogenism (excessive facial hair, male pattern baldness, high testosterone)
- polycystic ovaries on ultrasound
In addition to the Rotterdam criteria above, PCOS is a syndrome and patients may also present with the following signs and symptoms:
Common Signs & Symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular periods and/or amenorrhea, often women with PCOS are put on the birth control pill to ‘regulate their cycle’ without proper workout or assessment
- Infertility or subfertility, especially recurrent miscarriage
- Psychological symptoms (anxiety, depression, binge eating disorders)
- Hirsutism or excessive hair growth
- Oily skin with acne, commonly along the jawline
- Extreme sugar cravings, difficulty losing weight and unexplained weight gain
Naturopathic Treatment for PCOS
As PCOS is a syndrome, I treat each patient based on their presenting symptoms and concerns. Naturopathic treatment for PCOS focuses on extensive diet and lifestyle modification, herbal supplements and tailored acupuncture protocols. I’ve learned so much along my personal journey, and want to help you find clarity and calmness along yours.
1.Jedel E, Labrie F, Odén A, Holm G, Nilsson L, Janson PO, Lind AK, Ohlsson C, Stener-Victorin E. Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011 Jan 1;300(1):E37-45.