PCOS impacts your ovaries… that’s why it’s called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. But it’s much more than just your ovaries that are involved!
It affects everything physically and mentally in YOU!
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common ovarian disease, associated with excess androgen hormones (Testosterone and/or DHEA) in women. The cause is “seemingly” unknown affecting roughly 1 out of 8 women (approximately 5+ Million in the United States alone). Common signs are excess hair growth, anovulation (missed ovulation), and obesity. PCOS is most common in young women (ages 11-35).
Some young women are not obese but still show signs of:
Excessive facial hair growth
Anxiety or depression
Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
Pelvic pain with cycles; irregular cycles
Thinning hair on the head
PCOS is VERY related to metabolic issues like insulin resistance and glucose intolerance which are directly affected by diet.
Most literature that you will read on the internet or from your medical doctor’s office will tell you that the CAUSE is higher levels of Testosterone and DHEA.
What they DO NOT tell you is what is CAUSING THAT to happen!
Excess levels of circulating insulin (that is NOT being used correctly due to too much fat in the diet) may decrease the concentration of sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG – a beneficial hormone that helps removes excess dangerous hormones from the body), thereby INCREASING the amount of unbound free testosterone and DHEA. So… too much fat in the diet lowers SHBG – the hormone necessary to regulate levels of Testosterone and DHEA and this results in PCOS.
Trying ONLY to lower the sex hormones (testosterone, DHEA, Estradiol and/or progesterone) is NOT very workable.
Inflammation also seems to play a role, as C-reactive protein (CRP) levels appear to be elevated in many young women with PCOS. As we know… eating any animal food or byproduct, which is high in FAT, causes inflammation, as does stress, lack of water, etc.
If your doctor tells you that your PCOS is caused by high levels of hormones… ask him/her what is CAUSING that to happen. They likely will tell you, “stress”. The truth is your levels of testosterone and DHEA are high due to INSULIN RESISTANCE, which is due to stress and poor diet (too much fat!).
Adopting a healthful diet in adolescence may lower risk of developing metabolic complications associated with PCOS. One study found young women with PCOS tended to have lower fiber intake, poorer eating patterns (eating late at night, fast food, sodas, junk foods, etc.) and over-consumed calories especially from fat. This type of eating pattern can lead to weight gain, which unfortunately is one of the largest problems surrounding PCOS. The good news is if we know some of the factors helpful for weight loss PCOS can be better managed.
Obesity tends to exacerbate almost all diseases and PCOS is no exception. Overweight women with PCOS tend to have increased free testosterone (a common type of androgen hormone) and more insulin resistance. The obesity and PCOS connection is so strong research suggests prevention and treatment of obesity is important for the management of PCOS. This might be why we see so many studies conducted on weight loss.
Some women may be thin but still have fat in their cells. It is the fat consumption that causes the cells to literally become clogged. This makes it impossible for insulin to “open” the cell and allow glucose to enter to provide energy. Insulin and sugar then builds up in the body systemically (overall) leading to INSULIN RESISTANCE, which then leads to PCOS.
Medications for PCOS
Your medical doctor will likely suggest that you start taking a drug called METFORMIN. It has been studied extensively for the treatment of PCOS with some positive results. Since medications come with side effects it is important to weigh the risks vs. benefits with your healthcare team. We strongly suggest using our PCOS REMEDY™, which includes a form of Berberine herb that does exactly what Metformin does… with NO SIDE EFFECTS!
Often with PCOS you’ll find both supplementation and lifestyle intervention (diet and exercise) can be most effective. Interestingly, a few studies show that dietary changes may control PCOS as well as Metformin or any drug or birth control!
What about exercise and PCOS?
Many of the studies recommended about 30 minutes of exercise a day so perhaps the combination of diet and exercise has better results. That said, some studies did isolate diet alone (or rather did not tell participants to change exercise patterns) and exercise alone has been shown to help women with PCOS. My advice would be: do both! Why perform one without the other as it would seem together diet and exercise can be more powerful.
EMOTIONS and PCOS
Depression and anxiety are common in women with PCOS. Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Depression and anxiety are common in women with PCOS, but are often overlooked and therefore left un-handled. Approximately 34% of women with PCOS have depression compared to 7% of women in the general population and around 45% have anxiety, compared to only 18% of the general population. It has also been shown that the longer it takes to receive a diagnosis of PCOS, the more likely women are to be depressed or anxious.
I believe when dealing with any health disorder that mindfulness is important as well as social support and stress reduction techniques. Meditating, doing yoga, practicing deep breathing are all vital to reducing stress.
Dietary supplements and herbs for PCOS
Marjoram is an herb that has been found to reduce DHEA and insulin levels in women with PCOS. One study completed in 2015 found that Marjoram tea twice-daily significantly reduced DHEA-S and fasting insulin levels.
Not familiar with this powerful herb? A member of the mint family, marjoram is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Sweet marjoram boasts a pine and citrus flavor while French marjoram is less sweet with a flavor profile similar to oregano.
We have included a high quality Marjoram along with Berberine in our PCOS REMEDY™.
The activated form of vitamin B6 (P-5-P or P5P) assist with every aspect of PMS, PCOS, and even for severe PMS (called PMDD). P5P is essential for the synthesis of steroid hormones, particularly progesterone. It’s involved in the manufacture of the key neurotransmitters: both GABA and serotonin. B6 also promotes anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and assists with the healthy detoxification of estrogen.
Magnesium works together with B6 to manufacture progesterone. Magnesium also calms the nervous system. The normal dosage for any ovarian dysfunction is 60 – 150mg daily. We have an amazing blend of the proper form of B6 (P5P) along with magnesium called: ASSIST™
DIET AND GLYCOTOXINS (or AGE’s)
Over the past 2 decades there has been increasing evidence that an increase of food-derived Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs), also known as GLYCOTOXINS, contributes to “increased oxidative stress and inflammation, processes that play a major role in the creation of chronic diseases”—including polycystic ovary syndrome. Women with PCOS tend to have nearly twice the circulating AGE levels in their bloodstream!
Since the highest AGE levels are found in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted foods of mostly “animal origin,” is it possible that high AGE levels starts with a bad diet—like lots of fried chicken—which leads to obesity, which then, in turn, leads to PCOS? So is it the OBESITY? No, because the same link between high AGE levels and PCOS was found in lean women, as well.
It was found that AGE’s (glycotoxins) actually buildup inside polycystic ovaries. We know that chronic inflammation and increased [oxidative] stress have also been found to contribute to PCOS and that glycotoxins (AGE’s) contribute to both!
AGEs definitely contribute to the cause of polycystic ovary syndrome… and infertility. So, should we just cut down on meat, cheese, and eggs? Or, we can always come up with AGE absorption-blocking drugs.
We know that AGEs have been implicated in the development of many chronic diseases. Food derived AGE’s absolutely increase inflammation… so cutting down on dietary glycotoxins reduces the inflammatory response in the body.
But, gee… beans and potatoes just don’t taste as good as fried chicken! Is there a way you can have your POPEYE’S and eat it, too?
If pharmaceutical companies can have their way… They would have you to just take this drug (AST-120) every time you eat, to cut down on the absorption of these toxins. And, it works—it actually lowers AGE blood levels. (NOTE: This oral absorbent drug, AST-120, is just a preparation of activated charcoal! The same that hospitals give for drug overdoses, and when people are poisoned.) I’m sure if you took some AST-120 with your POPEYE’S chicken, your levels would go down, too. We have included a high quality activated Charcoal plus Marjoram along with Berberine in our PCOS REMEDY™.
You know, there’s another more natural way you can reduce your absorption—by reducing your intake of the darn POPEYE’S fried chicken in the first place!
Dietary AGE intake can be decreased even just by changing the method of cooking from the high temperature dry cooking methods to low heat, higher humidity. In other words, moving away from “broiling, searing, and frying” to more “stewing, steaming, and boiling.”
Please note that what we eat may be more important than how we cook it. For example, boiled chicken has less than half the glycotoxins of roasted chicken. But, even deep-fried potatoes have less than boiled meat! So eating a whole food plant based diet is ideal at lowering the AGE’s.
We could also eat foods raw… we can choose raw nuts and nut butters, which may have 30 times less glycotoxins than roasted. And, we can stay away from high-AGE processed foods, such as puffed, shredded, and flaked breakfast cereals.
Why does it matter? Because study after study has shown that switching someone to a low-AGE diet can lower the inflammation in his or her body. Even just a single high-AGE meal can profoundly impair our artery function within just two hours of consumption. Fried or broiled chicken breast and veggies, compared to steamed or boiled chicken breast and veggies… The same ingredients; just different cooking methods. Now, you’ll notice that even the steamed or boiled chicken meal still impaired arterial function. That’s why eating a WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED diet is the healthiest way to reduce glycotoxins in your body!
Do we have evidence that reducing AGE intake actually helps with polycystic ovaries? Yes. Recent studies showed that within just two months, switching from a high-AGE diet, to a low-AGE diet, major parallel changes in insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, and hormonal status occurred. The bottom line result proved that those with PCOS may want to try a low-AGE diet, which in the study meant restricting meat to once a week that’s only boiled, poached, stewed or steamed, and cutting out fast food-type foods and soda.
Interestingly… eating a more vegan or whole food plant based diet not only reduces AGE’s and overall inflammation BUT it INCREASES a woman’s SHBG (Sex Hormone binding globulin). Remember… women with PCOS have LOWER than average SHBG!
Making these dietary changes along with taking Assist™ 3-5 x daily and PCOS REMEDY™ 3x daily (our custom formulated supplements)… should help to reduce AGE buildup and increase insulin sensitivity… the two biggest causes of PCOS! Eating a proper diet (whole food plant based), increasing exercise to at least 30 minutes daily, meditate to relieve stress and you’ll notice the difference within a few weeks.
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