Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping now

Naturopathic Insight into Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Sporty & Rich Wellness - Naturopathic Insight into Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
By: @curawellness.co


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a complex female reproductive-endocrine disorder characterised by ovarian dysfunction and hyperandrogenism (excessive androgen production produced by the ovaries).

The aetiology of PCOS remains elusive, however it’s known to be influenced by hereditary susceptibility (estimated at 70%) and environmental factors including diet and lifestyle which play a role in the expression of genes and could lead to obesity and insulin resistance (IR) which are main contributing factors involved in the onset and progression of PCOS.

From a pathophysiological perspective, PCOS involves a dysfunction of the HPO-axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-ovaries) often presenting with abnormal hormonal ratios (specifically related to gonadotropin, luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), as well as altered insulin activity impacting metabolic functions, and increased presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines promoting inflammation.

Signs/Symptoms

The clinical presentation of PCOS differs individually, especially dependent on the lifestage a woman is at (puberty, reproductive, prenatal, postmenopausal, etc.), however the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Anovulation
- Infertility
- Menstrual irregularities
- Pregnancy complications - miscarriage, gestational diabetes
- Elevated androgens including testosterone and DHEA-S
- Elevated LH and low FSH (LH:FSH 2:1 to 3:1)
- Low progesterone and SHBG
- Elevated prolactin
- Skin conditions due to hyperandrogenism (i.e. hirsutism, acne, alopecia (male baldness patterns)
- Weight gain / Obesity
- Metabolic syndrome
- Insulin resistance
- Anxiety
- Depression
- Eating disorders
- Reduced quality of life
- Breast, endometrial and/or ovarian cancer


Investigations

Diagnosis is established through thorough case taking and pathology testing. Referrals are often required, and general pathology tests may include:
- Thyroid function tests
- Prolactin
- Total and free testosterone levels
- Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
- Free androgen index
- FSH and LH
- Glucose
- Insulin
- Lipid profile
- Ovarian ultrasonography (trans-vaginal)
- Pelvic CT scan or MRI
And so many more.

Naturopathic Aims*
*Note: these would be case-by-case dependent


- Restore hormonal balance specifically LH:FSH ratio
- Reduce androgen (testosterone) levels
- Rebalance menstrual irregularities
- Rebalance ovarian dysfunction and promote ovulation
- Regulate HPO axis
- Improve ovulation and support natural fertility
- Support glucose metabolism / Correct Insulin Resistance / improve insulin sensitivity
- Reduce sympathetic nervous system overactivity and support HPA axis
- Reduce inflammation and improve antioxidant status

Herbal Support


Cinnamon: manages insulin resistance with PCOS, improves menstrual cyclicality, improves antioxidant status


Licorice: anti-androgenic (reduce androgens and improve hirsutism)


St Mary’s Thistle: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to optimise liver metabolism/detoxification. Liver support is required in PCOS to aid clearance of excess sex hormones from the body


Paeonia: reduce androgens and improve hirsutism


Tribulus: hormone-modulator/regulator


Chaste tree: reduces androgens, modulates progesterone/hormones/prolactin, modulates HPO-axis, improve cycle regularity


Withania: thyroid support, adaptogen/HPA-axis and mood support

Nutritional Support


Omega 3 fatty acids: anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, improves insulin sensitivity


Chromium: improves PCOS symptoms, improves insulin sensitivity,
Inositol: improves insulin sensitivity, metabolic and hormonal profiles, regulate menstrual cycles, improve ovulation


Zinc: inhibits the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase and therefore reduces the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and is useful to treat acne and hirsutism


Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is common with PCOS and is associated with insulin resistance, weight gain and excess androgens. Vitamin D is essential for metabolic and reproductive health and has been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, improve glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity, as well as being beneficial for follicular development and cycle regulation


B-Vitamins: essential for nervous system function/regulation, and psychological symptoms


Probiotics: Pre- and probiotic support improves digestive function, reduce intestinal permeability and formation of endotoxins.


NAC: antioxidant


Anti-inflammatory nutrients/style of eating


Limit caffeine consumption (>500mg/day) to avoid disrupting ovulation


Consume regular meals with sufficient protein intake


Opt for foods with a lower glycaemic index (GI), low saturated fats and high fibre foods (wholegrain, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds)

Lifestyle Support


Mindful movement that feels good for you: aim for at least 150 minutes per week with a variety of types of movement and intensity (20-30 minutes daily)


Meditation/mindfulness for emotional well-being: meditation, yoga, social interaction, breathing techniques, movement, nature walks, music, dancing, creativity


Aim for at least 10 to 20 minutes of safe sunshine exposure to improve Vitamin D status


Avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These are often found in plastics, canned food, soaps, non-stick cookware, make-up, and other personal care products. Swap for natural/organic products, glass Tupperware, reusable coffee cups, stainless steel cookware


If you’re looking for further support with PCOS or menstrual irregularities/reproductive complaints, please contact Tayla via email hello@curawellness.co, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation (Australia-wide only).

Previous
Next

The Wellness Club

How Alcohol Effects Your Gut

How Alcohol Effects Your Gut

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: Megan Tomlin @gooodmoodfoood By now, almost everyone knows that alcohol is not the healthiest thing for our minds and bodies. But what do we know about the effect that alcohol has on our gut microbiome health? Before I answer this, there are a few terms I want to define for...

Read more
The Unseen Mental Health Challenges High Achievers Face

The Unseen Mental Health Challenges High Achievers Face

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

 By: @ericabassotherapy It's hopeful to see how much society has progressed in embracing mental health discussions. But as a mental health provider, I still notice gaps in our understanding of accurate mental health information. We can all get better at recognizing signs of mental health struggles and feeling empowered to seek support when needed. As a licensed...

Read more
The Importance of Skin pH for a Clear, Healthy Complexion

The Importance of Skin pH for a Clear, Healthy Complexion

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @drmelissa.co The concept of the skin barrier has become a part of many skincare aficionado’s vocabulary, but what does it really mean?  It is important to remember...

Read more
The Ancient Ritual of Oil Pulling

The Ancient Ritual of Oil Pulling

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @emily_campbell Oil pulling has been an ancient ritual in India and is a sacred practice that has roots in ancient Hindu texts and scriptures. Known in Sanskrit as Kavala Graha or Gandusha, the regime of swishing around 1 tbsp of oil for 15-20 minutes and then spitting it out is primarily used for its oral health benefits. This simple regime has been...

Read more
The Mental Health Benefits From Travel

The Mental Health Benefits From Travel

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @ericabassotherapy We can all probably recall that moment when you’re finally feeling relaxed on vacation and you hear yourself expressing, “I need to do this more often!”. Despite the research that supports the mental health benefits of taking regular vacations and traveling, it’s been found that a significant number of American workers don’t take all of their allocated...

Read more
High Intensity Exercise: Good or Bad?

High Intensity Exercise: Good or Bad?

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil HIIT or high intensity interval training has become a pretty normal part of modern training, its something you have probably already done without even realising it. It was popularised over a decade ago with Crossfit and now modernised in many forms of classes we see at gyms as well as being seen all over the web with HIIT routines and...

Read more
5 Benefits of Reformer Pilates

5 Benefits of Reformer Pilates

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates, founder Chris Bardawil Reformer pilates is everywhere, it's not just all over social media we are also seeing our favourite celebs doing it. The reality is reformer pilates has been a staple of many people’s exercise routines for over a decade now, and for good reason.

Read more
Burnout: What Is It and How to Recover

Burnout: What Is It and How to Recover

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @drmelissa.co Burnout is a concern I see often in clinical practice. Although it is not a diagnosable disease, it is a syndrome, meaning it is defined by a set of symptoms, but does not have a consistent progression or clear treatment plan. In other words, burnout is a very real issue, but may look different from person to person and require...

Read more
Nutritional Support for Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Nutritional Support for Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

  By: Megan Tomlin @gooodmoodfoood Did you know that up to 60% of cases of Hashimoto’s disease go undiagnosed? Or that women are 5 to 8 times more likely to have a thyroid condition? Knowing these facts, it is shocking that so many of us are still unclear about...

Read more
Are Collagen Supplements Worth Taking? A Dermatologist Weighs In.

Are Collagen Supplements Worth Taking? A Dermatologist Weighs In.

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @dermahealthnutrition The pursuit of youthful, glowing skin is a timeless quest. It fuels a booming industry of skincare products, treatments, and supplements, including collagen, all claiming to improve the signs of ageing. Here's what you need to know to navigate the abundance of collagen powders, capsules, and liquids.  Skin ageing is a multifaceted...

Read more
Sporty & Rich Wellness - Collagen-Rich Foods vs. Supplements

Collagen-Rich Foods vs. Supplements

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil What is the best way to boost your body's collagen production? Supplements or diet, here is a run down of the basics to help you navigate your way around understanding collagen and how you can boost your body's supplies. Collagen...

Read more
The Power of Spending Time in Silence

The Power of Spending Time in Silence

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

@emily_campbell In today’s age, even if you don’t live in a hustling and bustling city, you may still experience constant noise. We have become so accustomed to noise everywhere we go, including our homes. Without knowing it, you may prefer “background noise” to block out any unwanted thoughts or feelings that pop up....

Read more