The #1 problem with PCOS
“Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels.” – The Mayo Clinic
That sounds like almost every woman I’ve ever known.
How many women do you currently know, or have you known, who’ve suffered from hormonal disorders, long or painful periods during their reproductive years?
Too many for it to be ignored I’m sure.
PCOS is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions for women between the ages of 15 to 49. Some studies show that up to 15% of women are diagnosed with PCOS during their routine gynecology visits.
But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal.
So why is PCOS so prevalent these days?
To explore this more, let’s take a look at what PCOS actually is and how it happens…
According to the Mayo Clinic, PCOS is when, ”the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”
Classic symptoms of PCOS can include:
- Infrequent, irregular or long periods
- Excess facial and/or body hair growth
- High blood sugar or insulin resistance
- Hair loss
However, those symptoms can also correlate with high or low estrogen or progesterone, hyper- or hypo-thyroidism, autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s or Alopecia, nutrient deficiencies, a congested liver, carbohydrate intolerance or a high carbohydrate diet, too much sugar, food sensitivities and the list goes on.
All of which left unaddressed lead to an influx in inflammation, deeper metabolic dysfunction and can trigger issues with the ovaries.
The most accurate way to diagnose PCOS is with a vaginal ultrasound to see if the ovaries are enlarged, have follicles and are failing to function.
The #1 problem with PCOS is that it’s preventable and irreversible but nobody is talking about that.
Regardless of how PCOS is diagnosed, whether from a cluster of symptoms or an ultrasound, the reality is that it’s a lifestyle disease – meaning lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, exercise, stress and toxins exposures are the driving factors. In this week’s video and blog, I uncover the lifestyle factors leading to PCOS, and how you can prevent or reverse it by changing your lifestyle.
All of us have genetic predispositions to certain disease states. Some of us reach disease states early in life, others later in life and others never at all.
So what is the deciding factor? Your lifestyle.
The food you eat, your sleeping habits, the way you exercise, how you handle stress and the toxins you’re exposed to all have an effect on your genetic code and signaling.
Your body can handle unhealthy indulgences from time to time, crappy sleep occasionally, ebbs and flows in your exercise routine, a little toxin exposure here and there, and even the daily stress of life.
But when all of that becomes more routine, more consistent and chronic, eventually the compiling factors cause the circuits in the body to break in a sense-triggering genetic expression, metabolic dysfunction and disease states.
Symptoms are the last to show up when metabolic dysfunction is in place.
PCOS is a cluster of symptoms used to diagnose women once metabolic dysfunction has already been in place for a while.
The 4 biggest driving factors of PCOS are:
- A diet too high in sugar and/or carbohydrates
- Prolonged periods of mental/emotional stress
- Staying up late or getting broken sleep
- Consistent exposures to endocrine disrupting toxins
While these factors might seem unrelated, they all have something in common. They directly impact insulin levels, cortisol and hormone balance, and ultimately fuel inflammation.
The good news is that the body is very resilient, and in most cases metabolic dysfunction is reversible given the right diet, lifestyle changes and tools.
When it comes to PCOS, I see so many women feeling doomed by their diagnosis, limited, and at a loss for getting back to feeling like themselves because no one is talking about how they can take back control of their health and body by making some basic lifestyle changes.
The 4 biggest lifestyle shifts a woman can make to prevent or possibly reverse PCOS are:
- Eating a diet lower in sugar/carbs, and higher in healthy fats and proteins
- Being asleep by 10pm and sleeping through the night the majority of the week
- Establishing a daily ritual to release stress using deep breathing or meditation
- Creating a low or toxin-free home and work environment
These 4 shifts will reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar and insulin levels, stabilize cortisol hormone rhythms, minimize external and internal impacts on estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, and ultimately lower the load on the body allowing normal metabolic function and hormonal balance to return.
Let’s start a conversation about how to prevent, or even reverse, disease states such as PCOS instead of settling for a diagnosis.
I help health-minded people just like you get their hands on the right lab tests and resources so you can prevent or reverse conditions such as PCOS and live your fullest life.
If you want to explore the possibilities of feeling like yourself again (or for the very first time!), then I want to invite you to schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery session with me today here!