PCOS-THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM-INSULIN RESISTANCE
PCOS-Polycystic ovary syndrome which is a common endocrine system disorder affecting many women of reproductive age with or without structural findings. Symptom may include irregular menses, prolonged or heavy periods, or absent periods. Other signs may be present which present as excess androgens, such as excessive facial and body hair, acne and oily skin. Most important associated symptoms are abnormal insulin, blood sugar, abnormal lipid profile excess weight, infertility, sleep apnea and mood changes.
Causes range from Genetic, to hormone imbalance, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Other than your genetics you can control all other variables but even your genetic expression can be altered if you control your environment.
So why is Insulin and Inflammation so important. This allows you to realize how nutrition can reverse this naturally and that deficiencies can exacerbate condition. The conventional medical approach is to prescribe OCP’s and surgery including other pharmaceuticals and ignore all other aspects.
What does insulin do? It impacts how cholesterol is used in the body to produce hormones, fights inflammation, and be utilized by the brain. It also affects how sugar is being utilized by the body for energy production.
What does Insulin Resistance affect? It increases cholesterol synthesis, increases triglycerides, and free fatty acids, and causes muscle to no longer burn fat efficiently. This all contributes to excessive fat production and deposition.
What causes insulin Resistance? Sugar, low muscle mass, inflammation, trans fats, nutrient deficiencies such as chromium, zinc and selenium. Chronic high Cortisol, lack of sleep and High Fructose Corn Syrup.
What sets the stage for PCOS is daily chronic inflammation, high stress, sugar dysregulation and high cortisol which is the same for setting the stage for insulin resistance. Due to an increase in fatty tissue we have then an increased conversion to estrogen directly, as well as testosterone conversion to estrogen. Progesterone on the other hand appears to reduce the effects of increased insulin.
The traditional approach includes OCP, Metformin, Clomiphene, spironolactone. The Integrative approach includes:
Nutrition: Antiinflammatory diet, Sugar elimination, intermittent fasting, minimizing fast foods and eating out.
Exercise: Resistance training. High Intensity Interval Exercises. These types of exercises offer a low stress impact on your adrenals.
Supplements: fixing any nutrient deficiencies, supporting detoxification pathways. Remember that these are only used to supplement a healthy lifestyle.
Conclusion: PCOS is a disease of Insulin resistance, blood sugar dysregulation, nutrient deficiencies, heredity and inflammation.
You need to find an integrative functional medicine practitioner who is able to do an appropriate evaluation and create a personalized approach protocol.