If you’re someone who has irregular periods, no period, weight gain around the belly, hair loss from the scalp, unwanted hair growth on your chin/abdomen, trouble conceiving, an excess of testosterone, chances are you might have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS affects 5 to 10% of women worldwide, which are huge numbers. Symptoms may vary from woman to woman, some may not have any symptoms and yet be wondering why they are unable to conceive.
PCOS is considered a gynecological problem when often it is a dietary problem. However, it needs to be reviewed and treated on an individual basis since no 2 bodies are the same. Often women will be placed on birth control pills to regulate their period, hormonal medicine, and be given Metformin as it improves insulin sensitivity. These traditional treatments however treat the condition symptomatically, leaving out the root cause.
This is where functional medicine plays a role in finding out the reason ‘why’.
– POOR DIET
A large number of women who want to lose weight and when you go deep into their history – their eating habits, daily practices, and lifestyles it is surprising to see that there is a large population that is eating too many ultra-processed carbohydrates, refined oils, packet foods, refined flour, preservative-laden foods, plates of pasta and muffins. Sugar is often the sweet devil that wreaks havoc so all your sweetened coffees, teas, sodas, juices, syrups contribute to the condition. For some people, these choices can completely throw off the whole system in their bodies.
– INSULIN RESISTANCE AND PRE-DIABETES
For a large number of women, weight gain around their belly is evident because of the huge amounts of insulin floating in their bodies. Insulin is made in the pancreas and it is responsible for balancing the blood sugar in your body, so you eat a meal, the body makes insulin, that insulin tells your body to take your food and get it into your muscles so that it can be used for energy. What happens with insulin resistance is that the body is not listening or registering that insulin so there is a high level of insulin that is floating around the body that causes people to gain weight around their belly. With PCOS there is typically a high level of insulin in the body leading to insulin resistance.
– ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS
Excessive use of plastics, BPA, heavy metals, overconsumption of metals through incorrect packaging of food can all lead to toxicity in the human body and can begin a huge shift in the hormonal balance. Genetics also have a role to play, what you eat as a fetus can also have an impact on your hormones and metabolism later in life, so if your mum had a lot of sugary coffees and donuts and cans of coke, you will carry those genes in you, it can throw off the baby’s metabolism and it’s called epigenetics where your genes get tagged and pick up on those exposures when you grow.
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