Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is considered a chronic inflammatory condition that affects hormone levels, but the actual cause of PCOS still remains unknown. The condition was identified in 1935 and it is now considered the most common hormonal imbalance in woman of reproductive age.

A polycystic ovary looks like a bunch of grapes that are not actually cysts but underdeveloped, unreleased follicles.

The ovaries are responsible for producing androgen hormones, and when androgens are produced at optimal levels, follicles remain healthy leading to a normal ovulatory process. In PCOS the body gets stuck in a cycle where the LH (luteinizing hormone) that stimulates ovulation stays high and continues to constantly ovulate, while the FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) stays low. When the LH remains high, it signals the ovaries to produce more androgens than normal, and this affects the development and release of eggs during ovulation.

There is a growing awareness to a possible link between PCOS and insulin resistance. Excess insulin in the body increases the production of androgens in the body and it is now hypothesized that this increased level of androgens can possibly contribute to problems with ovulation leading to irregular periods or no periods at all. An increase of androgens can also cause weight gain, excessive hair growth (on the face, chest, back or buttocks), thinning hair and hair loss on the head, skin tags, infertility, oily skin, and acne.

With PCOS you may also experience a sense of fullness, dull aches, abdomen pain or bearing down pain, mood swings, low libido, depression, and nausea.

There are many things that may lead to inflammation in the body and ultimately increase the production of androgens in the body:

  • poor diet that includes processed foods, high fat foods, inflammatory cooking oils, sugar, high intake of caffeine and refined flours.
  • lack of exercise and movement (particularly strength training).
  • stress: under long periods of stress, the adrenals are chronically being activated by releasing cortisol to protect the immune system which can contribute to the overproduction of androgen hormones.

Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties are thought to be useful in the management of PCOS, particularly foods that are high in omega-3’s, B12, folate (B9) and vitamin C. Omega-3’s are an essential fatty acid that can help balance hormones and B vitamins can help lower inflammation by breaking down the amino acid homocysteine which is commonly elevated in PCOS patients. They are also thought to help fight insulin resistance.

Some foods rich in Omega-3’s include oily cold-water fish such as wild salmon, trout and sardines, egg yolks, avocados, nuts such as walnuts and almonds and seeds such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin. You can also consider taking an Omega-3 supplement but be sure to select a reputable brand that tests for contaminants and heavy metals.

Homeopathy can also help! As PCOS is a chronic condition, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified homeopath vs. self-treating as there will be many factors at play besides the PCOS. There are many patient success stories where homeopathy has been able to heal this disease.

Find a registered homeopath in your area HERE



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