Using Functional Medicine to reduce PCOS symptoms
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common sex hormone disorders in women affecting between 6-7% of UK women of childbearing age. In addition to sex hormone dysregulation, it is also linked to insulin resistance, dysregulation of the gut microbiome and also a genetic predisposition.
PCOS is characterised by hormonal imbalances that cause symptoms including:
- Menstrual irregularities – irregular or no periods
- Reduce ovulation rates and fertility- difficulty in becoming pregnant or recurrent miscarriages
- Excess hair growth
- Weight gain
- Carbohydrate cravings and binges
- Low mood, anxiety & low self esteem
- Male pattern baldness
- Gut challenges such as food sensitivities, constipation
How can Functional Medicine help with PCOS?
All clients with a diagnosis of PCOS will have varying degrees of both sex hormone and metabolic imbalances (primarily insulin resistance) but the key to improving PCOS is by identifying the root cause of the dysregulation. A Functional Medicine approach identifies the root causes which can be broken down into:
- Lifestyle induced e.g stress, poor circadian rhythm, sedentary lifestyle
- Poor fat digestion associated with carbohydrate cravings, low microbial diversity
- Inflammatory diet
Once the root causes have been identified (which are often a combination of the four classifications above) an individualised health programme can be designed to restore imbalances based on food and lifestyle interventions, together with functional testing to accurately identify hormone imbalance and status.
Nutrition to improve PCOS symptoms / status
I recommend the following nutrition guidelines when dealing with PCOS.
- A blood sugar balancing diet which reduces stimulants including caffeine, alcohol, sugar.
- A low glycaemic diet which includes small portions of wholegrains & avoids refined carbohydrates.
- An anti- inflammatory Diet which includes eating a variety of colourful vegetables, essential fats e.g. nuts and seeds and reducing / avoiding dairy and vegetable oils.
Using Lifestyle to improve PCOS symptoms / status
Lifestyle factors are a major consideration in resolving symptoms of PCOS. Lifestyle intervention programmes need to be personalised but likely to include:
- Stress reduction techniques including breathing, meditation, yoga.
- Establishing regular sleep / circadian rhythm.
- Regular sunlight exposure.
- Reducing Blue Light and Electromagnetic field exposure at home and in office.
Using Testing to improve PCOS symptoms / status
PCOS is linked with sex hormone imbalances, insulin dysregulation but also micronutrient deficiencies, Vitamin D deficiency and poor gut health including poor digestion, imbalanced gut bacteria and leaky gut (when the stomach lining becomes too porous and leads to increased food sensitivities and gut disturbances).
Therefore testing to determine more accurately individual imbalances and deficiencies can be very helpful in overcoming PCOS more accurately and therefore quickly. These may be saliva or blood tests, urine or stool tests.
How can I help you overcome your PCOS?
After completion of a 5 page health and lifestyle questionnaire I will work with you to identify the root causes of your PCOS status which may have a genetic component as well as an inflammatory and fat digestion basis. From this, together we design a realistic individual plan to help you achieve your health goals in relation to your PCOS e.g weight loss, regulating periods, reducing acne.
If you are interested in learning more, book in a FREE discovery call using the form below.
Book a FREE discovery call
If you suspect that you may have an under active thyroid and would like help in diagnosing and improving your situation, don’t hesitate to book in for a FREE discovery call using the form below.