5 August 2013

Natural healing for PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is where the ovaries are larger than normal due to a large number of undeveloped follicles. In some cases, women who have PCOS may not even know they have it because it may not cause any symptoms. However, if there is a hormonal imbalance, this is where problems can arise.

In more extreme cases of PCOS, a person maybe overweight* suffer with mood swings, heavy, scant or no periods, acne and prone to growing excess bodily hair (hirsutism). PCOS can also affect fertility and there is a stronger risk of developing type-two diabetes.

*A common finding in women with PCOS because their body cells are resistant to the sugar-control hormone insulin. This insulin resistance prevents cells using sugar in the blood normally and the sugar is stored as fat. Dr David Cahill, consultant senior lecturer on obstetrics and gynaecology.

The reason for the growth of the follicles is due to an imbalance of Lutetinizing Hormone (LH), which controls the eggs development and eventual release from the ovary plus an excess of the male hormone, testosterone. LH is released by the pituitary gland in the brain.

The cause(s) of PCOS is not definitive, but it has been suggested that it may be due to the ovary’s inability to produce hormones in the right quantity. There might also be problems with the liver’s ability to bind excess hormones, meaning that the amount of hormones (i.e. oestrogen and testosterone) circulating in the blood is not being properly regulated.

The most popular conventional treatment for PCOS or other hormone related problems tends to be the low dose contraceptive pill. The pill helps ‘regulate’ the monthly cycle but the only drawback is, when you stop taking it the problems re-occur. Thus, the pill will only ever be a temporary solution. Additionally, the side effects from taking the pill are extremely unpleasant and for this reason, the pill is best avoided.

There is however, a natural approach to improve the symptoms of PCOS. Before embarking on any conventional treatment, its always best to prevent the illness and disease occurring in the first place. The first step is via dietary improvements (fresh fruit, vegetables and protein); this alone can improve symptoms within weeks if not days. Other changes that can help are lifestyle changes that includes physical activity, herbs, vitamin and mineral supplements, a fast and a liver detox. A liver detox will greatly improve your liver's ability to detoxify and remove excess hormones from the body.  

Your liver is responsible for breaking down used hormones but if the process is impaired in anyway, there is a possibility these hormones will be re-absorbed leading to hormonal imbalances.

Prevention is always the way to go and you can do this by eating whole-foods and looking after yourself through quality sleep, relaxation and fun.

Learn how to eat to better your health here.

Its advisable to consult a health practitioner before taking supplements and herbs to avoid contraindications with medication.