PCOS

Polycystic Ovary syndrome is a big concern for women. It is a multisystem illness. Stress plays a big role in its causation. It is basically a metabolic disorder with hormonal imbalance. It affects women of reproductive age. Nearly 5% to 15% women get affected.

Hormone levels of androgens the male hormones testosterone and DHEA are mainly disturbed in this disorder.

Genetic predisposition and environmental factors are important factors in causation of PCOS. This being a metabolic disorder with higher levels of insulin, with insulin resistance, so that if enough insulin is not produced blood sugar levels will increase in patients with PCOS. High insulin is not just a symptom of PCOS—it is also a major driver of the condition. High insulin can impair ovulation and cause the ovaries to make excess testosterone.

Patient may present with absence of periods due to hormonal imbalance, irregular menses or scanty menses. The other way it can present as infertility. Skin problems with unwanted hair growth can also make patient consult the doctor in PCOS. Patient also tends to gain weight.

An appearance of polycystic ovary on ultrasound is common way of diagnosing it. Along with routine blood panel test including vitamin levels, nutrition deficiencies, metal toxicities, tests for gut health and hormonal levels are conducted to identify the root cause of the problem under functional medicine approach. HPA dysregulation due to stress can cause hormonal imbalance. Gut health tests are conducted to identify immune dysfunction.

Each patient of PCOS must be treated based on the presentation of signs and symptoms and individual physiology. Diet and exercise make an important part of PCOS treatment regime.

Diet rich in basic nutrients is required for normal menstrual cycle. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and thus helps in PCOS. High fibre diet helps in maintaining gut flora and insulin sensitivity. Adequate Magnesium is required for maintaining normal levels of many hormones. Vitamin D is another important nutrient required to maintain normal hormone level regularisation and immune balance.

Zinc is important for regulating irregular menses and ovarian follicle development. Animal products are best sources of Zinc. Oral contraceptives need to be avoided as they can deplete Zinc and hence increase symptoms of PCOS. Vitamin B12 and folate are required for normal clearance of hormones.

Inositol a vitamin like micronutrient improve insulin sensitivity, sexual hormone levels, and follicular stimulation. Sleep deprivation can also cause hormonal imbalance. Therefore relaxation techniques inducing normal sleep helps in PCOS.

Therefore by attending to your diet, lifestyle management and using alternative therapy one can successfully reverse the problem PCOS.