So, what is pcos?
This week we’ve been discussing all things Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or, more often referred to as, PCOS. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is common among women of reproductive age. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. Women with PCOS may have infrequent menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels.
Although it is commonly referred to as a hormonal disorder, we’ve come to learn that it’s actually a metabolic dysfunction! This is just one of the common misconceptions surrounding PCOS so it’s very important to understand WHAT IT IS versus WHAT IT ISN’T.
PCOS IS TRICKY…
As you can see, we aren’t entirely sure what causes PCOS but we do know that there is this “constellation of symptoms”, so to speak. The Rotterdam Criteria says that if a woman has 2 to 3 of these symptoms, then the diagnosis is PCOS. Many women have been wrongly diagnosed because conventional doctors lead us to believe that PCOS is only about cysts and/or hormonal imbalances. In reality, these are just symptoms.
However, the criteria failed to acknowledge the mechanisms that are happening at the cellular level that CAUSE the symptoms like cysts, imbalanced hormones, abnormal hair growth, acne, etc.
We create cysts on our ovaries for a variety of reasons every single month. Making cysts on our ovaries is not the driving force behind PCOS. Let’s take a look at another common misconception when it comes to diagnosing PCOS and that is our androgen hormone levels:
NEXT UP? Insulin resistance + pcos
The more you are eating, the more insulin you need. Your cells start to get tired and stop listening. They get tired of insulin knocking at the door all the time asking them to take in the blood sugar.
The pancreas then has to make MORE insulin to send the SAME signal; almost like it’s yelling! Over time, if you keep eating frequent meals, even if they’re small and healthy, you’re still making more insulin than you should be.
here’s the key!
Conventional or primary care will focus on symptom relief which just suppresses or masks the symptoms but it doesn’t actually solve the underlying root cause of the issue. Bandaid approaches are not long term solutions and chances are, when you come off whatever medication you were prescribed, your PCOS will be right where it was or ten times worse!
so how do we get out of this vicious cycle?
First, eat in a time restricted eating pattern. Start limiting your snacks. Focus on 3 nutrient-dense meals per day with 30-40g of protein per meal. Try to consume minimal carbs.
Second, stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. Snacking late at night drives major insulin resistance.
Third, try to keep your eating window between 8-10 hours and then fast for the rest! Remember that you won’t be able to do this overnight so start small by cutting out snacks and work your way to this goal! This is a learned practice over time and it will improve your insulin sensitivity at the cellular level.
And fourth, move your body! A twenty minute walk after dinner or lunch improves your cells response to insulin and keeps blood sugar balanced.
REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE THE POWER TO REVERSE YOUR PCOS NATURALLY AND I AM HERE TO HELP YOU!
In health and love,