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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jessica

Root Cause Approach to PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women.


But, it is not just one disease/condition. It is a set of symptoms such as: irregular menstrual cycles, acne, weight gain, excessive androgen levels, unwanted hair growth, infertility and the presence of polycystic ovaries.


Beyond reproductive health, PCOS also poses risks to metabolic and cardiovascular well-being. Thus, a comprehensive understanding of its symptoms, diagnosis, and impact on fertility is essential for effective treatment.


Detection and Diagnosis of PCOS

Traditionally in western medicine, diagnosing PCOS involves a medical history assessment, physical examination, hormone level measurements, and pelvic ultrasound. The modified Rotterdam criteria, involving the presence of any two out of three criteria, aids in the diagnosis. Additionally, clues such as the LH to FSH ratio on cycle day 3 can raise suspicion of PCOS, prompting further investigation into androgens and sugar handling markers.


Over my 15 years of clinical practice I have found that it is necessary to dig deeper and use hormone testing to identify the root cause to PCOS.


Four Root Causes Of PCOS


Insulin-Resistance 

  • This is the most common type.

  • High insulin levels stop ovulation and boost testosterone production.

  • It is essential that you work with a doctor that will test your insulin levels, and interpret those levels for optimal levels, otherwise a diagnosis of insulin resistance can be missed.


Post-Pill:

  • Birth control can stop ovulation

  • For most, things go back to normal after stopping the pill

  • But for some, it takes longer, and they might be diagnosed with PCOS

  • It's the second most common type. You might have this if: you had regular periods before the pill, but now your LH is high


Inflammation:

  • Inflammation from stress, toxins, or certain foods can cause PCOS

  • It makes ovulation harder and messes with hormone receptors

  • You might have this if your blood tests show high inflammatory markers


Adrenal PCOS:

  • This type means your adrenal glands produce too much DHEAS

  • Your testosterone levels are normal

  • It's less common, about 10% of PCOS cases




Risk Factors and Prevention

Several risk factors predispose individuals to this condition:

  1. Family history of PCOS

  2. Insulin resistance

  3. Obesity

  4. Sedentary lifestyle

  5. Excess androgen levels



Impact on Fertility Health

PCOS stands as a leading cause of female infertility due to irregular ovulation or its absence. Hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance associated with PCOS disrupt normal ovulation, hindering conception. Elevated insulin levels prompt excessive testosterone production, impeding follicle development and ovulation.


If you have been diagnosed with PCOS or you would like to investigate in depth hormone testing.


I invite you to click here and book yourself in a complimentary phone call with me and find out more about my approach and what it would be like to work with me.




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