Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Although the name of this syndrome implies it is a condition of the ovaries, it is actually a result of insulin resistance, overstimulation of the adrenal glands, excess inflammation or a combination of these causes.

Traditional treatment of PCOS involves using hormonal birth control to shut down the hormonal system and produce monthly bleeds. However, this approach does not address the underlying causative factors at play. When women are ready to come off of their hormonal birth control, the PCOS is still present and can impact the ability to get pregnant if ovulation is not restored. PCOS is also associated with long-term risk factors that are not addressed by hormonal birth control. These risk factors include; Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Symptoms

  • Hair loss or thinning

  • Acne (especially around the jawline)

  • Menstrual cycles longer than 35 days or no cycles at all

  • Unwanted hair growth on the face or chest

  • Areas of dark, velvety discolouration in body folds and creases (acanthosis nigricans)

  • Difficulty getting pregnant (PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility)

  • Weight gain

Assessment

The first step in treating PCOS is to confirm a proper diagnosis. PCOS cannot be diagnosed based on ultrasound alone; blood work reflecting high levels of androgens as well as symptom presentation need to be considered. Other conditions that can impact ovulation and present similarly to PCOS need to be ruled out. These include; congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypothyroidism, hyperprolactinemia, hypothalamic amenorrhea as well hormonal imbalance after coming off of hormonal birth control.

Once a diagnosis of PCOS is confirmed, we work to determine which of the root causes are at play in your unique body. Blood work to evaluate hormone levels, insulin sensitivity, adrenal hormone output as well as inflammatory markers are used to determine what your PCOS drivers are.

Treatment

Once your unique cause of PCOS is uncovered, a treatment plan will be put together to address your symptoms and target the root of the imbalance. With proper treatment, PCOS is reversible and women can maintain long term, regular menstrual cycles and fertility can be restored.

Treatment always includes a dietary assessment with a focus on reducing foods that have the greatest impact on insulin. Botanical medicines are commonly used to balance sex hormones and impact adrenal hormone output. Nutraceuticals such as myo-inositol and NAC are used to impact insulin sensitivity, androgen levels, and inflammation.



Other HORMONE BALANCE conditions treated include:

Acne, Adrenal fatigue, Amenorrhea, Cortisol Imbalance, HPA axis dysfunction, Hyperthyroidism (Graves Disease), Hypothyroidism (Including Autoimmune Thyroiditis aka Hashimotos), Low libido, Menopause (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep, mood), PCOS, PMDD, PMS, Post birth control syndrome