Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - The details of what, why and how to treat.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - The details of what, why and how to treat.

 Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is becoming increasingly prevalent.  In very basic terms, PCOS is due to an imbalance of hormones associated with weight gain, increased acne or hair growth, and irregular or absence of menstrual periods due to lack of ovulation.  The syndrome is diagnosed based on symptoms, ultrasound, and lab results.

 Often, the patient’s ovaries will have a very specific look on ultrasound, showing multiple small follicles grouped around the perimeter of the ovary like “a string of pearls”.  Lab results often show elevated glucose and insulin levels.  If the endocrine system is not functioning properly, glucose cannot be properly absorbed and stored in the body, thus showing up as an excess in the patient’s blood.  If the pancreas is working overtime to produce insulin, high levels of this hormone may appear in the blood as well.  Chronic high levels of glucose and insulin lead to diabetes, and this can be a major concern and risk factor for developing other health problems like stroke or heart attack.

 Another abnormal lab finding is elevated testosterone.  Although considered “the male sex hormone”, it is normal in lower doses in the female patient.  However, when the levels are higher than normal, the patient may experience facial hair, acne, mood swings and irregular periods.  All of these hormones affect each other as well as impacting the “female hormones” that control the menstrual cycle (follicle stimulating hormone, leutenizing hormone, estrogen and progesterone).  The absence of a menstrual period is due to lack of ovulation because of the disruption of the normal hormone flow and the unusual physical appearance of the ovary.

 For many years, oral contraceptive pills have been the conventional treatment of choice for PCOS.  Unfortunately, birth control pills only treat the symptoms and do little to treat the underlying issues.  Studies have shown that for the most common type of PCOS, weight loss and dietary changes significantly reduce physical symptoms, help prevent pre-diabetes, help regulate menstrual cycles, and increase chances of pregnancy.  This is the “First Line Therapy”.

 Conventional fertility treatment for PCOS includes medication to induce ovulation.  However, as with most medications, there are certain risks.  Therefore, this is only done under close monitoring by your physician.

 Alternative treatment options for PCOS include biphasic tinctures, acupuncture, herbal supplements and massage.  These alternative treatments help treat the cause of the imbalances in the body, reducing stress and optimizing reproductive health.

 Here at True harmony, we are fortunate to be able to offer alternative therapies as well as conventional.  We have had great success in treating PCOS with our First Line Therapy program alone or combined with acupuncture and herbal supplements or tinctures.  We are also able to offer supportive therapies to help reduce stress (massage, reflexology, and reiki therapy).

 

Author
True Harmony Provider The True Harmony providers collaborate to bring easy to understand education to our community

You Might Also Enjoy...

Outing Tips with Baby

Being a new mom while still taking on day-to-day task can sound like a handful. Running errands is no longer an in and out event. Here are some recommendations from True Harmony that will make your outings with baby a little less stressful!

ABCs of Menopause

MaryAnn Shostek, PA-C has a reading delight for women who are searching for menopausal symptom improvement. Let's dive in to the many options of menopause relief by reading MaryAnn's ABC's!

Coping Tips during Early Labor

When people think of the start of labor, many people assume that it's like the movies. We at True Harmony strive to educate and prepare our patients for the birth of their little one. Here we can get you prepared for the early labor.

True Harmony Tips for Packing Your Hospital Bag

Getting ready for the delivery of your baby is exciting, emotional, and let's be honest, sometimes very overwhelming! True Harmony can help with packing and give you an idea of what should be in your hospital bag on your special day.

3D / 4D Images

How to prepare for adorable 3D/4D ultrasound images of baby, and why getting these images may be a struggle for your sonographer!