How to Control Hirsutism (and PCOS) Naturally
Medical research shows that a healthy diet, supplementation, exercise, stress management, and quality healthcare will have a profoundly beneficial effect for PCOS women who suffer from hirsutism.
You may be surprised at how effective lifestyle changes can be for reducing unwanted hair growth.
Dietary modifications combined with increased exercise have been shown to reduce insulin problems, which are a primary cause of hair growth in unwanted places.
Recent Study Implicates Insulin as a Cause of Hair Growth
A recent study of women with PCOS at the UCLA School of Medicine has shown that the hormone insulin is directly related to the severity of hirsutism. Hirsutism is the presence of excessive facial and body hair.
In other words, the higher your insulin level, the more severe the hair problem. Unfortunately, women with PCOS are very likely to have insulin levels that are abnormally high. So it's no surprise that hirsutism is a problem.
If you have an issue with abnormal facial or body hair, you'll want to lower your insulin levels.
The first step is always to improve the quality of your diet so that your body does not have to produce so much insulin. This is extremely important because PCOS women tend to over-produce insulin in response to the standard American meal. Your meals need to be different, as we describe in this PCOS diet e-book.
Second, you'll need to make exercise part of your daily routine. Exercise helps you to control insulin. Third, you can take supplements like chromium, which helps insulin do its job, and thus you need less insulin. This is why chromium is included in the d-pinitol formula.
Fourth, you can take pharmaceuticals such as metformin, which also help you to get by with less insulin. The problem with metformin is that it has side effects, including an induced vitamin B12 deficiency.
Source: Linday M et al, Degree of hyperinsulinemia, independent of androgen levels, is an important determinant of the severity of hirsutism in PCOS, Fertil Steril. 2008 Aug 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Change Your Diet
Medical research has shown that if you change the type of carbohydrates fats in your diet, you can normalize your insulin levels, and you can reduce your production of male hormones such as testosterone. Too much insulin and testosterone causes hirsutism.
Your body may need a boost in dealing with hirsutism. Here's a short list of helpful supplements and herbs.
Regular exercise is a critical component to any program for reducing hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance and other problems associated with PCOS.
Any exercise is beneficial for many reasons. However, you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise to get maximum effect.
A recent study reported that intense aerobic exercise for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week improves insulin sensitivity, thus helping to reduce hirsutism. Women who exercised less or not at all didn't have an improvement in insulin sensitivity.
You may be taking drugs because you will do almost anything to get rid of unwanted hair. Here's the good news: you don't have to be totally dependent on drugs.
You can substantially improve your probability of success with better nutrition and exercise. A healthy diet and lifestyle achieve good results just like drugs do, but without the side effects.
Get Help from a Knowledgeable Physician
The final component of your natural approach to dealing with hirsutism and PCOS is to periodically consult with a qualified and knowledgeable physician.
Naturopathic physicians are especially well trained in all of the natural health-building methods outlined above.
A knowledgeable medical or naturopathic doctor will also want to carefully evaluate your organ systems. In order to bring your hormones into balance, your liver, kidneys, adrenals, thyroid and GI tract need to function properly. If there is malfunction, special treatment will be recommended. You need healthy organs if you want to eventually be free of reliance on medications.
It's a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you are overweight or have other health problems.
See Related Articles
PCOS Health Review
This free newsletter gives you original and immediately usable information to help you deal with PCOS.
Get the latest research, tips for improving your health, answers to questions, success stories, and more!
Your e-mail address is totally secure. We will never misuse your information.
Click the Link Above to Subscribe Today
and Get Your Questions Answered in this Free Special Report!