Natural PCOS Solutions Blog
This blog gives you:
- Answers to your questions about PCOS, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovaries, weight loss, hirsutism, hair loss, infertility, acne, hyperinsulinsm, hormone imbalances, and more.
- Natural ways to deal with PCOS, including nutritional supplements, lifestyle, and dietary tips.
- Holistic physician's analysis and review of relevant health issues and alternative medicine treatment options.
- Immediate access to new in-depth feature articles and updated information posted to this site.
- The latest research on polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility.
If you're not sure what a blog is or how to add this blog to your blog reader, click the "What's an RSS feed?" button on this page, just under the orange "RSS/XML" button.
Aug 14, 2014
H. Pylori and PCOS
I'm hoping that you can help me. I was diagnosed with PCOS in August of 2005, and I had my daughter in March of 2008. She is fantastic, but of course
Aug 13, 2014
Green Tea a Starch Blocker?
A starchy, high-carb diet is a major cause of PCOS symptoms because it increases blood sugar too much. The high blood sugar causes increases in insulin, which leads to a condition called "insulin resistance". And insulin resistance is widely believed to be the main cause of PCOS and other chronic health problems.
Obviously the best way to minimize the effects of PCOS is to cut down on the amount of refined carbohydrates in your diet. By far the largest source of refined carbs is processed foods made mostly from grains.
But maybe it's traditional in your culture to eat refined white rice or foods made from refined wheat flour. Or possibly you're simply addicted to bread, donuts, cupcakes, breakfast cereal, or processed convenience foods.
Whether cultural habits or personal preference, you may find yourself eating more refined, processed carbs than you should.
What to do?
Well, according to research from Penn State University, you could consume green tea extract. Or at least drink green tea. The researchers discovered that green tea may inhibit the absorption of carbs.
In other words, if you're going to have a meal of refined carbs, it's wise to also have some green tea or take some green tea extract in capsules or as a powder to mix with water,
Find out more about this important study here. And discover the other multiple health benefits of green tea extract for women with PCOS.
Jul 28, 2014
PCOS Diet: Almond Milk and Bananas?
I am considering starting the diet outlined in the book but was wondering about a few things. I like to start my day with a smoothie as they are quick
May 09, 2014
Changed my PCOS symptoms with diet and exercise
I am a month shy of 42 years old. I started puberty when I was 15 years old. I was finally diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 25. I have always had irregular
May 07, 2014
Does PCOS Go Away As You Get Older?
Question: "Hi, I enjoy reading your newsletter about PCOS, but haven't read anything about how things change or not, during menopause. Can you look at this topic in an upcoming newsletter, please? Thank you." -- Mary S.
Answer: Good question, Mary!
Does PCOS just fade away as you get older? Well, I think it depends to a great extent what you do between now and when you reach menopause. And, it depends on how we define "polycystic ovary syndrome".
It depends on your health practices, such as healthy diet, plentiful exercise and physical activity, restful sleep, management of stress, minimization of exposure to chemical pollution and toxic metals, and abstinence from recreational intoxicants.
These health practices are the key to helping you to keep your hormones in balance, reduce inflammation and maintain optimal function of your cells.
Assuming your health practices are the excellent over time, you could reasonably expect PCOS (as you know it today) to fade away by menopause…but not entirely disappear.
But let's suppose you're undisciplined about your diet over the years. You get heavier every year, so you become more and more sedentary. You're not careful about chemicals in your environment. You can't get a decent night's sleep because you develop sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder. And so on.
This is when deep-seated trouble begins to bubble to the surface.
Apr 17, 2014
16 years with PCOS and 3 children, living upbeat everyday!
I was diagnosed with PCOS in 1998 after struggling with getting pregnant for the second time. Sixteen years ago the general knowledge of PCOS was nonexistent,
Apr 09, 2014
If Pregnant, Should You Take a Prenatal Supplement?
It's clear that optimal nutrition for both mother and child is critical for a successful pregnancy -- from prior to conception forward to several years after birth. Optimal nutrition helps to avoid pregnancy complications and reduces the risk that your future child will develop chronic diseases as an adult.
You've probably heard about the need for adequate folate (a B vitamin) to prevent birth defects. Maybe you've heard that iron or B12 deficiencies could impair proper fetal development. Or that certain omega-3 fats are necessary for your baby's brain development.
But have you heard of the possible importance of vitamin D adequacy for creating a healthy child? For example, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California has just reported an association between vitamin D deficiency and autism. They said: "Supplementation with vitamin D and tryptophan is a practical and affordable solution to help prevent autism."
Click here to discover more vital reasons why you may need a comprehensive prenatal supplement.
We would agree with a report from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University that said: "Supplementation with multiple micronutrients during pregnancy may result in improved pregnancy and infant outcomes."
Mar 28, 2014
Berberine Herbal Extract Reduces PCOS Problems in Several Important Ways
Have you heard of berberine?
Herbs containing berberine have been used in Chinese medicine to treat diabetes for thousands of years. Berberine is found in a handful of plants widely used in botanical medical practice including Goldenseal, Oregon grape, Barberry, and Chinese Goldthread.
This substance has value for dealing with a number of chronic disorders, including PCOS.
For example, in a study of 109 women with PCOS, Harbin Medical University in China found that berberine extract was as effective as -- or superior to -- the drug metformin in terms of improving insulin sensitivity, reducing testosterone levels, reducing blood sugar levels, weight and other health indicators.
Plus, berberine extract doesn't have side effects like metformin does.
Go here to read more about berberine and PCOS.
Mar 20, 2014
How physically fit are you?
That's a question especially relevant to PCOS because it's well known that physical activity and fitness is crucial for gaining a good degree of control over this disorder.
The most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness is your maximal oxygen uptake, otherwise known as maximum lung capacity or VO2Max. The more air you can breathe in during a specific time span while exercising, the more fit you are.
But most of us don't have easy access to the equipment needed to measure VO2Max.
Fortunately, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied the lung capacity and fitness of 4,600 Norwegians. This is one of the best databases anywhere for estimating fitness, based on VO2Max. They came up with a very easy way to estimate your fitness level by answering a few questions.
If you're interested in estimating your current fitness level, go to their site here to get started.
Did you notice that they gave you an estimated VO2Max and "Fitness Age"? Is your fitness age less than your actual age? If so, congratulations and keep up the good work!
If your fitness age is older than your actual age, and if your VO2Max is below the average, you might want to take another look at what you're doing to stay physically active.
Maybe a regular exercise program is too daunting or embarrassing right now. So why not start with something that's really easy…like using gravity to help you become more fit.
For example, if you're sitting in a chair while reading this, stand up. In order to stand up, you had to use your muscles to defy gravity. And while you're standing, do a few gentle squats. Or walk in place. OK, sit back down. You've just taken a small step towards improved fitness!
Do you spend most of your time sitting down, and remain sitting for a long time, like I do? While we're sitting, our muscles are doing nothing. But imagine if we were to stand up every 20 minutes and move our bodies a bit? We would definitely be more physically fit.
The book that inspired me to get off my butt is "Sitting Kills, Moving Heals" by Joan Vernikos, PhD. Her research on astronauts led her to understand the importance of gravity for slowing down the aging process. You may find it a good read.
By the way, I've found it difficult to consistently get out of my chair every 20 minutes. Sometimes I forget, or I tell myself "I'm too busy right now". But I keep at it anyway. I also set an alarm that goes off every 20 minutes, which is annoying but it does help.
So every 20 minutes, I do a few squats, go up a flight of stairs, stretch, or just go outside for a quick breath of fresh air.
I've been doing this for two months and frankly, I do feel significantly better and more energetic. Why not read Dr. Vernikos' book and give it a try?
Mar 14, 2014
PCOS patient overcomes five years of infertility
In my late twenties I wanted to start a family; after a year with no success I went to see a reproductive doctor. After many tests I was informed I had
Jan 15, 2014
Diet book for PCOS somewhat inconsistent, but can be helpful
I appreciate and respect the work that went into this book. Well-intentioned, for sure - but I do find a lot of contradicting information in it. Avoid
Jan 07, 2014
Get a Fresh Start on PCOS
Here we are in 2014! 2013 is history. What do you have lined up for this year? What do you have in mind to make 2014 the best year of your life so far? And, will PCOS interfere with any of your dreams or aspirations for this year?
If you think of your life as a party, then PCOS is your rude, misbehaving party crasher. It wrecks your self-esteem, puts on pounds, prevents you from starting a family, makes your hair fall out, puts pimples and whiskers on your face, strains relationships, disturbs your sleep, and in general tries to make your life party a miserable affair. The worst thing of all is that it doesn't just come to the party, make a mess and then leave. It just stays and stays and never really goes completely away. It permeates almost every aspect of your life and deeply affects your enjoyment of life.
So as you start 2014, it's really smart to have a plan for keeping PCOS under control for the rest of this year…and beyond.
Here are some suggestions that may help you be more successful.
Oct 09, 2013
4 Miscarriages but Never Giving Up!
I am 29 years old and i was diagnosed with PCOS after 3 years of trying to conceive and ending with 4 miscarriages. I was devastated that it took so
Oct 01, 2013
PCOS E-book Well-intentioned but overwhelming, contradictory, and guilt-inducing
I appreciate and respect the work that went into this book. Well-intentioned, for sure - but I can't say it improved my outlook. It contains a lot of contradictory
Sep 11, 2013
Exercise = Relief from PCOS
Have you exercised today? Or did you find a "reason" avoid it?
Not a trivial question. After improving your diet, exercise is the second most important thing you must do to control PCOS.
So if exercise is not an integral part of your life, you're really limiting your ability to reduce your suffering and frustration.
Research suggests that women with polycystic ovary syndrome, including adolescents, tend to exercise less than other women do.
Here are two quick tips on how to make exercise a habit that will change your life.
Aug 27, 2013
Can Fructose Alter Developmental Programming and Risk Future PCOS?
Are you feeding apple juice or orange juice to your baby? Ouch! Did your mother give you fruit juices and drinks when you were small? Or fructose-sweetened breakfast cereal? Let you have soft drinks? Unfortunate!
Just recently, the Department of Preventive Medicine and Childhood Obesity Research Centre at the University of Southern California released a study on the effect of fructose consumption during early human development.
They said: "high fructose exposure during critical periods of development of the fetus, neonate and infant can act as an obesogen".
An obesogen is something that makes you a fatter person.
Did this happen to you? Please read this very important article. It may affect your future children, too.
Aug 14, 2013
Will Your Baby Get PCOS?
Does it ever cross your mind that your baby girl could develop PCOS, just like you?
Can you imagine your daughter going through all the difficulties you have been going through? That would be heart-breaking for both of you.
You can reduce the risk by making some changes in your "programming".
There's a concept called "fetal programming" or "developmental programming". It's a physiological process that can create different results from the same genetic background. The purpose of the programming is to help a developing human to adapt to its expected environment.
This programming starts from the moment of conception and continues until you become an adult. The most important phase is during your time in your mother's womb. The effects of this programming are maintained throughout your life.
In other words, what goes on from conception until your child becomes an adult will affect her or him for the rest of her life. Moreover, the children of your children may also be affected.
Unfortunately, your programming can be "hacked" in all kinds of ways.
Here's an example of two mouse fetuses. The mother of the smaller one on the left was fed a high fat diet. The other was not. Can you see how diet composition can affect fetal growth?
So a poor diet is a big problem. Read the article on our web page to find out what the other big problem is.
Aug 02, 2013
Is Your Body Polluted with Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals?
Hormone-disrupting environmental chemicals are suspected to contribute to PCOS.
There are at least 800 or so environmental chemicals that are known to affect hormone function in some way.
Women with PCOS have been found to have higher levels of one such chemical, bisphenol-A, than other women. Bisphenol-A has an estrogenic effect in your body. Experiments have shown that bisphenol-A can lead to infertility and other reproductive problems.
But what about the other 799 chemicals? Do you also have higher levels of these chemicals than other women?
Well, no one knows because no one has conducted any studies on this huge problem in relation to polycystic ovary syndrome.
In one small study of men and women, every single person had at least 26 chemicals or toxic metals and some had as many as 36.
Other studies have suggested that all of us are carrying a significant body burden of toxic or hormone-disrupting man-made chemicals and other substances.
It's to your benefit to become aware of this hidden threat to your health. Read our article for more details.
Jul 30, 2013
The #1 Thing You Can Do to Control PCOS
Are you looking for the single "one thing" you can do to better control your symptoms of PCOS?
Well, here it is. Eat more fresh vegetables. A lot more.
But what kind should you eat? And how much? Find the answers here.
Jul 25, 2013
Is Herbalife Soy Safe if I Have PCOS and High Estrogen?
Hello, my daughter is very new to all of this. She recently went to our obgyn to discuss some issues about her period and he ordered tests on her. Long
Jul 25, 2013
Have PCOS but Lost My Gallbladder
Your newsletter was informative, as usual. I'm wondering if you've done any research on ways to help PCOSers without gallbladders. A girl can only eat
Jul 16, 2013
Is This Why You Have PCOS?
Have you noticed that your PCOS symptoms just seem to hang on and on -- even though you tried everything, including diets, herbs, drugs, exercise, you name it?
Your doctor has no clue what to do except prescribe birth control pills or metformin (Glucophage).
The problem may be that your body was "reprogrammed" while you were still in your mother's womb. The altered programming may have led to the stubborn symptoms you have today. In other words, your PCOS really got started long before you got a diagnosis from your doctor, even before you were born.
But what could have caused this to happen? Was it your mother's fault?
Jul 02, 2013
What Is Gestational Diabetes and Why Is It Important for PCOS?
Why you want to reduce your risk of developing diabetes while you're pregnant,especially if you have PCOS,blood sugar or insulin problems.
Jul 02, 2013
Gestational Diabetes Is a Pregnancy Risk in PCOS
If you have PCOS,you also have an increased risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes,pregnancy-related hypertension or a premature birth.
Jun 26, 2013
Could Vinegar Consumption Restore Ovulation in Women with PCOS?
Do you cook with vinegar? Or use it in your salad dressing? If so, you may be relieving your PCOS problems!
Vinegar has been used for more than 2,000 years to season and preserve foods, heal wounds, treat infections, prevent cardiovascular disease, and suppress tumor formation.
There have been a few reports in the medical literature suggesting that intake of vinegar helps to keep your blood sugar from getting too high after eating a meal containing carbohydrates.
As you probably know, consumption of refined starchy carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to go up. If you continually do this, you could develop a condition called "insulin resistance".
Insulin resistance is widely believed to be the primary cause of PCOS symptoms, including excessive weight.
That is why your doctor may have prescribed metformin (Glucophage) for your condition. But is it possible that vinegar to have an effect similar to metformin and thus reduce insulin resistance in PCOS?
Researchers at Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan looked into this question. The answer may surprise you. Read the article for more information.
Jun 04, 2013
How to Solve a PCOS Problem by Controlling Blood Sludge (Viscosity)
Many women with PCOS have a number of risks for developing cardiovascular disease.
One of the risk factors is poor circulation due to excessively high blood viscosity, also known as "blood sludge".
Blood viscosity is important because thicker, stickier blood is more abrasive and damages arterial walls.
Thus, it not only affects how hard the heart has to work to circulate the blood, but also contributes to inflammation of the lining of the vessels. It contributes to blood vessel dysfunction, growth of atherosclerotic lesions, and plaque rupture.
Impaired blood flow due to highly viscous blood leads to decreased oxygen and nutrients delivered to the tissues, affecting critical areas such as the brain, eyes, and kidneys.
This article gives you 9 ways to combat blood sludge.
May 23, 2013
Is 'Blood Sludge' a Ticking Time Bomb for PCOS?
It appears that women with PCOS may have an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease.
There have been reports that women with polycystic ovary syndrome are somewhat more likely than other women to have:- less flexibility in their arteries ("hardening of the arteries"); - pumping chamber of the heart is enlarged (your heart is working harder)- non-dipping blood pressure (blood pressure does not drop enough while asleep).
It has also been reported that by the time you reach menopause, you have triple the risk of dying from heart disease or a heart attack, as compared to other women.
But here's the thing. When you were a baby, you did not have any of these problems. So is there something going wrong?
Could one of the factors be "blood sludge", which is a nickname for increased blood viscosity, or thick blood that doesn't flow easily?
Go to this webpage to see a very important video that describes how increased blood viscosity can cause heart disease.
May 15, 2013
Defang the PCOS Dragon
Hi, PCOS has had my life for years. I was normal at the age of 18 but it all went bad. After then I exercise for an hour and 15 min 4 x a week and I'm
May 09, 2013
A Mature Man Does Not Care How Hairy You Are
Hi. I read the article about vitamin E and hair growth about three times and I STILL can't follow it. Would you mind putting it in layman's terms, please?
May 07, 2013
Have Unwanted Hair? Maybe Your SHBG Is too Low
Did you know that there's a connection between unwanted hair growth and what you eat?
There's a substance in your body that regulates the hormone that causes the growth of unwanted coarse facial and body hair.
It's called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). It's part of the hormone regulation system that manages sex hormones in your body.
When SHBG is too low, male hormones are free to stimulate hair growth in places where you don't want it, plus is thins the hair on your scalp. This problem is especially prevalent among women with PCOS.
Not a good situation!
The good news is that you can something about it. You can make a few changes in your diet to raise your SHBG levels and thus have more control over hair growth and loss.
Apr 30, 2013
Piling on the Weight in Spite of Diet and Exercise? Here's What to Do
My 28 year daughter suffers from PCOS, has regular periods though. She is always on some kind of diet, watching sugar carbs and fats, goes to the gym
Apr 28, 2013
How to Not Lose Your Personal PCOS War
We recently received this email: I have put on about 7-8 kilos and I am so depressed. I just lost all interest in taking care of myself. Because with
Apr 27, 2013
Are Your Muscles Responsible for PCOS Symptoms?
By any chance, are you a bit of a couch potato? Or maybe just too busy to exercise or have to sit in front of a computer all day? Or, have you just given up and convinced yourself that exercise isn't helping you?
Whatever your reason for not exercising, a sedentary life will make PCOS symptoms worse, according to medical research.
The amazing thing is that your muscles, when used, produce signaling molecules called 'myokines'.
Not only do myokines help your muscles to burn fat, they also communicate with your belly fat. They have an anti-inflammatory effect on your belly fat. Your belly fat creates chronic inflammation, which in turn increases your PCOS symptoms.
PCOS will not go away by itself. You have to make it go away.
Your muscles are your friend and indispensable ally. Put them to work! They will help you in so many ways.
Read the full article for more details.
Apr 11, 2013
Do Avocados Help with Your Weight?
People who eat avocados weigh seven pounds less than non-avocado eaters, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2001 and 2008.
The avocado eaters also had smaller waistlines and weight-to-height ratio.
How could this be? Aren't avocadoes loaded with undesirable fat calories?
It turns out the avocado eaters also had better diets (more fruit and veggies, more fiber, and less added sugars) than people who didn't eat avocadoes. So it's not the avocadoes by themselves that caused the slimmer waistlines. It appears that people who eat avocadoes are generally more health-conscious.
A good way to keep PCOS problems under control is not to simply count calories, but to be very selective in the type of calories you take on board. This means eating a diet mostly of whole, unprocessed foods will give you more latitude for enjoyable fatty foods such as avocadoes.
While avocadoes have a lot of calories, they also offer some healthy benefits. They contain soluble fiber, which tends to make you feel fuller, which helps with appetite control. Soluble fiber helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and promotes insulin sensitivity.
Read the rest of this article for more avocados and fats you should eat -- and avoid.
Apr 10, 2013
Birth Control Pills Increase Thromboembolism Risk in PCOS Women
This isn't news to some of you, but did you know that taking birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a few of which could result in a thromboembolism?
A thromboembolism is an obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot that has become dislodged from another site in your circulation. When you have an obstruction, your blood can't circulate as it should. It could be minor or it could be serious.
So what does all this have to do with PCOS and birth control pills?
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy published a study recently of 87,012 women. They discovered "a 2-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism among women with PCOS who were taking combined oral contraceptives" compared to women who do not have this disorder.
Read our article for more details.
Apr 02, 2013
Homeopathic Remedy Restored My Periods
Just a little fun fact: I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2008 after a series of tests done by my doctor. He urged me to go on the pill, take meds, etc. etc.
Apr 01, 2013
GMO Foods Not Safe for PCOS?
I was quite saddened to see you retract your article about the dangers of GMO foods. Do NOT give into Monsanto's rhetoric! I have held you to higher
Apr 01, 2013
PCOS Can Change the Structure of Your Heart
Do you take your heart for granted? Most of us do.
However, if you have PCOS, there could be something going on inside your heart.
The University of California at San Francisco took echocardiograms of the hearts of four groups of women in their twenties and thirties. Group 1 had PCOS; group 2 had irregular periods, group 3 had elevated male hormones, and group 4 had none of these issues.
The women with PCOS had a 10% higher left ventricular mass and a larger left atrial diameter compared to the other groups. The researchers said this is "suggestive of early adverse cardiac remodeling" in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome.
The left ventricle is one of the four chambers in your heart. It's the chamber that pushes the oxygenated blood out of your heart and into circulation. Your blood can't circulate well if there's any problem with the left ventricle.
As this condition develops, it is referred to as "left ventricular hypertrophy" (enlargement). This is not a disease entity; it is a sign of something happening to your heart. It seems to be more common in women, and in people with PCOS, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
It's possible that left ventricular enlargement can be partially reversed with better health practices that are persistently applied.
Read the article for more information.
Mar 27, 2013
Researchers Discover Women with PCOS Are Low in Selenium
Could a mineral called selenium be a missing component of your diet -- and be contributing to hormone imbalances or other problems associated with PCOS?
Kahramanmaras Sutcuimam University in Turkey recently analyzed the selenium levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
They discovered that the women with PCOS had significantly lower levels of selenium compared to other women.
Moreover, the researchers discovered an association between low selenium and increased luteinizing hormone and testosterone. These are two hormones that interfere with ovulation and cause other imbalances leading to troublesome symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Selenium is an overlooked nutrient. Read this article to learn more. Selenium may be helpful to you.
Mar 21, 2013
Inositol Helps You Manage PCOS in Multiple Ways
Inositol is a nutritional compound that is a "work horse" nutrient for women with PCOS.
Although inositol is widely considered a member of the B-vitamin family, it is technically not a vitamin because the body can manufacture some inositol.
Several medical studies have shown that women who have polycystic ovary syndrome can benefit from taking supplemental inositol. It appears that some women excrete more inositol than normal and thus need to supplement.
However, the amount of inositol in a B-vitamin formula is not nearly enough to have an effect. In the case of PCOS, a much larger amount appears to be more effective.
Inositol is something you should be aware of. It has many potential benefits, including reduced risk of gestational diabetes, reduction of unwanted hair growth and acne, and improvement of mood.
It also can help to induce ovulation and thus improve your chances of becoming pregnant. Moreover, inositol appears to improve egg quality, thus improving your ability to have a successful pregnancy.
It helps to clear out fatty deposits in your liver, which is a big problem for roughly 1/2 of women who have PCOS.
And, it helps you to normalize your hormones. For example, it reduces insulin resistance and testosterone. These two hormonal imbalances are particularly troublesome for those who have PCOS.
Are you taking birth control pills? A medical study has shown that if you take inositol along with your birth control pills, you will get better results.
When you sum it all up, inositol and its cousin, d-pinitol, are nutritional supplements you should consider.