Before we get to the five essentials, we need to describe the problem. Before you can solve a problem, you have to understand what is causing it and how it behaves.
First thing is to understand the process of PCOS. It is characterized by positive-feedback loops. A positive feedback loop is something that feeds on itself.
Here's an example of a feedback loop (highly oversimplified and incomplete).
Sugars, sweeteners, and highly refined starches contribute to rapidly elevated blood glucose, which is inflammatory.
Inflammation increases insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance increases production of androgens (male hormones). Also saturated fat increases androgen production.
Excessive androgens stimulate symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.
And, androgens make cells more sensitive to glucose, thus amplifying the impact of sugars and starches on inflammation.
The increased inflammation leads to more insulin resistance…and back around we go, repeating the loop.
This loop (and many other loops) go on and on, unless you change them.
There are lots of things you can do to diminish this feedback loop. You could take birth control pills or other drugs that block androgens. You could take inositol, which reduces inflammation, insulin resistance, and androgen levels.
You could exercise to reduce insulin resistance. You could replace sugar, sweets and refined starches with a healthier diet, which would reduce blood sugar fluctuations and lessen the inflammatory process. Doing things like this dampen the fires of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
But when you eat stuff like sweets, sugar, fructose sweeteners, refined starches, saturated fat, trans fats, ice cream, white bread, soft drinks, etc., and when you're sedentary, you're adding gasoline to the PCOS fires.
You can disagree with details of the feedback loop described above. That's fine. But the point is, these feedback loops exist and will affect your life.
González F et al, Hyperandrogenism sensitizes mononuclear cells to promote glucose-induced inflammation in lean reproductive-age women. AJ-Endo, February 1, 2012, 302:3, E297-E306.
Galland L, Diet and inflammation. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Dec;25(6):634-40.
González F et al, In vitro evidence that hyperglycemia stimulates tumor necrosis factor-alpha release in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Endocrinol. 2006 Mar;188(3):521-9.
We hope you've had success in dealing with polycystic ovary syndrome and the multitude of health and psychological issues associated with it.
Conventional treatment is focused almost entirely on pharmaceuticals such as birth control pills, metformin, Clomid and other drugs to manage your hormones and either provide symptomatic relief, or enable you to become pregnant.
Has this worked for you? Did these pharmaceuticals solve your issues? Some women get the results they want. But a lot of you do not.
Does your doctor have a solid understanding of what polycystic ovary syndrome is and how to effectively treat it? Are you satisfied with how your doctor is helping you? Some of you tell us your doctor is excellent. But the majority of you report some level of dissatisfaction or frustration with your doctor.
So what is the best way forward?
Is there more that can be done or should be done, in addition to drugs?
We think so, based on our review of more than a thousand medical studies on the topic of PCOS and its symptoms. What have we discovered?
There are no new breakthrough pharmaceuticals on the horizon for treating this disorder. Therefore these five elements look like our best way forward.
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