If you know anyone with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) or have close connections with this condition you will know at times it can be quite challenging and for some, can impact life on a daily basis.
The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.
A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make, e.g. Testosterone. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.
Researchers also think insulin may be linked to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store. Many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have problems using it. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen.
High androgen levels can lead to:
- Excessive hair growth
- Weight gain
- Problems with ovulation
Some typical signs and symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Multiple “cysts” on the ovaries (under imaging)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Excess hair growth on face and body
- Darkened patches of skin
- Ovulation irregularities
- Insulin resistance
- Thinning of hair
- High cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
The good news is that PCOS can be managed really effectively and not take over your life. Treatment can include a range of things such as understanding the importance and power of food and diet, physical activity, complementary therapies and mediations.
Acupuncture has proven benefits with in regulation of hormones, blood sugar and insulin, resulting in regular menstrual cycles, and balanced blood sugar. As Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners we also use a combination of herbs and other dietary supplements to assist with regulation and maintenance.