July 20, 2016
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common endocrine system disorder in which women develop follicles on their ovaries. The standard treatment for PCOS relies on hormonal therapies such as birth control pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, as well as medications to help ovulation. While some find relief with these approaches, this really only addresses part of the issue.
There are many additional factors that contribute to the onset, progression, and intensity of PCOS. We advocate a much more inclusive treatment and approach, which works to address multiple layers of body function. This functional and integrative medicine NYC approach can oftentimes have a greater impact on PCOS, leading to less symptomatic, healthier, and happier women.
Negative shifts in microbial populations can have profound effects which can reverberate throughout the body for years to come if left unchecked. If the microbiome is unhealthy, intestinal permeability often ensue. This can set off chronic and widespread inflammation, which can damage the body’s ability to use insulin, a hallmark of PCOS, as well as trigger an increase in hormones like testosterone, which is also common in PCOS. By working on re-establishing a beneficial terrain in the gut, the entire body can improve. Dietary changes, prebiotic and fermented foods, and targeted probiotics can all help re-establish a beneficial bacterial balance. The 4-R program can help, since it works to remove pathogens while rebooting microbiome.
Likewise, the health of the intestine itself is vitally important as it houses the vast majority of the immune system, as well as the gut microbiome. Using targeted herbs such as DGL, aloe, glutamine, butyrate, and Vitamin D can help to fortify and repair any damage to the gut wall, strengthen the tight junction joints between cells, reverse intestinal permeability, and fuel intestinal cells so they can thrive.
This little gland is often overlooked in relation to PCOS, yet many of these patients are found to have elevated TSH. Additionally, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and PCOS are strongly correlated with patients having a 65% increase in TPO antibodies and elevations in thyroglobulin Ab. Deep accurate testing like the TRH test and a full thyroid panel can help uncover this profound health effector where routine testing fails.
Because insulin resistance and even diabetes often go hand in hand with PCOS, it is very important to help the body utilize sugar. Berberine, cinnamon, and gymnema can help improve cellular uptake of glucose and lower blood insulin levels. Myoinositol works the same way, plus improves ovulation and lowers levels of androgens like testosterone, blood pressure, and triglycerides. In some cases, a medication like Metformin can also be beneficial.
Older and more conventional approaches to treating PCOS fail to adequately shine a light on the interconnectedness of different body systems and the importance of considering the impact of these other systems on your endocrine health. These are some great tips that should help alleviate your symptoms, and more importantly get you into the habit of thinking globally about your health.