There is hope.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS, effects up to 1 in 10 women of childbearing years, that is 5 million of us ladies!! What is even more frustrating is that many of you are going undiagnosed because doctors really don’t understand this condition. Even if out have been diagnosed, there aren’t really any great solutions in the medical world to help you.
I have so many new patients with PCOS, but Sarah’s story really stands out. Sarah is in her mid 20’s and was told she would never have kids. She was so upset because she had been following the traditional protocol for PCOS for quite some time but nothing really got better. She felt terrible being on the birth control pill and metformin made her light headed and messed with her digestion. She has some of the hallmarks of the syndrome:
- Acne so bad it is leaving scars,
- She has hair growing in places where she never wanted hair in the first place
- She has struggled with anxiety and depression for some time
- Her periods have never been regular
- Her sleep was terrible
- She has several lifestyle stressors - poor eating habits, no exercise and mental/emotional trauma
- She has about 40 pounds to lose but is stuck
What we know about PCOS is there are a lot of factors that contribute to the hormone dysfunction. Really getting to the root of this disorder is critical to helping the body move toward normal function and hormone harmony.
The first thing we did was look at her labs. My Functional Health panel always looks at HgA1C, one of the markers for diabetes. This is often high in women with PCOS. But, we also did some extra testing. We looked at fasting insulin, FSH, LH, Testosterone, DHEA, Estrogen, AMH through blood tests but also used salivary hormone testing to look at cortisol rhythm. We haven’t done a sleep study, yet, but it may be necessary to rule out apnea because this also disrupts hormone production. An ultrasound was done to check on the ovarian cysts.
We found some pretty interesting results:
- High testosterone
- High insulin
- Deficiencies in D, B-12, folate, B-complex, Zinc and iron
- Her cortisol rhythm was such that she had high evening cortisol and low cortisol in the morning. This can create anxiety, depression and poor sleep. It is an indicator of Adrenal Stress or Adrenal Fatigue.
Together we put a plan in motion.
She was motivated!! She finally had some answers and a direction.
- We cleaned up her food. I have several different programs to help people get their food and weight under control. She chose the fastest option and is also learning how to manage her choices with me as her weekly coach.
- She found a counselor to work with her emotional stuff.
- She started a moderate walking program to help with her insulin levels.
- We started her on supplements to improve her testosterone levels, and normalize her cycles, as well as fill in all the deficiencies we found in her labs.
Within 6 months, Sarah had 3 periods in a row between 28-35 days apart, not perfect but definitely on track. She dropped her 40 pounds in 4 months. She reported her anxiety was down by about 50%, but she continued to work on it. At 12 months, her period had stayed the same, ranging from 28-35 days, no new hair growth, and her acne was about 80% under control, her cortisol levels have normalized. She still struggles a little with anxiety and depression, but is using cognitive behavioral therapy skills to manage it. Sarah is happy with her results and since she is ovulating every month, I do not see any reason why she can’t have children in the future.
Every case is different. Sarah was very motivated to get this under control and get her body functioning the way she knew it was supposed to function. Sarah had tried birth control pills and metformin, the standard medical approach, but it wasn’t helping the hair growth and acne. She was absolutely ready to really take her health back under her control!
Did you know that how we treat our body, our lifestyle choices of what we eat and drink, how we move sleep, think and feel, determines 70-90% of our current health.
How are you neglecting your body?
How long are you planning to continue the neglect? Let’s get your hormones back in order so you can live the full and exciting life you have always wanted to live.
Go ahead and schedule that 15 minute consultation - I can’t wait to help you figure this out and put a positive plan in motion with you.