30 May PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and YOU!
The Problem May Be Much More Complicated Than You Think!
PCOS – Imagine this scenario. A client comes to me having experienced significant weight gain (putting them in an obese range), high blood pressure, really out-of-whack lipid levels, skin issues, and significant anxiety. These are symptoms that define MOST of my clients in the beginning, right?
Uncontrolled weight gain and anti-inflammatory reactions to terrible diets are nothing new for me, and the adverse reactions to insulin lows and spikes are the norm! So nothing seemed out of ordinary on the surface.
However, there were a whole host of symptoms that did concern me, indicating a much more serious problem, that were discovered through a casual conversation. Let me be blunt: I am NOT a doctor nor do I ever pretend to be one, and I pushed the client to visit their own doctor ASAP!
What tipped me off they needed to see a doctor?
During our conversation we discussed decreasing the common complaints about PMS. How things like bloat, hormone shifts, mood swings, and skin issues could be minimized by eliminating inflammatory foods, significantly increasing Omega 3 fatty acids, and stabilizing blood sugar levels throughout the day.
My client also revealed that she actually hadn’t had a period in some time, but that she felt like she had chronic cramps in her pelvic area anyway. That did not sound right to me, and unless a woman is significantly underweight, missing multiple periods is abnormal and needs to be addressed immediately.
What is PCOS?
I’m so thankful that she went ahead and consulted with her doctor. The diagnosis was a dangerous metabolic disorder called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Now you may have never heard of PCOS but if you have not, it’s incredibly serious and is said to affect 5-10% of women of childbearing age; and it’s actually the LEADING cause of infertility.
Without appropriate diagnosis, most women address each of these problems individually, never considering that the problems might originate from the same metabolic condition. In addition to the symptoms I already mentioned, most women with PCOS also experience:
- Inconsistent or absent ovulation
- Higher level of male hormones (androgens)
- Cystic or enlarged ovaries
- Overproduction of insulin, diabetes, or insulin resistance
- Excess body hair
- Baldness or thinning hair on the head
- Darkened patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
- Sleep apnea
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Since I’m a mother with a daughter, and the fact that I work with a large number of female clients; awareness, early identification and treatment of this condition is incredibly important to me.
Where I can offer useful advice is in helping someone with PCOS control their blood sugar and insulin levels – a critical component to effectively dealing with this condition. Stable insulin levels WILL help limit weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and will absolutely help a person stabilize hormone swings.
In fact, studies have shown that reducing body weight by as little as 5% decreases insulin levels and helps to regulate the metabolism!
In addition to nutrition, it should be obvious that a HUGE part of controlling weight is exercise. We can’t forget how important it is to MOVE, burn calories, and strength train. This further illustrates the importance of a healthy LIFESTYLE that combines proper nutrition and some form of exercise.
Have PCOS Symptoms?
I ALWAYS recommend you consult your doctor on how to best treat any medical condition. That said, I’m also a HUGE believer in considering alternative natural treatments in conjunction with modern medicine. These options may just play a supporting role in treatment, but there’s nothing wrong with adopting healthy eating habits and moving your body more! No doctor EVER told somebody to stop eating fresh fruits and veggies, and grab a candy bar or other highly processed foods. Eating real, unprocessed or minimally processed food, will never hurt you.
As I mentioned already, diet and exercise modifications are two very essential steps to take if diagnosed with PCOS. Additionally, you can try practices such as meditation, yoga, enhanced breathing techniques, acupuncture, or even some herbal homeopathic remedies.
Regardless of how you decide to approach treatment, DO NOT IGNORE THE SYMPTOMS!
None of this will just “go away” on its own, and could very well lead to the development of chronic fertility issues, increased risks during pregnancy (if it occurs), diabetes, endometrial cancer, severe anxiety and depression, and even an increased risk of a heart attack. Needless to say, ignoring the symptoms of PCOS can have some serious consequences.
So think about your body as a whole, not just bits and pieces. If you’re having significant health issues, the first step should always be to address your nutrition and fitness program. It takes hardly any time, and doesn’t cost any more to start eating healthy.
If you realize your nutrition and fitness plan is non-existent, you have a great place to start before you even visit the doctor. Not saying that nutrition will help in every case, but it NEVER hurts. Sometimes the problem will be much bigger than that, but that doesn’t mean that proper nutrition still isn’t part of the solution.
Excuses or Solutions…YOU Decide!
– Natalie Jill
If you are looking for the right nutrition or workout program to suit your needs, I have many different options HERE