Have you been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Or do you experience symptoms of PCOS, such as low mood, irregular periods, anxiety, irritability, low energy, acne, facial hair growth or water retention?
If so, it is likely that a conventional doctor will have recommended medication and/or hormonal birth control to take away your discomfort. This is ONLY treating the symptoms, a sticky plaster approach. In fact, hormonal medication will only make imbalances in your body worse, prolonging the health issues.
I often hear ‘PCOS runs in my family, so I just have to deal with it.’ Yes, you can have a genetic predisposition to certain health issues, but this doesn’t mean that your fate is decided. These genes need to be triggered to cause PCOS, which can be done by the environment, certain foods, toxins, lifestyle factors, other stressors or even just stress itself. Thousands of women were able to overcome their PCOS and so can you.
You need to rip the band aid off to see what is going on underneath. What are the underlying root causes for your PCOS symptoms? If you don’t peel back the onion and understand WHY, you will only ever treat the symptoms. You can treat the symptoms WHILST you rebalance, but you will only achieve long lasting results if you work out what is going on within.
There is no PCOS without inflammation but, contrary to popular belief, inflammation is NOT a root cause of PCOS. Sure, inflammation is a reason why PCOS occurs, but inflammation is merely a symptom of an even deeper underlying issue.
By all means, I recommend taking Bare Biology’s Omega-3s and Your Bodhi’s Curcumin to promote healthy levels of inflammation (I use these two every day and you can get 10% off with PAULA10) and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet as this will help significantly with symptoms. However, it will not remove it completely, as inflammation will continue as long as the underlying cause of inflammation is not addressed. We still need to go deeper.
THE MAIN ROOT CAUSES OF PCOS
There is always an underlying root cause, and often there is more than one. There are usually 10-12 causes MAXIMUM that cause any ‘disease’ because your body doesn’t work in separate pieces, and therefore you can’t overcome your health issues by looking at just one thing. Therefore we look at health from a holistic viewpoint.
The goal is to simplify; for these max 10-12 causes, there is usually only 1-3 things that you need heal. So, where to start with PCOS? Well, it almost always comes down to STRESS. Lots can put stress on the body:
- Mental & emotional stress
- Gut based issues
- Toxicity from heavy metals, mould, toxins from everyday products, environmental pollutants
- Viruses and infections
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Excess body fat
- Hormonal imbalances, such as estrogen dominance or high testosterone
- Low thyroid
All these stressors influence and perpetuate the others, this is why you usually get lots of different symptoms that you may believe aren’t connected and try and treat separately. It is all connected. This is what I mean when I say, “our bodies are not made up of separate parts”...
You need to break the cycle of these root causes and PCOS symptoms by focusing on the 1-3 things that you need to heal and the quickest way to identify this is through at-home functional lab testing.
A VICIOUS CYCLE
So, let’s say that you have high levels of toxicity in your body. The more toxicity that you have in your body, the more water retention and body fat you will accumulate. Why? If your body is not able to detoxify, due to the sheer amount of toxins, then what will it do with it? Toxins will flood your bloodstream and brain AND the body will store these unwanted toxins in fat cells, resulting in body fat. This causes a stress response, resulting in inflammation, resulting in health issues, such as PCOS.
Increased body fat will lead to an increased endogenous production of estrogen. Higher levels of estrogen lead to more body fat (see this post on body fat and hormonal imbalances), resulting in more stress, more inflammation and more symptoms of PCOS.
What happens when you have a stress response? Well, your body produces higher levels of cortisol and estrogen. Your body works optimally with a specific hormonal balance, this means hormones exist in ratio or inverse-ratio of each other. So, if one hormone rises, another will fall or rise also. This results in further hormonal imbalances!
How should we break this cycle? Do you think your root cause is body fat? Why not just lose weight? Well, if you lose weight, you break down adipose tissue. If you have a high toxicity level (which is EXTREMELY likely due to the unavoidable amount of toxins that we are exposed to every single day), this breakdown of adipose tissue will result in the release of toxins that are stored in fat cells.
The toxins then go back into your blood stream and your liver is still unable to detoxify them, so guess what? They go straight back to your brain and storage in fat cells, resulting in more water retention and weight gain. Do you find that your weight is constantly yo-yoing? This may be why!
Thus, more stress is put on your body, resulting in more inflammation and you are still stuck in the vicious cycle of stress, inflammation and PCOS symptoms.
HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE
The number one thing that you can do is run lab tests. My main recommendation is the weight management and thyroid test – this test is never just used for weight gain or loss, it is so comprehensive and will give us a good indication of whether you are trapped in the vicious cycle described above.
If you can afford to, I would also recommend testing to get an insight into your gut health and function, toxicity levels and hormonal balance.
Once you understand the root cause(s) for your inflammation and PCOS symptoms, the better equipped you will be to address the underlying root cause. Remember, I do not ‘treat’ or ‘cure’ diseases or health issues, I look at WHY they are occurring and help heal what is underlying instead. In turn, alleviating the symptoms of the health issue that you are experiencing.