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Eat Yourself Healthy – Sally Joseph

Natural Ways To Treat Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome

Natural Ways To Treat Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome

It’s estimated 12-18% of Australian women suffer Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) making it the most common endocrine disorder experienced in reproductive aged women.  The question is why are so many women falling victim to this often debilitating and increasing epidemic?

PCOS is caused by a combination of hormonal and metabolic imbalances, resulting in irregularities in ovarian function. Factors such as excess sugar and starchy carbohydrate intake, obesity, genetic predisposition, inactivity, smoking, medications such as steroids and excess oestrogen production, or exposure to xeno oestrogens, are all factors that can induce insulin resistance and PCOS.  Prolonged periods of chronic stress can also contribute to the onset of PCOS because of the   effect stress has on hormones  – cortisol and insulin.

Symptoms of PCOS typically appear in womens teenage years, starting with irregular periods and acne, before progressing over time to excess hair growth, weight gain and infertility.  Eventually these symptoms can result in insulin resistance or even type 2 diabetes.

Diagnosis of of PCOS should be based on a combination of symptomatology (such as those above) and pathology tests, including:

  • Free testosterone, thyroid function tests, prolactin to assess pituitary activity and FSH levels, blood glucose and insulin and lipid studies
  • Internal pelvic ultrasound – can be performed in women over 18 years of age to check for the presence of excess cysts on the ovaries.   Many practitioner make the mistake of basing diagnosis on ultrasound alone, but this is not enough as many women can have the symptoms of PCOS but don’t necessarily present with polycystic ovaries.

Management of PCOS

PCOS can vary greatly from each individual so the management needs to be individualised, however all sufferers of PCOS would greatly benefit from reducing overall sugar and grain consumption, including the elimination of other inflammatory foods like gluten, artificial additives and sweeteners and cows dairy. The eating program I developed in my e-book Eat Yourself Healthy In 28 Days is designed to regulate healthy blood glucose and insulin production, as well as aid natural liver detoxification and reduce inflammation.  I also recommend combining my eating program with the nutritional supplements contained in my Gut Repair and liver detoxification program as these work to switch off inflammation and eliminate excess oestrogen from the liver.  Supplementing with additional magnesium and chromium will help to prevent sugar cravings and aid healthy glucose metabolism.  I also recommend PCOS patients combine my eating and supplement program with regular acupuncture sessions, to assist with balancing hormones and improve blood circulation to the reproductive area.

The important thing to remember when it comes to successfully treating PCOS, is that it will take time and is heavily influenced by diet and lifestyle and should not be managed by taking the oral contraceptive pill, as this will only induce an artificial period, not to mention is a source of synthetic oestrogen – exactly what PCOS sufferers should be avoiding.   Also, contrary to popular belief, PCOS is NOT a life sentence for infertility.  I’ve assisted many women in restoring their fertility using nutritional and herbal medicine combined with diet, leading to successful pregnancies, so dont lose heart if you have been told you are unable to conceive because you suffer PCOS and seek out the help of an experienced natural healthcare practitioner.

If you suffer PCOS or have recovered from this condition, I’d love to hear your experiences and what worked for you in the comments below.

© All Rights Reserved Sally Joseph 2014

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  1. Hi, Sadly I am unable to provide professional advice to an individual without seeing relevant pathology and ultrasound results as part of a consultation. I will say that I do not agree with your Dr’s response that you shoudl not worry about rectifying this situation with irregular periods until you want to concieve. Its best to address this sooner than later because it is an indication of a hormonal imbalance. make sure you are not underweight. Cheers Sally

  2. Hi Sally,

    Thanks for the post. Im in my early 20s and have recently been diagnosed with ‘possible’ PCOS after having two ultra sounds and blood tests. I don’t have any of the symptoms associated with PCOS apart from irregular periods. ( I haven’t had a cycle in about 6 months) I was so upset with the doctors reaction, she pretty much told me I don’t have to worry about anything until I begin to start trying to conceive. I’m a third year Nutrition and Dietetics student so I understand the importance of a healthy whole foods diet. Ive been researching ways I can help manage this naturally, but the only thing I can find is to ‘loose weight and improve lifestyle choices”. I already eat extremely healthy and exercise regularly and I’m not overweight. Is their any thing you can recommend? Thanks so much.

  3. Hi Chanel
    unfortunately I am not able to advise that sort of information without assessing your pathology results as its not as simple as just taking a single herb. But Vitex will help but I would recommend that you consult a qualified practitioner to assist you than self treat, as PCOS is a complex condition that requires individualized assessment and management. Take care Sally

  4. Thank you Sally, I take Vitex which is good but I don’t know what herb to take to stimulate my ovulation?

  5. hello Chanel, sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. This seems like a significant piece of the puzzle in regards to the absence of your periods as the mind body connection is extremely powerful and not to be underestimated in its effect. You are on the right track with your diet although be sure to get in plenty of vegetables for the nutrients an dfibre – when you say you have cut out most carbohydrates. The results of your scan is certainly significant but I recommend getting specific blood and salivary hormones tests to assess certain biochemical factors related to PCOS. I can assist you with a referral if you would like a consultation for further investigation and treatment, but it sounds as though you need to add in the nutritional and herbal medicine element to your current treatment, as well as consider seeing someone to help clear any emotional blocks. I hope this helps Sally x

  6. Im in my early 20’s, always have had regular periods prior to this time before a very close loved one passed away and they day he did I lost my period. I started a eating a healthy wholefood fertility diet. cutting out dairy, sugar, gluten and most carbs.. I feel well but have just gotten a scan today and there is around 20 small cyst and one measuring 2.5cms, I have tried acupuncture + herbs, a clean wholesome diet yet still my lower belly is starting to grow, I got told I am a mystery… can you help? what else can I do??.. very desperate now

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