How Do I Know I Have PCOS?

Have you been dealing with erratic periods… sometimes missing periods altogether, experiencing prolonged periods?

Have you noticed mood changes, pelvic pain, or unexplained weight gain?

Perhaps you’ve experienced acne, hair loss, or unusual hair growth on your face, chest, or back?

Well, you’re not alone… in fact, approximately 5 million women of childbearing age suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and are either not getting the correct treatment or haven’t been diagnosed.

PCOS is a condition characterized by hormonal imbalances and metabolism problems that affect women’s overall health and appearance... and is a common and treatable cause of infertility.

The hormonal imbalances seen in PCOS alter the healthy menstrual cycle, where the egg may not develop as it should or be released during ovulation as it should be – giving rise to the condition’s name.

This is one of the many reasons there is still confusion around this condition. In fact, the “cysts” aren’t your standard cysts that need removal. They are actually small follicles (a normal part of the ovulating ovary), each containing an egg. The buildup in the ovary due to eggs not being released (or fertilized) over time impacts the ovaries’ ability to produce important female hormones to regulate their cycle.

Here are some of the more common symptoms of PCOS:

  • Difficulty getting pregnant (infertility)
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Hirsutism (with hair growth on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair)
  • Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts, which is commonly associated with insulin resistance
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Elevated waist-to-hip ratios, overweight and obesity
  • Fatigue

The Conventional Treatment Approach For PCOS

When patients present with hormonal imbalances or conditions like PCOS, most traditionally-trained clinicians focus on a diagnosis along with a synthetic drug protocol to treat the symptoms. PCOS is typically treated with oral birth control, which may lessen the symptoms but can be a real concern for several reasons.

Unfortunately, this can bring on more unwanted side effects (especially for women who are estrogen-dominant) and greatly increase their breast cancer risk.

Taking additional estrogen without receiving the proper, in-depth hormonal testing, may put you at serious risk  – yet does not deal with the root causes of PCOS which typically has multi-faceted causes.

One of the reasons why many conventional health practitioners are at a loss to treat PCOS, is that it’s a complex condition that is brought on by a combo of hormonal imbalances and gut issues that they are not trained to diagnose and treat.

PCOS

The Functional Medicine Approach

It is estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from PCOS; sadly, over half of those go undiagnosed. As already mentioned, PCOS is also the leading cause of women having difficulty getting pregnant.

The sad part is… some of these women have been diagnosed with PCOS only to be told that they have to manage the symptoms and nothing can be done. And as a result, their doctors often place them on medications that don’t even begin to deal with the root cause of this imbalance.

The functional medicine approach is to understand the root cause of any imbalance and how other systems in your body may be impacted or connected to the imbalance.

PCOS

Whenever I begin working with a new client, I start with a comprehensive look at the hormone levels impacted by PCOS. This gives me a clearer picture of where you need the most support in insulin, gut, and hormone imbalances typically part of PCOS.

In functional medicine, I treat the body as a whole – that's why I approach PCOS from a holistic viewpoint and first see if the imbalance can be adjusted through natural means and lifestyle changes. The goal is to allow your body to re-establish normal function so your hormonal health can rebalance naturally.

As part of my program, I devise a full body-balancing protocol that resolves your PCOS and addresses other areas that may be causing havoc with your hormones – including diet, gut health, lifestyle, stress factors, sleep habits, and more.

If you have been experiencing symptoms that may be connected with PCOS and are looking for answers, schedule a discovery call today so you can see what your best next steps are.

Take The First Step To Better Hormone Balance

Looking to restore hormone balance & vibrant health, but aren't sure about your options? Book a free discovery call to get the clarity & confidence you need!

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