Have you been dealing with erratic periods… sometimes missing periods altogether, sometimes experiencing prolonged periods?
Maybe you have 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 child-bearing 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 it may not be released during ovulation as it should be – giving rise to the condition’s name.
This is one of the many reasons why 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 your cycle.
Here are some of the more common symptoms of 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 woman 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.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from PCOS, and sadly, over half of those go undiagnosed. As already mentioned, PCOS is also the leading cause of why women have such a hard time getting pregnant.
The really sad part is… some of these women have been diagnosed with PCOS only to be told that they just 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 not only understand the root cause of any imbalance but also how other systems in your body may impacted or connected to the imbalance.
Whenever we begin working with a new client, we begin with a comprehensive look at the hormone levels impacted by PCOS. This gives us a clearer picture of where you may need the most support in the areas of insulin, gut and hormone imbalances that are typically part of PCOS.
In functional medicine, we treat the body as a whole – that's why we 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 our hormone reset program, we devise a full body-balancing protocol that not only resolves your PCOS, but also rebalances other areas that may be causing havoc with your hormones – including diet, gut health, lifestyle and 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 health strategy session today so you can see what your best next steps are.
Do you have questions about starting your path back to health? Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if our approach is right for you.
The Gut Doc is located in Kirkwood, Missouri, and serves clients throughout the St. Louis Area and surrounding areas, including St. Louis City and County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Illinois counties of Madison, St. Clair and Monroe.