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Do You have PCOS?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is typically referred to as “the hidden epidemic” as a result many women don't know that they have it. In reality, PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder, affecting approximately 6% of premenopausal women. The hormone imbalance caused by PCOS can affect women's health in many ways.
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Common signs and symptoms of PCOS include the followin
- Irregular or absent periods
- Lack of ovulation
- Weight gain
- Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
- Insulin resistance
- Male-pattern balding
- Multiple little ovarian cysts - these might be seen by an ultrasound examination
- Darkening of the skin at the base of the neck and underneath the arms and breasts
You’ve probably seen your doctor for one or a few of those symptoms. He might have given you a symptomatic treatment. This is why often PCOS is not detected.
How does PCOS occur?
With PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease), insulin resistance occurs and it throws different hormones out of balance specifically the LH and FSH. Then these hormones that are responsible for releasing one egg per month, behave erratically!
Several ovum starts to mature, but none reach maturation and so not one is released. There is NO OVULATION. Without ovulation, you produce no progesterone within the 2nd half of your cycle (day 12-26). This ends up in horrific estrogen dominance with all the above symptoms. However, your body tries to compensate by releasing several androgens (male hormones). It then causes excess hair on the arms, face ..etc…and thickening of the body and hair loss on the head.
Progesterone is essential to restore balance, to get rid of the estrogen dominance and to regulate the androgens. BUT the crux of the matter is INSULIN RESISTANCE and until this can be addressed, your problems will still be there. These symptoms can be greatly helped by taking added progesterone.
The benefits of Natural Progesterone and PCOS
If you're in the early stages of PCOS, the symptoms might not be severe:
You can start with a dose of 40mg progesterone per day, from Day 12-26, reducing the dose as your body responds favorably. The ideal would be to work towards a minimum dose (20mg/day) until you become asymptomatic.
Natural progesterone is used during 12-26 days of the menstrual cycle in order to mimic what the body should be doing naturally. For younger ladies with PCOS and no periods, it's important that they continue a regime of 12-26 days to mimic what the body would be trying to do naturally. This ensures balance.
For more advanced PCOS, the average dose for ladies that appear to be asymptomatic is around 60mg/day of progesterone cream from Day 12 -26 of cycle (adjust accordingly) for at least the first seven months, assuming there is a regular cycle.
When symptoms are present, many women increase their dose of progesterone cream to 80mg~100mg/day from Day 8-26 of the cycle in order to deal with extreme progesterone deficiency and subsequent pain.
Ideally, when your body starts to regulate itself, you should try to wean yourself with a lesser dose and apply the progesterone cream between 12 – 26 days of your cycle only.
It is recommended that you do regular ultrasounds checkups to assess the condition of your ovaries, and the progression of the treatment.
How to Avoid PCOS?
Watch what you eat. NO junk!
Sugar is our worst poison because it throws you into insulin resistance which prevents ovulation and causes Polycystic Ovary Disease.
By watching what you eat and bringing your blood sugar back in balance, you will reverse insulin resistance.
Patrick Holfords book “the Holford diet”, addresses this condition. Basically it is avoiding foods with a high glycemic index (such as junk food, sugar, refined carbohydrates especially white bread), eating loads of vegetables. He believes in combining complex carbohydrates with protein.
Again, REDUCE animal protein, eat meat once/twice a week. Lentils, beans and vegetable are a wonderful supply of protein and therefore his recent cookbooks have wonderful recipes.
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