BRAND NEW RESEARCH LINKS PCOS TO A WIDE VARIETY OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS
"Androgen excess is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. Androgens are produced primarily from the adrenal glands and the ovaries. However, peripheral tissues such as fat and skin also play roles in converting weak androgens to more potent ones. Androgen excess can affect different tissues and organs, causing variable clinical features such as acne, hirsutism, virilization [masculinization] and reproductive dysfunction." From the opening paragraph of Dr. Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman's online article called Adrogen Excess. Abdel-Rahman is a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Sohag University in Egypt.
Generally speaking, when men have chronic health problems they end up with low libidos, which is actually one of the first signs of ill health in males (HERE). They are usually told that this is the result of "LOW T" (not enough testosterone), although Low T has a number of underlying causes. Women can likewise end up with low libidos as the result of long-standing generalized health problems. You have heard me say repeatedly that UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR --- even in the absence of full-blown DIABETES ---- is at the root of almost every health problem you can name.
One of the most visible examples of this phenomenon is something called PCOS. We know that PCOS is heavily linked to both blood sugar and INSULIN RESISTANCE. So much so in fact, that it is frequently treated with Diabetes drugs such as metformin. With PCOS, women's bodies fail to respond normally to insulin (they require more), and on top of this they make much more testosterone than they need. And as you might have imagined from this post's title, this affects the libido, but not in the way that seems obvious from what you've learned so far (SUGAR IS TURNING MEN INTO WOMEN AND WOMEN INTO MEN).
Although some women with PCOS will actually have an increased sex drive (intuitively, this makes sense), the majority will have a dramatically decreased (or even non-existent) libido. As I'll show you in a moment, much of this depends on what's going on with testosterone levels. So, PCOS is not only the number one cause of INFERTILITY in America (it's arguably America's #1 female endocrine problem), but also a huge contributing factor to SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION as well. While the medical community is busy trying to solve this problem with a host of drugs and procedures (including IVF), I would like to show you what you can do to start the process of getting your life, your fertility, and your libido back on track. Why am I talking about this on my blog? Read the email I got from R.F. of the Seattle area just the other day.
Dear Dr. Schierling,
I am at my wits end. I am a 38 year old married female in very poor physical condition. I admit that I am severely addicted to sugar, sweets, and fast food. Although I was an athlete in college and took great care of myself, over the course of the past 15 years (two healthy teenagers), I have gained over 100 pounds (I am 5'7"). I have been to lots of doctors, and although they all tell me that among other things I have PCOS, nothing they prescribe seems to work for me. I am now on antidepressants along with several other medications. I have absolutely no libido and my husband is becoming more distant by the day. What advice can you give me? I am willing to do anything. Just please do not just tell me to eat less and exercise more like my doctor does. That approach does not work. I cannot go on living like this. Thank you for your website and the amazing amount of information you provide.
Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX
When women end up with high levels of testosterone caused by Insulin Resistance, they also end up making excess Estrogen as well. This is why they not only end up with PCOS, but are thrown into ESTROGEN DOMINANCE at the same time. Because the female hormones get fouled up, one of the common solutions is to get a prescription for certain hormones (bio-identical hormones are particularly hot right now) to "balance" things out (HERE). With women, it is often some sort of HRT, with men, it is taking testosterone for the supposed "Low T". Let me show you why in and of itself, this is extremely short-sighted.
Don't get me wrong, someone who really knows what they are doing with these hormones can make some dramatic changes in symptoms --- at least for awhile. The problem is that virtually all of the hormones in your body are on negative feedback loops ---- the same sort of loop your air conditioner and heater are on. A thermostat has an adjustable set point, and shuts off your heat or air once the desired temperature is achieved. When the temperature changes, the thermostat fires your unit up again. Hormones are on similar thermostat-like feedback loops. When the body has enough of a hormone, it will shut down endogenous (its own) production. This is why bodybuilders who take testosterone end up with shriveled testicles.
THE TESTOSTERONE DICHOTOMY
Your body's tissues / cells communicate with each other via a number of chemicals. These chemicals have interesting names like CYTOKINES, chemokines, interleukins, or any number of others. We like to refer to these chemicals collectively as "Inflammation". Not too long ago I was at a nutritional seminar where the speaker made an interesting statement. When referring to solving chronic disease states, he said, "Inflammation is everything". In other words, find out what is driving INFLAMMATION, and you'll likely be a long way to solving your problem. Sugar is extremely inflammatory, as is JUNK FOOD. For many people, GLUTEN is massively inflammatory. The list is extensive, and can include everything from heavy metals to parasites. In fact, it can be nearly endless.
What does this have to do with PCOS? Listen to what Hethir Rodriguez of the Natural Fertility Info website has to say on this subject. "It has also been found that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation, which may be a cause for insulin resistance. White blood cells produce substances to fight infection, this is known as inflammatory response. In some predisposed people eating certain foods, or exposure to certain environmental factors may trigger an inflammatory response. When inflammatory response is triggered, white blood cells produce substances that may contribute to insulin resistance and atherosclerosis." If you want to see a list of the "substances" she is talking about, HERE is a post on the subject.
But back to the question at hand. Why do you find some women with PCOS who are obese and some who are not (because 70% of our society is overweight or obese, most of those with PCOS are naturally going to fall into this category)? And why do you find some women whose sex drive is off the charts, while others (the majority) have sex drive that are in the dumps? There are any number of reasons, but I will attempt to shine some light on a few that I am aware of. I am sure that I am just scratching the surface.
- LENGTH OF TIME WITH THE PROBLEM: When researching this post, it seemed that generally speaking, the vast majority of the women touting increased sex drive with PCOS had not been living with the problem for very long. It also seemed like they were not, for the most part, women struggling with the most hardcore PCOS Symptoms. In other words, I am not sure if I recall seeing a post from a woman with all of the PCOS SYMPTOMS saying that she had a raging libido. In fact, many had no other symptoms than high testosterone on their blood work, and the inability to get pregnant (they may or may not have been overweight).
- SHBG: SHBG stands for Sex Hormone Binding Globlulin. Women manufacture testosterone in several places (25% from the adrenals, 25% from the ovaries, and about half comes from the conversion of androstenedione in the fatty tissues). However, when it comes to testosterone, the number that really matters is how much free testosterone is circulating in the blood stream --- most labs will say this is about 30-75 ng/dl, which is only about 1% of one's total testosterone. According to Dr. Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, some of the things that cause SHBG to "unbind" from testosterone and leave women with increased levels of free testosterone circulating in their bodies includes HYPOTHYROIDISM (sometime take a moment and compare the symptoms of Hashimoto's to PCOS), EXCESS INSULIN / OBESITY (these two go together like peas in a pod), Glucocorticosteroids such as CORTISOL and CORTISONE, as well as excess androgens themselves. An interesting side note is that Estrogen is antagonistic to Testosterone (it decreases it), which is why the birth control pill is a commonly used medical treatment for PCOS. Just be aware that 'The Pill' has an incredible number of potential side effects itself --- particularly with long term use.
- ESTROGEN DOMINANCE: There are any number of reasons that women can have higher testosterone levels in their system, with PCOS being one of many. Some women simply have more T than others. Read the internet message boards on the subject or look at the peer-reviewed literature and you'll find that women who engage in heavy, complex, multi-joint weight lifting also seem to have both high testosterone levels and higher sex drives (HERE). Remember that although there are probably hundreds of reasons that women have androgenic hormones (testosterone or precursors such as DHEA) in their systems, conversion to Estrogen is one of the biggies. Over-conversion ("aromatization") is just one more thing that can lead to Estrogen Dominance, which is an epidemic among American women. And as far as I am aware, you simply do not find women with significant Estrogen Dominance who have heightened normal sex drives (they are always suppressed).
- GENETICS: I would never hope to tell you that genetics play no part in PCOS. However, it is critical that you understand that EPIGENETICS trumps genetics in case after case after case. "It's my genes" has become the excuse du jour. Once you understand that in many (arguably most) cases you have the ability to turn genes on or off via diet and lifestyle, it can be very empowering.
- POLLUTION / TOXIC LIVING: We are exposed to a wide array of pollutants on a daily basis (HERE), the majority of which are considered to be "ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS" (they are also known as XENOESTROGENS). Along this same line of thinking, having a toxic (or absent) microbiota (POOR GUT HEALTH) is being linked, along with blood sugar, to most health problems as well. This is loosely called "DYSBIOSIS", and along with a LEAKY GUT, is one of the major consequences of our nation's UNBRIDLED ANTIBIOTIC USE. Another point I have to make here is that it will be impossible to correct hormonal imbalances without being able to clear excesses from your body (HERE).
- STRENGTH TRAINING: STRENGTH TRAINING can increase androgen levels somewhat. However, because it is extremely effective at lowering insulin levels and increasing insulin sensitivity, you will never see it associated as a causal or contributing factor as far as developing PCOS is concerned.
Granted, there are many of you reading this that might very well require the services of someone trained in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. The thing is, according to any number of experts, DOING THE BASICS on your own will result in great improvement for many of you; probably the majority of you. For instance, you can already imagine what a PALEO or KETOGENIC DIET do for you! For a complete generic protocol (nothing to buy), take a look at THIS POST.
CLEARING OUT THE XENOHORMONES
SOLVE PMS, PCOS, DYSMENORRHEA, MENOPAUSE, AND OTHERS
BY SOLVING THE RIDDLE OF ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
"Today, we see the age of puberty (menarche) dropping precipitously to as low as 10 years of age, endometriosis afflicting 10% of all perimenopausal women; Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) rising and afflicting close to 30% of perimenopausal women, uterine fibroids affecting close to 25% of women from age 35 to 50, and breast cancer afflicting close to 10% of all women." - Dr. Michael Lam from his article called Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen Dominance is the all-too-common situation where a woman has too much Estrogen in her body as compared to Progesterone. How does this happen? The number one reason is that virtually all of us end up with too much Estrogen in our systems (men and women) is because of the amount of time spent swimming in a sea of estrogen and estrogen-like substances called "Xenohormones" or "Xenoestrogens" (HERE). Although I dealt with Estrogen Dominance in that post, the real question, which I did not address, is what to do about this problem. In other words, how would a person, whether male or female (yes, men get overdosed with Estrogen as well), get these toxic estrogen-like chemicals out of their system? That is going to be the chief topic in today's post.
SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
- IRREGULAR OR ABNORMAL PERIODS / PCOS: This could be just about anything. And while PCOS has been mostly associated in the peer-reviewed literature with Uncontrolled Blood Sugar, most women dealing with this issue are going to be Estrogen Dominant as well.
- PMS: Nuff said. In case you have not seen the SNL parody of the birth control pill Seasonale ("Annuelle"), you need to Google it and check it out.
- BLOATING, SWELLING, AND WATER RETENTION: Can't get rings on and off? Swollen ankles? Puffy face? Estrogen Dominance is probably in the mix.
- PMS-RELATED HEADACHES: Lots of women get "Hormonal Headaches" during that time of month. Most of these are related to Estrogen Dominance.
- WEIGHT GAIN: Estrogen is likely a culprit --- particularly when talking about BELLY FAT. It is critical that you understand that fat-soluble substances (Estrogen / Xenoestrogens fall into this category) are stored in fat cells --- particularly the visceral fat layer that covers your organs. If you are Estrogen Dominant but not overweight; trust me --- it's just a matter of time. By the way; it is not just the Female Organs that produce Estrogen. A main producer of Estrogen just happens to be fat cells, which in turn produce more Estrogen. When farmers give hormones to fatten cattle, these are various forms of synthetic Estrogen. THIS will shed some more light on the subject. WEIGHT LOSS is critical in the battle against ED. However, the very nature of the problem can make losing weight difficult -- or even impossible. Don't worry. Very shortly I am going to show you how to get the excess Estrogen out of your system so that you can begin losing weight.
- HAIR LOSS / HYPOTHYROIDISM: Ever notice that HYPOTHYROIDISM is far more common in the female population?
- BRAIN FOG: Trouble thinking or concentrating. Very common in people with Fibromyalgia and / or GLUTEN SENSITIVITY.
- SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE: There are SEVERAL, but one of the most common are sleep issues --- particularly Insomnia.
- EXHAUSTION, FATIGUE, SLOW METABOLISM: Many on this list, including this one, are commonly seen in ADRENAL FATIGUE / FIBROMYALGIA.
- SUGAR OR STARCH CRAVINGS: Show me a woman with hardcore SUGAR CRAVINGS, and I'll show you a woman with Estrogen Dominance. This is often times associated with Chronic Systemic Yeast Infections as well --- particularly in women who have taken lots of ANTIBIOTICS at some point in their lives.
- SWOLLEN, TENDER, ENLARGED, OR FIBROCYSTIC BREASTS: A very common side effect of Estrogen Dominance.
- CONSTANT ALLERGIES / SINUS INFECTION: HERE, HERE, and HERE are some links on these issues. Much of this is due to, as you will see momentarily, increasing whole-body toxicity and a deficiency in the nutritional compounds to stop or reverse the trend.
- DIMINISHED LIBIDO: HERE are the links. You need to be aware that although Testosterone fuels sex drive even in women, too much Testosterone in women is associated with both diminished libido and PCOS.
- DEPRESSION: DEPRESSION is far more common in women than men, and more common yet in women with Estrogen Dominance.
- AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, INCLUDING IBS: HERE is a list of some of America's more common Autoimmune Diseases. HERE are my blog posts on the subject, including IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME. If you have Autoimmunity (far more common in women than men), you need to understand this relationship.
- INFERTILITY: Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy. Too little Estrogen and / or not enough Progesterone, and either pregnancy will not occur, or the odds of a miscarriage increase dramatically. When you think 'big picture' think of Estrogen and Progesterone as antagonistic to each other. It is important to understand that simply looking at raw Estrogen levels will not tell us the whole picture. Estrogen Dominance occurs when the ratio of Estrogen to Progesterone is too high. As Dr. Janet Lang always said concerning this topic; "ratios rule".
- INSULIN RESISTANCE OR OUTRIGHT DIABETES: The truth is, most ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS, can be traced back to UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR --- the starting point to most chronic illness.
- ENDOMETRIOSIS: According to Shelley Binkley M.D., "In women with endometriosis, the processing of estrogen is abnormal". This leads to the uterine lining ending up growing in places it should not be.
- FEMALE CANCERS: This is particularly true of BREAST CANCER. How big is this relationship between excess Estrogen and Breast Cancer? The two chief drugs for treating women once their initial cancer has been taken care of are Tamoxifen and Femara --- both Estrogen-blockers. This is because the majority of Breast Cancers are fueled by, among other things like SUGAR, Estrogen.
- OSTEOPOROSIS: Although Estrogen (usually in the form of HRT) has been associated OSTEOPOROSIS prevention, we are learning that this is not the whole story. Aren't INVISIBLE STUDIES grand?
WAYS TO DEAL WITH ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
- ADD MORE ESTROGEN TO YOUR SYSTEM WITH BIRTH CONTROL PILLS OR HRT (HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY): Once you take some time to study this issue of Estrogen Dominance, you'll quickly realize that HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy like Premarin -- Pregnant Mare's Urine) does not make much sense for many many (maybe most) women. And while 'The Pill' is certainly convenient, adding synthetic hormones to your system is rarely a good thing --- particularly over the long haul. Several years ago, Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote that, "In July 2002, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) abruptly ended its combination of estrogen and progestin therapy study, as their data discovered higher rates of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the population taking the hormones, compared to those taking placebos."
- ADD PROGESTERONE TO YOUR SYSTEM: Although natural forms of sub-lingual Progesterone might be a good thing to do for awhile, it is not going to solve this issue over the long haul. It is a band-aid that makes things easier while you work on the root cause(s) of the problem. This is because when you take exogenous hormones, your body shuts down endogenous production. Be aware that Progestins (patented drugs that are actually artificial forms of Progesterone) have been part of most HRT protocols for quite some time. As you might guess, there are a number of side effects associated with them. Again; this might be a short-term option but is never a long-term solution.
- DO NOTHING AND HOPE IT GOES AWAY: Playing the ostrich-game and keeping your head buried in the sand is an easy thing to do for awhile. Particularly since your doctor will not talk about Estrogen Dominance (other than maybe to pooh pooh it). The problem with this approach is that it can lead to Breast Cancer and other forms of (mostly) female CANCERS. Not only that, but when the symptoms get too crazy, most women revert back to the first bullet point.
- ELIMINATE THE SOURCES OF ESTROGEN FROM YOUR LIFE: This means that you probably need to stop eating commercially-raised meats (Estrogen is the hormone given by farmers to make their animals fat -- more on this shortly). It also means that you will have to figure out where other sources of PSEUDO-ESTROGEN (including plant-based sources of Estrogen such as soy) are coming from.
- WORK ON PHASE I & PHASE II DETOXIFICATION: This one is huge, because it is how you are going to get this crap out of your system. Unfortunately, it is the proverbial "Catch-22". Because Estrogen is stored in fatty tissue, getting rid of it can not only be time consuming, but can also require some weight loss --- something that is itself difficult in people with Estrogen Dominance. Since we have to start somewhere, let's get this ball rolling by learning about the way that your body clears toxic substances.
YOUR LIVER AND BODY PURIFICATION / DETOXIFICATION
When we talk about detoxification and the liver, we will invariably see terms like Phase I, Phase II, and the P-450 Cytochrome System bantered about. In order to understand the process (it is the exact same process used to clear drugs / medicine from your body), we are going to briefly discuss these subjects.
- PHASE I describes your body's ability to transform toxins to a form that can be pulled out of the fatty tissues they are stored in, and is considered to be your body's first enzymatic defense against foreign chemicals. Phase I reactions are primarily performed by via oxidation (oxygen) and the P450 Cytochrome Enzymes. It is important to be aware that the 'intermediate metabolites' created by Phase I can actually be more toxic to your system than when they were in storage. This is why it is absolutely vital to have Phase II working properly. When Phase I is not working properly, or if Phase I is cranked up while Phase II is suppressed, the result can be a wide range of serious diseases, including AUTOIMMUNITY, CANCER, and PARKINSON'S.
- PHASE II reactions attach or "conjugate" the toxins to various water-soluble compounds in order to increase their ability to be dissolved, which allows them to be voided easier. This part of the equation is where the oxidized chemicals are combined with sulfur, specific amino acids, or organic acids, so that they can be excreted in the bile. There are several different enzymes and slightly different metabolic pathways for accomplishing this that can and will become depleted without replenishing them via the diet. Possibly the single most powerful antioxidant in the body --- GLUTATHIONE --- is critical for Phase II. Note that Phase II can be inhibited by alcohol or drugs (prescription, OTC, or recreational) and, as you might guess from the second sentence in this bullet point, nutritional deficiencies (including too little dietary protein) will shut this phase down cold. When exposed to a heavy toxic load, Glutathoine and other similar substances can become rapidly depleted. Oh; do not waste time on oral Glutathione supplements as it is rapidly degraded by the digestion process.
- PHASE III is simply the process of your system actually removing / excreting the conjugated toxic chemicals from your body ---- without reabsorbing them. Be aware that this is virtually impossible without ample amounts of dietary fiber. Also be aware that detoxing your system of years of toxicity can take some time.
The bottom line on Phase One detoxification is: you need it but you don’t want Phase One activity to exceed the ability of your liver’s Phase Two enzymes to finish the job, otherwise you’re in trouble. When you oxidize BENZENE, you initially produce some very toxic Benzene-related substrates, which means your Phase II System had better be up and running full tilt, otherwise you could end up in worse shape than when you started.
Having a toxic system can set you up for a whole host of health problems, including the dreaded MUPS, which experts claim, accounts for 40 - 50% of all doctor visits. In order to achieve optimal health, we must be detoxing our system optimally --- and constantly. Although Phase I and II occur almost exclusively in the liver, I want to take just a moment to mention the importance of the bowel as far as detox is concerned. Not only is dietary fiber important so that the toxins can be 'bound' to something in order to be carried out of the body as waste, but listen to what Dr. DeAnn J. Liska, the director of Nutrition Science for Kellogg, and faculty of the Institute for Functional Medicine, says about the bowel's potential effect on Phase I and II.
"The first contact the body makes with the majority of xenobiotics [drugs] is the gastrointestinal tract. Over the course of a lifetime, the gastrointestinal tract processes more than 25 tons of food, which represents the largest load of antigens and xenobiotics confronting the human body. The gastrointestinal tract influences detoxification in several other ways. Gut microflora can produce compounds that either induce or inhibit detoxification activities. Pathogenic bacteria can produce toxins that can enter circulation and increase toxic load."
One of the up-and-coming health problems facing our citizens today is something called Fatty Liver Disease. Although it is estimated that nearly 100% of America's 15 million alcoholics have Fatty Liver Disease (also called "Hepatic Steatosis", alcohol is not the number one cause, nor the largest group of people with the problem. By far, the biggest group of people suffering from Fatty Liver Disease (no pun intended) would be the portion of our society who are overweight. This is why the majority of Fatty Liver Disease is actually referred to as Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. And while the Mayo Clinic says that, "nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common and, for most people, causes no signs and symptoms and no complications," I'm simply not buying it --- or at least buying all of it.
As I showed you the other day, we have a massive segment of our people who are dealing with something called MUPS (Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms). Do you think that an inability to detox drugs and toxins could cause people problems? Darn straight! Failure to detox will cause serious and life-altering problems! Just one category of these problems are those related to Estrogen Dominance. In other words, fail to detox excess Estrogen (whether endogenous or exogenous) from your system, and you will end up with a serious HORMONAL TOXICITY, leading to the propensity to develop a host of female problems, as well as endocrine problems.
One of the health issues that has been intimately associated with both Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease is Inflammation. In America, SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION is a nearly-universal problem, which the medical community has little to offer in the way of real solutions. Sure; they have all sorts of things for the symptoms. But if that's all you are looking for, you may want to visit a different website. The situation is so common that WebMD says that, "Up to 20% of adults may have either fatty liver or NASH [an inflamed liver --- hepatitis]. And more than 6 million children have one of these conditions".
FOODS THAT AID IN PHASE I & PHASE II DETOXIFICATION
- CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES: This class includes things like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. This is the foundation of SP Greenfood.
- PLENTY OF PROTEIN: Two amino acids, cysteine and methionine, are high in sulfur and found in meat, fish, eggs, and chicken. Another reason I am not keen on VEGAN DIETS.
- CITRUS FRUITS: Many liver detoxes have you drinking Green Tea with lemon juice. Also the basis of one of my favorite Bowel Cleanses --- the Master's Cleanse.
- CARROTS, BEETS, TOMATOES, SPINACH / GREEN LEAFIES: Great to juice or eat as a healthy snack. Beets (raw, not pickled) are a "Super Food" for liver / gall bladder issues.
- ONIONS / GARLIC: These plants are heavy on the sulfur.
- MILK THISTLE / SILYMARIN: This is the number one herb for detoxing and healing the liver.
- VARIOUS HERBS OR SUPPLEMENTS: Curcumin, Ashwagandha, Dandelion, Green Tea, PROBIOTICS for the bowel, PGFO for Inflammation, and several others.
- LOTS OF FIBER: The truth is, you can do everything else correctly; but if you are not getting plenty of fiber (the RIGHT KIND) into your system to bind up the toxins that have been excreted out of your cells and blood stream, you will reabsorb them before they can be excreted from your body (Phase III).
This list is in no ways definitive, and there are several products in the Standard Process Line (including their Purification System --- SP COMPLETE with SP Green-Food) that are wonderful for aiding the process. However, nothing, and I do mean nothing, takes the place of a healthy diet. While you are at it, start exercising. EXERCISE is good for everything, including detoxification / purification. And if you would give up the tobacco, drink no more than a little bit here or there, and stop taking so dad-blamed many drugs, you would help yourself by taking toxic pressure off of your liver.
(POLY-CYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME)
AN AMERICAN EPIDEMIC
Diet-induced reduction in circulating insulin may be an attractive non-pharmacological treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Lower Carbohydrate diet induced significant decreases in fasting insulin, fasting glucose, total testosterone, and all cholesterol measures, and significant increases in insulin sensitivity. In women with PCOS, reduction in dietary carbohydrate in the context of a weight-maintaining diet has numerous beneficial effects on the metabolic profile that may lead to a decrease in circulating testosterone. Quotes were cherry-picked from a study by Dr. Barbara A Gower (UAB School of Medicine) called, Favourable Metabolic Effects of a Lower-Carbohydrate Diet in Women with PCOS. From the May 20, 2013 issue of the medical journal Clinical Endocrinology.
Any time someone refers to a certain health issue as a distinctly 'American' epidemic, rest assured that is has a great deal to do with our diet and lifestyle. And for my readers in other parts of the Westernized world, also realize that you are rapidly catching up. After all, the SAD (Standard American Diet) is bad --- really bad --- and getting worse with each successive generation, as well as making its way to every corner of the earth. So, what does a poor diet have to do with a distinctly hormonal problem like polycystic ovaries? We'll get to that in a moment, but before we do, let's first discuss what PCOS is, what it looks like, and how to best diagnose it. All of this is critical because PCOS is said to be the number one most common female hormonal disorder in the U.S.
WHAT IS PCOS?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PCOS?
- Disturbances of the Menstrual Cycle
- High Levels of the Male Hormone Testosterone
- Obesity / Blood Sugar Issues
Some of the other main signs / symptoms of PCOS include:
- Weight Gain (particularly BELLY FAT), OBESITY, INSULIN RESISTANCE (Metabolic Syndrome), and eventually Diabetes (HERE)
- Any Sort of Abnormal Periods / INFERTILITY
- Hirtusism (Overly Hairy) / Male Pattern Baldness
- HIGH CHOLESTEROL / HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE / Heart Disease / Heart Attack
- Dandruff and Oily Skin / ACNE (sometimes there are dark patches on the skin related to Insulin Resistance called Acanthosis Nigricans. These are darkened velvety areas often seen on the neck, under the arms, under the chin, in the groin, or on the chest.
- Mood Imbalances and Psychiatric Problems (see the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research)
- Breathing Difficulties / SLEEP APNEA
- Dramatically Increased Levels of INFLAMMATION. This ultimately leads to a wide array of INFLAMMATORY DISEASES.
Just remember that the The "Unhappy Triad" of PCOS refers to three chief symptoms --- symptoms that are so common that women with these symptoms are said to be "Textbook Cases". Hirsutism caused by excess testosterone, Odd Periods, and Obesity. If you have these symptoms, you could probably skip the next section (but I wouldn't recommend it). Some of the symptoms of PCOS look like HASHIMOTO'S THYROIDITIS (Autoimmune Hypothyroid), and it is common to see women with both. In fact, we know that PCOS is a common trigger of all AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, including Hashimoto's.
Here is the thing to remember about Testosterone. Not only is this predominantly male hormone involved in the male sex drive, it also happens to be the hormone that drives the FEMALE LIBIDO as well. The problem is that EXCESSIVE LEVELS OF INSULIN (caused by Uncontrolled Blood Sugar) drive the hormone thru the stratosphere. To a point, higher testosterone levels can actually increase female sex drive (something that happens in some women with PCOS). However, once that point has been reached, too much "T" has a libido-squelching effect on women.
HOW DOES MY DOCTOR DIAGNOSE PCOS?
When people eat too many sugary or starchy foods, blood sugar climbs rapidly and sharply. The body cannot tolerate this, so it releases the storage hormone insulin to remove excess sugar from the blood and move it into the cells where it can either be burned or stored as fat. When the body's insulin production cannot keep up with the amount of starches or sugars being consumed, Insulin Resistance is the result. Because the body's insulin receptors literally become choked with insulin, these people require higher and higher levels to lower their blood sugar, and are characterized as having high levels of both glucose and insulin in their blood simultaneously -- a phenomenon that is never good.
If you are diagnosed with PCOS, there is a pretty good chance that your doctor is correct. This is simply because PCOS is so prevalent in our society. The brilliant Functional Neurologist / Endocrinologist Datis Kharrazian says in his "Thyroid Book" that according to the most up-to-date research and statistics, the largest percentage of America's female hormonal problems are the result of PCOS. This despite the fact that most are never officially diagnosed. This means that PCOS is definitely more common than the 5% - 10% that is commonly thrown around in most of today's "What is PCOS?" articles. Why is this a big deal. Besides the symptoms listed above, PCOS is known to be associated with numerous bad health problems ----- really bad health problems.
HEALTH RISKS FOR PCOS
- Metabolic Syndrome / Diabetes HERE
- Heart Disease
- Certain Types of CANCER
- Dramatically Increased Levels of INFLAMMATION
I could go on, but you should be getting the drift. This stuff is as serious as a heart attack --- literally! The four things on the list above include the #1, #2, and #7 killers in America (not in that order). Now do you see why it is important to deal with this problem?
WHY DID I GET PCOS?
- Poor Genetics Doctors have not yet found a genetic link, but the "blame-it-on-my-parents-bad-genes" thing seems to play well in today's society (HERE).
- Estrogen Exposure This excess estrogen often comes from the meat we eat. However it also comes from anything with a chemical smell. Please learn about Xenoestrogens by clicking HERE.
HOW WOULD I BEST GO ABOUT TREATING MY PCOS?
A diet containing 25% carbohydrates improved insulin resistance, whereas a diet that included 45% carbohydrates did not. -International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders; 20 no. 12:1067-1072
There are many different things your doctor may suggest you do in order to control this disease. By far the most common is to start you on the Birth Control Pill. They may want you on some sort of Testosterone Blocking Drug. They often give you fertility drugs or Diabetes Drugs. The bottom line is that all of these treatments address symptoms while doing absolutely nothing about the underlying causes of those symptoms --- a common feature in the practice of Medicine. Interestingly enough however, even the medical community is saying that drugs and surgery are not really the best choice for effectively dealing with PCOS. What do they say works the best for women with Poly Cystic Ovaries?
- Exercising Regularly (just be sure to do it the RIGHT WAY)
- Eating Healthy Foods / Taking Nutritional Supplements that 'De-congest' the Liver (your liver must process all of the excess hormones --- HERE)
- Controlling your Weight (I have seen numerous women get their female problems under control by simply loosing 10lbs).
It's true. These are the top methods of dealing with PCOS --- not to mention just about every other health problem we commonly deal with. Unfortunately, these are also things that your doctor cannot do for you. They are things that require a great deal of discipline and sticktoitiveness. Let me give you three excellent resources for doing what your doctor should suggest.
THIS POST. Also be aware that sugar turns men into women, and women into men (HERE).
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration