Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormone imbalance condition in women of reproductive age, affecting ~20% women (but ~70% of those aren’t aware they have it).
PCOS gets its name from numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in/on the ovaries of many women with the condition. Previously it was diagnosed through finding evidence of these cysts via an ultrasound, however not everyone with PCOS will develop ovarian cysts, it can manifest in individuals in multiple ways and it is now recognized as a complex endocrine disorder.
Some of the common ways PCOS can affect people include:
Weight gain or difficulty losing weight: this is often associated with insulin resistance and metabolic issues.
Excessive or rogue hair growth: PCOS can cause excessive hair growth, known as hirsutism, in a male pattern (particularly on the face, chest, and back).
Irregular periods: PCOS can cause irregular menstrual cycles, often with longer or unpredictable gaps between periods.
Acne and skin issues: Hormonal imbalances caused by PCOS can lead to acne breakouts and other skin problems.
Infertility: PCOS is a common cause of infertility in individuals due to the lack of regular ovulation.
Mood swings and emotional challenges: The hormonal fluctuations associated with PCOS can contribute to mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
It’s important to recognize that the symptoms of PCOS are highly variable from person to person. Each individual may experience a combination of these symptoms to different degrees.
At Looni, we are dedicated to providing support and resources to help individuals navigate the challenges posed by PCOS and improve their overall well-being. If you suffer from PCOS, reach out to us and we’ll offer you a dedicated discount on Looni’s Balance Beam supplement.
Are you looking for alternatives to conventional pharmaceutical interventions for PCOS? Here are some more holistic ways to treat PCOS, many of which try and tackle the underlying endocrine disturbances:
Targeted Nutrition: Look to incorporate foods with a low-glycemic-index and high-fiber—an anti-inflammatory (you may try avoiding dairy), nutrient-rich, balanced diet that includes whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Foods containing zinc (eg pumpkin seeds) and omega-3 (eg wild Alaskan salmon) are of particular note. Avoid sugar 😟
Supplementation and Botanicals: Lack of Vitamin D is found in 44% of women with PCOS (vs 11% of non-PCOS women); adaptogens like ashwagandha can improve the body’s resistance to stress and keep androgen synthesis under control. You’ll find both of these in Looni’s Balance Beam supplement 💊. Other herbs such as cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon a day) and the adaptogen, licorice, may also help with hormonal regulation of androgens. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements.
Regular Exercise: Try getting 20-30 minutes of exercise a day, to help manage weight and normalize androgens. Choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or yoga. Yoga in particular has been shown to be more effective than other forms of exercise at improving insulin resistance in PCOS.
Stress Management: Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies to help regulate hormones and manage symptoms.
Adequate Sleep: Prioritize quality sleep to support hormone regulation and overall well-being. Establish a regular sleep routine and create a sleep-friendly environment.
Acupuncture: Consider acupuncture as an adjunct therapy to help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce pain, and improve overall well-being. Consult with a licensed acupuncturist for personalized treatment.
Remember, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.
Deswal R, Narwal V, Dang A, Pundir CS. The Prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Brief Systematic Review. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2020 Oct-Dec;13(4):261-271. doi: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_95_18. Epub 2020 Dec 28. PMID: 33627974; PMCID: PMC7879843.
Gottfried S. The Hormone Cure. 2014: 205-230.
March WA, Moore VM, Willson KJ, Phillips DI, Norman RJ, Davies MJ. The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a community sample assessed under contrasting diagnostic criteria. Hum Reprod. 2010 Feb;25(2):544-51. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep399. Epub 2009 Nov 12. PMID: 19910321.
Nidhi R, Padmalatha V, Nagarathna R, Ram A. Effect of a yoga program on glucose metabolism and blood lipid levels in adolescent girls with polycystic ovary syndrome. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 Jul;118(1):37-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.01.027. Epub 2012 Apr 14. PMID: 22507264.
Romm, A. Botanical Medicine For Women’s Health. 2018: 109-118.