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Last week, we wrote about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and what causes it (here). This week, we talk about the solutions to PCOS.
SOLUTIONS TO PCOS
There are many things we can do in Functional Medicine to address root causes of PCOS and we will discuss them below.
----- But the most effective treatments for PCOS are: -----
----- DIET & EXERCISE -----
Lifestyle corrections to address metabolic syndrome, improve gut health, prevent excessive immune activation and minimize exposure to toxins and inflammatory agents, appears to be the most sustainable therapy for PCOS (Patel, 2018).
Dietary changes are considered the first line of treatment for those with PCOS (Zhang F, 2019).
Hyperinsulinemia and increased androgens are part of PCOS. Carbohydrates are among the main stimulators of insulin release. Research shows that dairy products and carbohydrates elicit greater postprandial insulin secretion than non-starchy vegetables and fruits (Phy JL, 2015). One study demonstrated that an 8-week low-carb/low-dairy diet resulted in weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity and reduced testosterone in women with PCOS (Phy JL, 2015).
We recommend a diet that is:
- Whole foods diet
- Low in sugar
- Paleo (grain & dairy free) or gluten-free Mediterranean diet
- High in protein vs. carbohydrates
- Moderate to low carb although this does depend somewhat on the specific case and any degree of adrenal or thyroid issues
- Rich in omega-3 fats (fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovy, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds) and fiber-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits.
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