Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal health problem that impacts ~5-10% of women between the ages of 15 and 44. It’s one of the most common causes of infertility.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Ovarian cysts, but not all women with PCOS have this symptom (cysts are small fluid-filled sacs)
- Irregular periods (missing periods, having fewer periods, or having a period every 21 days or more often)
- Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair (this issue is called hirsutism and about 70% of women with PCOS have it)
- Acne on the face, chest, or upper back
- Thinning hair or losing hair
- Weight gain or having a hard time losing weight
- Skin tags (small extra flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area)
What Causes PCOS?
Short answer is hormonal imbalances. Specifically: high androgens/male hormones, high insulin, and high estrogen are at the root of PCOS. Behind the imbalance of these hormones is lifestyle factors, like high stress, poor blood sugar regulation (skipping meals or eating too often), not moving enough, poor gut health, not getting enough sleep, not getting enough sunlight. So…basically the modern human condition.
Next week, I’ll be talking in depth how the 3 hormones (androgens, insulin, and estrogen) work together to cause the perfect storm of PCOS. In the meantime, check out my blog post on estrogen dominance to learn more about the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can lead to PCOS.
Looking to work with a nutritionist to manage your PCOS symptoms? Schedule a FREE Information Call here.