PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is an abbreviation for one of the biggest causes of infertility. It’s not one single condition but more as a spectrum where you can have all of the symptoms or some of them in various combinations.
The three big ones are oligo/anovulation (meaning period irregularities spanning from a cycle out of whack, missed or completely absent periods), polycystic ovaries (cysts formed on your ovaries which can be seen on an ultrasound) and hyperandrogenemia (masculinizing features such as collecting fat in the mid-section, male pattern baldness, or hirsutism – too much body or facial hair). Other symptoms may include acne, alopecia, lowered tone of voice, clitoral enlargement and what is called Acanthosis Nigricans meaning the darker velvety patches on skin folds, which are also present in many insulin resistance conditions. PCOS can be a soul wrenching experience for couples trying to conceive and a path leading straight to bankruptcy if you keep trying the expensive treatments and procedures to have a baby. They largely don’t work, or take a few tries because the problem is elsewhere. Even if it is not about children untreated PCOS is the gateway to higher risk for cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver, sleep apnoea, depression, anxiety disorders, cancer, type 2 diabetes….
But now to the source of why treatments don’t work very well or long-term and why no drug solution is final. Because the issue is (as many others are) related to what you nourish your body with and how you manage your blood sugar levels. It’s a too much insulin issue, as so many disease triggers are and is caused by eating too much sugar (most processed carbs count as sugar as they get into your bloodstream even faster than white sugar which is 50% glucose and 50% fructose) or eating all the time so your body doesn’t have the chance to drop the blood sugar. You get high insulin all the time, and after a while develop insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome and then you’re in the twilight zone (please read more on insulin resistance in our posts INSULIN RESISTANCE & TYPE 2 DIABETES vol 1. and vol. 2 for the details on how this works).
The whole research on the root cause on how PCOS begins really got on the way as it was noticed that women with fertility issues regulated their menstrual cycle and got pregnant as their body weight and insulin went down, as soon as within a month. Most other mood, sleep and body hair or skin issues cleared up as well. So the work of Dr. Nadia Pateguana, who was dealing with regulating diet with no aim to help with fertility at first, and Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist who got tired of patching people up after type 2 diabetes destroyed their kidneys and focused on preventing the hyperinsulinemia that caused it, got together to study it closer.
The only thig that ever works in the long-term is changing your diet and going low carb, keto and, you’ve guessed it, intermitted fasting to break the insulin resistance that lags along on every PCOS. The way to get thigs back in order is to get your hormones in order and stop ravaging your body by what it was not meant to process – the amounts of sugar or food quantities which were unavailable to our bodies for the whole human history until our most recent era. Tomorrow we’ll go deeper into the biochemistry of why the symptoms occur and what roles insulin and testosterone play in infertility and cyst formation. Please share tomorrow’s post with any families you know have been trying to conceive or women who have a confirmed PCOS.