holistic medicine tulsa

What Causes PCOS and How Can It Be Treated?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an issue or imbalance with your hormones. It affects the ovaries where estrogen and progesterone are produced, and ovulation occurs. Both hormones work together to regulate the menstrual cycle and reproduction. The ovaries also release a small number of male hormones (androgens). PCOS means that estrogen and progesterone are at a low level while androgen, the male hormone, is at a higher level. It is estimated that over five million women are affected by PCOS, an endocrine disorder. Conventional medicine will only look at treating symptoms. In contrast, our holistic medicine practitioners in Tulsa, OK, will look at the root cause of PCOS symptoms and determine which type of PCOS each client has before starting treatment.

What Causes PCOS?

There could be many causes of PCOS, including chronic stress, birth control medications, diet, heavy metals, and personal care products. PCOS is a group of symptoms, with the primary symptom being difficulty ovulating, leading to higher levels of androgen or high levels of male hormones. 

Although medical professionals do not know the exact cause of PCOS, there is evidence that male hormones at high levels prevent the ovaries from producing estrogen and progesterone. Inflammation, genetics, and insulin resistance may all produce high androgen levels. When treating PCOS, we need to look at why a client is having difficulty ovulating, and the answer to this can be different for many sufferers, 

There has long been misinformation regarding “cysts on the ovaries,” which are, in fact, follicles or eggs and are perfectly normal. Abnormal cysts are large, painful, and located in the abdominal area, which is entirely different from polycystic ovaries. Having polycystic ovaries does not mean you have abnormal hormones; you can also have normal-looking ovaries and still produce excess androgen. 

There Are Many Types of PCOS

It is not a one size fits all hormone imbalance, and the cause of PCOS can be many different factors for each woman. This means treating PCOS is not a “one size fits all” treatment plan. We work on finding the correct treatment for each client that comes to us with PCOS symptoms, and that begins with finding the root cause and determining which type of PCOS they have before deciding on a treatment plan. Symptoms can differ from person to person, and symptoms can vary depending on the type of PCOS present.

Inflammatory PCOS & Holistic Medicine

Some studies have shown a direct link between PCOS and inflammation. The immune system is your body’s reaction to an infection or an injury. This kind of inflammation does its job and subsides once the threat has gone away.

The issue is chronic inflammation because it is ongoing and systematic and keeps your body in a state of stress and high alert. It can cause chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases and is not often linked to PCOS in mainstream medicine.

Yet, chronic inflammation has been linked to PCOS insulin resistance, leading to too much glucose in the body. This triggers oxidative stress and inflammatory response. But, there is hope! The functional medicine approach to PCOS is to find the cause of the inflammation so that it can be reversed or even prevented. Our holistic medicine practitioners in Tulsa, OK, will look at a client’s diet and lifestyle and recommend eating anti-inflammatory foods, repairing your gut, healing your infections, and stopping stress and toxic burden in your body.

Insulin Resistant PCOS in Tulsa

Insulin resistance is caused when the cells in your liver, muscles, and fat don’t respond to insulin and therefore cannot use glucose for energy. Because you then have so much glucose in your body, the pancreas will make more and more insulin which in effect creates more androgen hormones and therefore can lead to PCOS. This is the most common type of PCOS and can be caused by smoking, trans fat, sugar, and environmental toxins.

Post-Pill PCOS

As we know, hormonal birth control works by suppressing ovulation, and once off birth control, ovulation should resume pretty quickly, but this is not always the case. Initially, there is usually a (temporary) surge in androgens once you come off specific birth control such as Diane and Yasmin, which can be diagnosed as post-pill PCOS. The best thing to do is stay calm and know that this is a normal reaction to coming off birth control, and a range of natural supplements can help you deal with post-pill PCOS.

Adrenal PCOS & Holistic Medicine 

Many women with PCOS will have elevated androgens, including testosterone and androstenedione from their ovaries and DHEAS from the adrenal glands. If only your DHEAS are heightened, but your testosterone and androstenedione levels are normal, you may be dealing with adrenal PCOS. This accounts for around 10% of PCOS cases and is similar to adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a late-onset genetic condition. Again, we can look at the right course of functional medicine treatment to treat this type of PCOS.

What are the Symptoms of PCOS?

  • Irregular or heavy periods, sometimes no period at all
  • Excessive hair growth on the face and parts of the body usually only men have it
  • Acne
  • Thinning hair and hair loss
  • Weight gain or trouble losing weight
  • Darkened skin in neck creases, groin, and under the breasts
  • Skin tags

PCOS Treatment – The Holistic Medicine Way

The traditional method of treating PCOS includes birth control pills, diabetes medication, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). These can all cause other problems and illnesses within the body. 

We recommend going on a holistic medicine journey in Tulsa, OK, involving eliminating inflammatory foods such as refined sugar and gluten and toxic foods such as alcohol and caffeine for a month. Then these foods will slowly begin entering your diet again so we can eliminate foods that are a problem for you. There is not one way to address all PCOS symptoms; we look at the root cause of each client’s PCOS and create a plan accordingly. Other methods of balancing your hormones include making simple lifestyle and dietary changes. These include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Remove toxins from your diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take supplements to help balance your hormones

If you believe you have PCOS and would like help addressing the symptoms the functional medicine way, please get in touch with our Holistic medicine Clinic in Tulsa, OK, and we can begin your journey to better health.


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