Natural PCOS treatment

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a type of endocrine disorder in females. It affects approximately 5 to 10 percent of women between the ages of 12 and 45 years. The main symptoms of PCOS are irregular menstruation, obesity, excess amounts of androgenic (masculine) hormones and acne. Insulin resistance and diabetes are also associated with PCOS. While the actual cause of PCOS remains largely unknown, resistance to the hormone insulin is touted as the root cause of the disorder. This means that extra insulin is needed by the body to regulate sugar levels. This excessive quantity of insulin causes an imbalance of other hormones that are needed for a regular menstrual cycle.

Most of the standard PCOS treatment procedures suggested by physicians tend to target hormonal imbalance by prescribing hormone pills. These pills can regulate the imbalance of insulin and other hormones, causing some relief from the symptoms of PCOS. Over the past few years however, natural PCOS treatments are being increasingly recommended and found to be extremely effective. The natural PCOS treatment that is of utmost importance is weight loss. Studies have shown that as women suffering from PCOS lose weight, hormonal imbalances start to even out. Insulin levels begin to fall. Excessive growth of body hair (associated with rise in Testosterone levels) tends to diminish. Significant weight loss can be achieved in a healthy manner by following a balanced diet and proper fitness regime. However, weight loss may be challenging to women who suffer from PCOS due to increased testosterone and insulin. It therefore becomes extremely vital to make certain lifestyle changes to get plenty of regular exercise and effectively cope with stress.

Diet plays a very vital role in the natural treatment of PCOS. This is simply because Insulin resistance causes the body to store carbohydrates as fat rather than convert them to energy. Therefore, a diet with lower levels of carbohydrates is recommended for natural PCOS treatment. The intake of grains can be limited while low GI carbs (causing smaller fluctuations in insulin and blood glucose levels) found in fresh fruits and vegetables can be consumed more. Proteins must be included with every meal from natural sources such as eggs, white meat, seafood, nuts and yoghurt. Phytoestrogens such as alfalfa, linseeds, chickpeas and soy can help in the reduction of endogenous oestrogen in the body. Sufficient water intake is also suggested as a part of the natural PCOS treatments. Avoid the intake of saturated fats, additives and preservatives, sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine and alcohol. Essential fatty acids found in seeds, nuts, flaxseed and linseed oil, some varieties of oily fish like salmon and mackerel can also be taken regularly to help cure PCOS.

In addition to diet and exercise, there are certain herbs and alternative healing practices that aid greatly in natural PCOS treatments. Some types of herbs are known to directly act on hormones and restore their balance in the body. Women with PCOS have excess amounts of luteinising hormone (LH) in their bodies which causes excess testosterone production. The level of LH can be kept under check by using a herb called Chaste tree. The adrenal glands can be returned to normalcy with the use of adrenal tonics like Siberian Ginseng, Rehmannia, Withania and Rhodiola. Another important herb in natural PCOS treatment is Paeonia lactiflora (peony). It lowers levels of progesterone and testosterone in the body. Licorice when taken along with peony also helps regulate hormones in the body. Gymnema is useful to curb sugar cravings and insulin resistance, thereby aiding greatly in weight loss. Apart from these, homeopathic or naturopathic medications are also available on prescription. Regular practice of certain Yogic postures has also proven to be effective in treating PCOS naturally.

Last updated on May 14th, 2010 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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