How many women do you know who have irregular or painful menstruation?
How about facial hair? Acne? Or stubborn belly fat?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects as many as 5 million women in the United States, making it one of the most common endocrine disorder diagnoses given to women of childbearing age. (1)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the number one cause of infertility among women. You can use The Body Ecology Diet to restore reproductive health and manage symptoms like hair loss, mood swings, belly fat, and facial hair. Our CocoBiotic probiotic drink is also used to assist with your gut health, withstanding harsh stomach acids to maximize colonization in the gut.
Signs of PCOS include:
- Menstrual disorders, such as missed periods or no period
- Facial hair (above the lip and around the chin) or chest hair
- Hair loss
- Mood swings
- Belly fat, or central obesity
- Insulin resistance
The Truth About PCOS and Infertility
Women with PCOS are more likely to struggle with infertility, obesity, and insulin resistance. In addition to acne and facial hair growth, they also are more likely to have joint pain, an underactive thyroid, fatigue, and gut disorders. The risk of developing heart disease or cancer increases in women with PCOS.
These days, the latest news about PCOS involves its name—and what criteria should be used for a diagnosis. This is because PCOS is more than a reproductive disorder. It is also a metabolic disorder.
The NIH (National Institutes of Health) concluded that not everyone with PCOS has ovarian cysts (fluid-filled sacs within or on the surface of an ovary). Furthermore, you do not need hormonal tests or an ultrasound to receive a diagnosis. (2)
This means that if you struggle with a menstrual disorder and have acne or facial hair, you may have PCOS. Your physician does not need to find polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound to give you a diagnosis.
Fertility Issues, Facial Hair, Acne, and Belly Fat—Oh, My!
Testosterone: It’s what makes cavemen beat their chest and rise to any challenge. It causes chest hair to sprout, strengthens the jawline, deepens the voice, and fortifies that competitive edge.
Testosterone is decidedly a masculine hormone. And men—not women—benefit from robust levels of testosterone.
In women, too much free-floating testosterone can harm the body and make it sick. Women who have been diagnosed with PCOS have too much of this free testosterone. And in addition to menstrual irregularities, we see evidence of testosterone excess in facial hair, acne, and belly fat.
Take, for example, studies that have found a correlation between belly fat and high levels of testosterone. (3) Research also shows that acne and facial hair are common in women who have been diagnosed with PCOS. (4)(5) But that’s not the full story. In women with PCOS, we also see insulin resistance.
Insulin Resistance and Your Reproductive Hormones
Insulin is the gatekeeper. It allows your cells to absorb sugar, or glucose.
When cells become insulin resistant, they don’t properly utilize insulin. Problems start as levels of blood sugar rise and cells begin to starve without a regular supply of glucose.
So, what causes insulin resistance in the first place?
- Chronically high levels of stress. Excessive stress hormones like cortisol counter the effects of insulin and lead to insulin resistance. (6)
- Eating too much sugar too often. Sugar and other carbohydrate-rich foods elevate insulin. Kick up insulin levels too high and too often, and your cells begin to think you’re kidding: “Really? You’re here again?” Research shows that restricting carbohydrates can reduce insulin resistance, meaning your cells become more sensitive to the presence of insulin. (7)
Insulin resistance increases the chances of having too much free-floating testosterone.
Insulin resistance is associated with a protein that binds to reproductive hormones, like testosterone. When levels of this protein are too low—as it happens in those with insulin resistance—your chances of infertility, PCOS, and excess testosterone skyrocket. (8)
What Does Diet Have To Do with PCOS?
The good news is that diet can help control PCOS. By regulating insulin levels, you can regulate the cascade of hormones responsible for PCOS.
The Body Ecology Diet is a gluten-free, casein-free, and sugar-free probiotic diet that controls insulin resistance and helps restore the body’s natural hormonal rhythms. Besides removing processed grains and sugars, The Body Ecology Diet teaches proper food combining—an important principle in improving digestion and limiting blood sugar spikes.
Research shows that the timing of meals matters. As opposed to making dinner your biggest meal of the day, eat small and frequent meals during daytime hours. This one change can lower insulin resistance in women with PCOS. (9)
Stevia Reb A is an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth without using sugar or toxic, artificial sweeteners. Because you consume less sugar with stevia, it naturally helps regulate blood sugar and insulin. But that’s not all—the herb stevia contains plant chemicals that lower blood sugar and restore sensitivity to insulin. (10) Stevia is also a natural antioxidant. (11)
What To Remember Most About This Article:
PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting women of childbearing age. Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, infertility, acne, facial hair, hair loss, mood swings, belly fat, and insulin resistance. Women with PCOS also have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
Women with PCOS have insulin resistance. Insulin allows cells to absorb sugar; when cells are insulin resistant, blood sugar levels will rise, and cells will starve without glucose. Insulin resistance may be caused by chronic stress and a high-sugar diet consumed over the long-term. Insulin resistance can increase the chances of free-floating testosterone in the body, found in women with PCOS. This triggers common symptoms of the disorder like acne, facial hair, and belly fat.
Thankfully, diet can be used to effectively manage PCOS by regulating insulin levels. The Body Ecology Diet is gluten-free, casein-free, sugar-free, and probiotic-rich. The Body Ecology Diet can help to regulate insulin resistance and hormone levels. To eliminate sugar in the diet and manage PCOS, stevia reb A is recommended as a tasty sugar substitute. Stevia can lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Gersh, F., Lee, Y., & Tygnehof, R. (2013). 30A. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome—An Integrative Approach to a Complex Epidemic. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 2(Suppl), 30A.
- Dunaif, A., & Fauser, B. C. (2013). Renaming PCOS—A Two-State Solution. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 98(11), 4325-4328.
- Dunaif, A. (1997). Insulin Resistance and the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Mechanism and Implications for Pathogenesis 1. Endocrine reviews, 18(6), 774-800.
- Timpatanapong, P., & Rojanasakul, A. (1997). Hormonal profiles and prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in women with acne. The Journal of dermatology, 24(4), 223-229.
- Falsetti, L., Gambera, A., Andrico, S., & Sartori, E. (2002). Acne and hirsutism in polycystic ovary syndrome: clinical, endocrine-metabolic and ultrasonographic differences. Gynecological endocrinology, 16(4), 275-284.
- Andrews, R. C., & Walker, B. R. (1999). Glucocorticoids and insulin resistance: old hormones, new targets. Clinical Science, 96, 513-523.
- McAuley, K. A., Hopkins, C. M., Smith, K. J., McLay, R. T., Williams, S. M., Taylor, R. W., & Mann, J. I. (2005). Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women. Diabetologia, 48(1), 8-16.
- Rojas, J., Chávez, M., Olivar, L., Rojas, M., Morillo, J., Mejías, J., ... & Bermúdez, V. (2014). Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Insulin Resistance, and Obesity: Navigating the Pathophysiologic Labyrinth. International Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 2014.
- Jakubowicz, D., Barnea, M., Wainstein, J., & Froy, O. (2013). Effects of caloric intake timing on insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism in lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Clinical Science, 125(9), 423-432.
- Chen, T. H., Chen, S. C., Chan, P., Chu, Y. L., Yang, H. Y., & Cheng, J. T. (2005). Mechanism of the hypoglycemic effect of stevioside, a glycoside of Stevia rebaudiana. Planta med, 71(2), 108-13.
- Shivanna, N., Naika, M., Khanum, F., & Kaul, V. K. (2013). Antioxidant, anti-diabetic and renal protective properties of Stevia rebaudiana. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 27(2), 103-113.
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