After all this time, I’ve learned a thing or two (or several hundred) about what’s right for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), as well as what isn’t.To help prevent you from making the same mistakes of PCOS I see over and over again with women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), I’ve put together a list of the 10 most common ones. Hopefully then you’ll be able to dodge the bullet, so to speak, and overcome PCOS quickly and painlessly.
Going on the Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill might be a good way to mask symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), but it never fixes the underlying problem. In fact, many women who go on the pill find that their PCOS has worsens while on it, but don’t find out until they get off the pill, try to get pregnant, then can’t. Birth Control Pills are one of the most favored “solutions” for PCOS of doctors, but they are completely ineffective in terms of healing, fertility, or long-term freedom from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS).
Due to its ability to increase insulin sensitivity, Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the Western world. Metformin can help alleviate complications from diabetes, as well as help women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), especially type 1 PCOS (more on which in video #2). Metformin is a problem, however, since much like birth control pills, in that it never solves the underlying problem causing hormone imbalance and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS). It only ever covers it up.
Taking estrogen blockers
Thousands of women take Estro block or other estrogen blockers in hopes of helping their Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS). However, estrogen is generally not the main problem for women with PCOS. If you’re taking estrogen blockers, you may be targeting the wrong hormones. Instead, consider looking into ways to decrease testosterone and/or DHEA-S levels, especially if you are “type 1 Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)”. If you are “type 2 PCOS,” more estrogen might actually be what you need
Taking herbal supplements
Admittedly, some women find great relief from herbal supplements. But just like with Metformin and birth control pills, they don’t provide permanent solutions. They only help to alleviate symptoms and cover up underlying issues. Also, they are not well studied by the scientific literature, so their effects are not well known. Most supposed “effects” of herbal supplements simply come from people’s stories. So it may be worthwhile to experiment with herbal supplements while addressing underlying issues, but this should be done carefully, and with due acknowledgement of the fact that it may not fix underlying issues.
Doing a lot of cardio
Is more always better? For exercise, the answer is no, especially if you’re spending all your time on a bike or a treadmill. The best way to exercise for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)is to shoot for efficiency: short, intense, effective exercises instead of long, grueling, stamina-demanding exercises are best. This is because short and intense work outs (such as lifting heavy weights) help improve insulin levels and hormone balance, while long-distances exercises can help, but not quite as much. Most women do well shooting for 3-4 weight lifting work outs a week.
Failing to investigate underlying causes
Trying to overcome Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) without paying attention to its underlying causes is like shooting in the dark. Getting your hormone levels tested by a doctor, by a functional medicine practitioner, or with a home saliva test is a great way to get data on what’s going on in your body. If you don’t have access to that, learning about the potential causes and types of PCOS and their symptoms (which I’ll discuss some in video #2) may very well be enough. The more you know about what’s causing your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS), the more specifically you can treat it.
Low carb diets
Most women who have PCOS try a low carbohydrate diet. Is this effective? Sometimes. But not all women are helped by it. In fact, more than 20% of women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) may be hurt by it. If you try a low carb diet, pay close attention to your symptoms and see if they get better or worse. That way, you can stop yourself from doing damage if you are one of the 20% of women who really need those carbs.
Unfortunately, dining out in the West is full of potential dangers for women with PCOS. One of the worst dangers is the fact that the vast majority of restaurants use vegetable oil for their cooking. Vegetable oil (including corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, and more) is rich in omega 6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most common underlying issues that women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)suffer from. To help minimize your inflammation levels, consider dining out as little as possible, or specifically requesting olive oil or butter to be used for your meals. Additionally, adding a fermented cod liver oil supplement (fermentation prevents the fats from oxidizing and keeps them healthful) is one quick way to start reducing inflammation levels.
If you’re looking for help on your journey with PCOS – and want to do things like pay attention to red flags, and avoid all the mistakes these women have, I can help you. There are countless posts on my blog about various things concerning PCOS. You can catch a list of the most popular ones at the page labeled Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS).