Naturopathic Medicine and PCOS:
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects millions of women worldwide– sometimes leading to infertility, or just difficult symptoms of un-wanted weight gain, acne, and/or excessive hair-growth, hair-loss, or hair thinning. Women with PCOS often have irregular periods, and sometimes very heavy prolonged bleeding. PCOS was initially thought to be a sex-hormone disorder, but research now shows the condition is due to insulin resistance- leading to metabolic disturbances such as diabetes. The clinical diagnosis of PCOS often involves laboratory tests of hormones such as FSH, LH and Testosterone, as well as pelvic or trans-vaginal ultra-sounds of the ovaries, however- it is important to keep in mind that even if your lab-results are normal, and you suffer from the above symptoms, PCOS should not be completely ruled out.
The Root Cause
As a Naturopathic Doctor, and Ayurveda Practitioner- I love to focus on helping my patients find the root cause of their disease and co-working with them to shift their lifestyle rhythms in the direction of health and balance. While, scientifically there are many theories, nobody knows the true cause of PCOS. There maybe a genetic pre-disposition to the condition, however, through a functional & holistic understanding of the whole-person, their individual constitution, and daily lifestyle choices- we can come to understand what changeable factors maybe causing blood-sugar and hormonal imbalances. I also conduct functional lab-testing, and assess your current and past lab work in order to best design your treatment plan.
If you are someone with PCOS, perhaps you have specific goals, like- reducing your acne, weight-loss, regulating your periods, or getting pregnant! My top dietary and lifestyle guidelines for PCOS include the following:
1.Eat real whole foods 80-100% of the time (unpackaged, fresh, and homemade as much as possible)!
2. Eat frequently and try not to let your blood sugar drop. Keep a stash of a nuts/ seeds at your desk or in your hand-bag when you’re on the go.
3. Increase your veggie content so that it includes half of your plate at your 2 main meals. The other half of your plate should include a mix of healthy fats, and protein.
4. Include stress reduction practices into your week (meditation, yoga, tai-chi, massage, etc.).
5. Get as much restorative sleep as you can: go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily- and aim for a full 8 hours of shut-eye.
6. Include delicious spices into your diet such as cinnamon and fenugreek to help regulate your blood sugar.
Supplements can be incredibly helpful to reduce the symptoms associated with your PCOS and prevent further health concerns such as diabetes. Some of my favourites are the highly researched Myo-Inositol, Chromium Picolinate and Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Dosage is personalized- so please do see your Naturopathic Doctor for further guidance.
Meet the author
Dr. Sairupa Krishnamurti is a Canadian Licensed Naturopathic Doctor working at City Osteo and Physio in Singapore. She is also an Ayurveda Practitioner and loves to infuse constitutional analysis alongside functional testing in her practice. She sees both acute and difficult chronic health conditions.
To make an appointment with Dr Sairupa book now.