PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
PCOS is an increasingly common condition affecting women of reproductive age that involves a complex combination of factors and symptoms. Helping women with PCOS is a special passion of both Dr. Eric and Dr. Kristina at Lewis Family Natural Health.
A Syndrome with Many Faces
Symptoms associated with PCOS are many. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is not a simple disease with a single cause and a simple solution.
Common symptoms include:
- Multiple ovarian cysts
- Weight gain/difficulty losing weight
- Abnormal periods (irregular periods, difficult periods, or many times no periods at all)
- Abnormal hair growth (as one of our PCOS patients described it: "hair grows where you don't want it, and doesn't grow where you do want it!")
- Infertility (PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility)
- Insulin resistance (leading to increased risk of diabetes)
- Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
- Elevated blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalance
Most women with PCOS will not have many of the symptoms associated with this condition, and may be affected in very different ways. This makes conventional diagnoses and treatment tricky.
The conventional medical approach to PCOS typically involves prescription birth control pills and possibly a diabetes medication such as metformin. However, all woman with PCOS are unique, and this is one condition in particular where "one size fits all" approach is NOT very successful.
Individualized care with Naturopathic medicine
Our naturopathic doctors don't have a set protocol for PCOS. We know that this condition is very individualized as far as which symptoms a woman is experiencing and what underlying causes are contributing to her PCOS. We create customized, tailored plans for each of our PCOS patients that are constantly adapted and refined as her body responds and heals.
Factors we consider when developing plans for PCOS patients include:
- Addressing underlying metabolic imbalances, most notably insulin resistance, with dietary changes, nutritional supplements, homeopathy and herbal medicines, and exercise.
- Facilitating healthy weight loss that works with your body's metabolism
- Correcting underlying hormonal imbalances that can lead to the pattern of symptoms and affect menstrual cycles and fertility.
- Helping detoxify and avoid environmental factors that may be contributing to how you feel.