Functional Medicine for PCOS

Causes, Symptoms, & Effective Management Strategies

Introduction

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects reproductive-aged individuals, causing irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, and hormonal imbalances.

Let’s take a closer look at the causes, symptoms, home remedies, treatment options, and our specialized approach to managing PCOS with functional medicine effectively.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder characterized by enlarged ovaries containing multiple small cysts. It is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting individuals of reproductive age and can lead to a range of symptoms and complications, including infertility, menstrual irregularities, weight gain, and increased risk of metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A woman suffering from the symptoms of PCOS, which functional medicine treats.

Causes of PCOS:

The exact cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, hormonal, and lifestyle factors.

Insulin resistance, elevated levels of androgens (male hormones), and abnormal levels of other hormones such as insulin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) play key roles in the development of PCOS. Genetic predisposition, obesity, and environmental factors may also contribute to the development of PCOS.

Symptoms of PCOS:

PCOS can present with a variety of symptoms, which may vary in severity among affected individuals.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

 

  • Irregular menstrual cycles or absence of menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Excess hair growth (hirsutism), particularly on the face, chest, and back
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp (male-pattern baldness)
  • Darkening of the skin, particularly along skin folds such as the neck, groin, and under the breasts (acanthosis nigricans)
  • Difficulty conceiving (infertility) or recurrent miscarriages

What should I try at home before seeing a provider for PCOS?

Before seeking medical advice for PCOS, individuals can try several home remedies and lifestyle modifications to help manage symptoms and improve overall health.

These may include:

 

  • Balanced diet: Adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help regulate insulin levels and support hormone balance.
  • Regular exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as aerobic exercise and strength training, can help improve insulin sensitivity, promote weight loss, and alleviate symptoms of PCOS.
  • Stress management: Practicing stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi can help lower stress levels and improve overall well-being.
  • Healthy sleep habits: Getting an adequate amount of quality sleep each night is essential for hormone regulation, weight management, and overall health.
  • Supportive supplements: Certain nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and inositol may help improve insulin sensitivity and support hormone balance in individuals with PCOS.

Best Treatment Options for PCOS:

Treatment for PCOS aims to manage symptoms, regulate menstrual cycles, promote ovulation, and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Treatment options may include:

 

  • Lifestyle modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep can help improve symptoms and overall health in individuals with PCOS.
  • Hormonal birth control: Oral contraceptives, progestin therapy, or other hormonal medications may be prescribed to regulate menstrual cycles, reduce androgen levels, and improve symptoms of PCOS.
  • Ovulation induction: Medications such as clomiphene citrate or letrozole may be prescribed to stimulate ovulation in women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.
  • Anti-androgen medications: Medications such as spironolactone may be prescribed to reduce excess hair growth (hirsutism) and acne associated with PCOS.
  • Insulin-sensitizing medications: Medications such as metformin may be prescribed to improve insulin sensitivity, regulate menstrual cycles, and reduce the risk of metabolic complications in individuals with PCOS.

Our Process for Treating PCOS:

We specialize in functional medicine for PCOS to help individuals achieve optimal hormone balance, menstrual regularity, and reproductive health.

Our approach involves a thorough evaluation, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing support. Our team of healthcare professionals, including endocrinologists, gynecologists, nutritionists, and fertility specialists, collaborates closely with each patient to develop an individualized treatment approach tailored to their specific needs, goals, and medical history.

We prioritize patient education, empowerment, and support throughout the treatment process to ensure the best possible outcomes and long-term success in managing PCOS with functional medicine.

Functional Medicine for PCOS: Lasting Relief

PCOS is a complex hormonal disorder that requires a multifaceted approach to management.

By understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options, individuals with PCOS can take proactive steps to improve their health and quality of life. Whether through lifestyle modifications, medications, hormonal therapy, or fertility treatments, managing PCOS is possible with the guidance and support of healthcare professionals.

With our comprehensive approach to treatment, we are dedicated to helping individuals with PCOS achieve optimal hormone balance, menstrual regularity, and reproductive health.

We are currently accepting patients worldwide.