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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, (PCOS) is a complex metabolic disease affecting the pancreas, hypothalamic-pituitary-ovary axis, thyroid, and adrenals. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age and can cause fertility issues.
PCOS is associated with the formation of benign cysts forming on the ovaries. The ovaries are vital in the production of eggs, estrogen, and progesterone. The ovarian cysts are formed when egg-containing follicles on the ovary are not able to release the egg into the fallopian tubes.
PCOS puts women at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, altered lipoprotein profiles, type 2 diabetes, endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer, and gestational diabetes. Fortunately, PCOS can be well managed by diet and lifestyle and responds favorably to comprehensive naturopathic care.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Irregular periods – particularly long cycles, or no periods at all
- Very light or very heavy bleeding during periods
- Insulin resistance
- Infertility and miscarriages
- Hair growth on the face, chest, and lower abdomen or hair loss
- Unexplained weight gain/ difficult to lose weight
- Adult acne
- Voice changes
Goals for treatment of PCOS:
- Normalize blood sugar
- Goal BMI <25 and a waist: hip ratio of <1
- Regulate ovulation and reduce androgens
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Many women with PCOS manage their symptoms by diet and exercise alone and occasionally with supplementation added to balance blood sugar and hormones. Managing PCOS increases fertility and prevents chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Many women with PCOS have successful pregnancies and healthy babies. Dr. Schulz specializes in fertility and hormone balancing for women with this condition.