Written for The Healthy Planet by TJ Williams, DC, PhD
PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome. It is one of the most common female hormone disorders. This has been a hot topic lately because it is estimated that 50% of women who have PCOS are undiagnosed. Although PCOS is under diagnosed, that does not make it any less serious. PCOS is known to increase the lifetime risk of infertility, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, and it carries with it many other negative side effects.
The symptoms of PCOS are often things that we worry about, but never bring up with our doctors. Some of these symptoms include thinning hair, acne, infrequent or irregular periods, oily skin, dandruff, skin tags, anxiety, depression and many more. By themselves, each of the different symptoms may not seem that important. What is important is the overall pattern. The bigger picture of what is happening.
Diagnosing PCOS involves a thorough history and exam with your physician, followed by blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound. These tests are necessary to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.
Medical treatment often focuses on balancing hormones and addressing symptoms as they arise. Another option is the choice to use natural therapies like those utilized by The Institute of Natural Health. These therapies include such things as dietary modification, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. These all-natural therapies can go a long way in reducing a woman’s long-term consequences from PCOS. Nutritional options for the treatment of PCOS can also be very effective. This type of natural approach to the treatment of PCOS should be done with the help of someone who is a skilled expert in the field of using nutrition and natural therapies, like Dr. Kelley Kirchner. This is especially true if pregnancy is in your future.
It is important to have a complete work-up to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are indeed caused by PCOS. This work-up would include a consultation, complete medical history, and thorough examination, as well as the appropriate testing mentioned earlier. This should be performed to accurately determine if you are one of the 50 percent of women with PCOS who are currently undiagnosed.
Visit inhstl.com for a checklist of PCOS symptoms to print out and bring with you on your visit to see if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to PCOS.