Updated: 4 hours ago
Help! Why do I have PCOS?
Annoyingly, the ultimate cause of PCOS is still unknown but some of the most common contributing factors is that it stems from the ovaries being unable to produce hormones in the correct proportions ie. female hormone imbalance
Interestingly, hormone imbalance in other pathways such as the thyroid (metabolism) and adrenals (stress and energy) also make women more susceptible to PCOS.
So if you are suffering with hypo/hyperthyroid or chronic fatigue your chances of developing PCOS may be increased.
Being overweight is another major contributing factor for women suffering with the syndrome... And this is something I see a lot of in my clinic.
Overweight women have much lower levels of SHBG (Female Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) which is essentially a hormone that acts like a hoover for excess testosterone circulating around the body. Too much testosterone is the reason women experience some of the more distressing symptoms of PCOS such as hormonal spots or acne, excess facial and body hair (but loss of hair on their scalp) and weight gain.
It is also very common that women who suffer with PCOS also suffer with blood sugar imbalance. This can often lead to insulin resistance. Excess insulin leads to increased appetite which can increase weight - so it can be chicken and egg with weight and PCOS!
So its no surprise that women with PCOS are often prescribed Metformin, a diabetes drug used to control blood sugar and insulin!
Many women are also given the contraceptive pill to 'regulate' their menstrual cycle and help the symptoms of PCOS.
But coming off the contraceptive pill, all your symptoms will return, alongside all of the more nasty ones that come with withdrawal from synthetic hormones! In some cases it is also masking the symptoms and can lead to greater challenges when you're looking to conceive.
Iron Deficiency & Anaemia
Many women struggle with iron deficiency, exacerbated by monthly periods. Anaemia is severe iron deficiency which can cause fatigue, weakness and pale parlour.
Whilst it can feel like a losing battle, ensuring you're receiving enough iron every single day is important for the management of your period. It can also help alleviate heavy periods, as iron deficiency in some instance can cause heavy periods, and vice versa, heavy periods increase your chance of being deficient.
Iron rich foods include beans, lentils, figs, apricots, almonds, spinach and chard.