September is PCOS Awareness Month!

Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrine disorder.  PCOS is a hormonal disorder that involves multiple organ systems in the body.  It is characterized by a condition in which the ovaries develop multiple small cysts; it is often associated with abnormal or absent ovulation and, accordingly, with infertility. The most common symptoms of PCOS are an irregular period, lack of ovulation, infertility, increased hair growth, insulin resistance, and unusual weight gain. The cause of PCOS is a mystery, but it is known that PCOS sufferers have a higher sympathetic nervous system activity than other women. Conventional medicine deals with PCOS by treating the symptoms associated with it.  For example, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility; the most popular conventional treatment uses ovulation inducers such as clomid, hCG, and gonadatropin.  These drugs may trigger ovulation but they do not effectively address the underlying causes of poor ovarian health.

In Chinese medicine PCOS is usually attributed to kidney yang deficiency and damp accumulation and can be treated with a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are used to stimulate the body’s own natural production of hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle by helping correct the underlying deficiencies and/or eliminating disruptions.  Regular treatment can help in restoring reproductive energy in the kidney system, balance the liver system to control smooth flow and distribution of blood, build an adequate supply of blood to maintain normal menstrual cycles, and soothe the sympathetic nervous system to relax the body, reduce stress, and influence healthy ovulation.

In addition PCOS sufferers can incorporate the following changes for enhanced fertility and better health and well-being:

  • Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
  • Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat protein.
  • Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbohydrates.  Balance blood sugar by limiting carbohydrate intake, but do include healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice.
  • Practice stress management; incorporate yoga or a regular meditation practice into your day.
  • Exercise regularly; try to get in a half hour per day.
  • Get plenty of rest and keep regular sleep patterns.
  • Avoid alcohol which can lead to a disturbance of hormonal balance.
  • Get regular acupuncture treatments.
  • Have Ilumina prescribe an herb formula that will help reduce cysts and balance your hormones.