PCOS Diet, Lifestyle and Supplement Tips
In my naturopathy clinic I saw lots of young women who’d been prescribed the birth control pill to deal with PCOS, but once they stopped taking the pill their symptoms, including acne, facial hair and irregular periods came right back.
In this article I’ve compiled a list of 5 natural treatments for PCOS that address the root cause of PCOS and help to balance your hormones naturally.
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What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition involving high levels of androgens (male hormones) and high insulin, along with insulin resistance.
PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder among women of childbearing age and is a common cause of infertility.
If you have PCOS it’s likely that you ovulate rarely or not at all and tiny cysts (follicles) build up in the ovaries.
These follicles contain eggs and instead of the follicles growing and ovulating, they stall and secrete male hormones (androgens) into the bloodstream.
The exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, but women with PCOS usually have a genetic pre-disposition and/or insulin resistance.
Obesity, poor diet and a lack of exercise can make PCOS worse.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular periods (menstrual cycle longer than 35 days or no periods for six months or more)
- High levels of male hormones (androgens) confirmed by a blood test
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Hair growth on the face or chest
- Difficulty getting pregnant
There is currently no cure for PCOS, but there are ways to manage and treat it naturally.
Low carbohydrate diet
Eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet is essential for managing PCOS.
High carbohydrate foods like white bread, fries, pasta, cookies and cake cause the blood sugar to spike, which requires the pancreas to release insulin to take the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
Insulin resistance is when the cells can’t use insulin effectively, so the pancreas keeps releasing more and more insulin and the blood sugar remains high, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes and other complications.
Keep your blood sugar stable by including protein with each meal and filling up on lots of whole foods like veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil.
Weight loss is one of the best ways to reduce PCOS symptoms and prevent the development of conditions like diabetes.
Research shows that losing just 5% of your body weight can bring menstrual cycles back to normal and increase insulin sensitivity. 
Exercise helps to reduce PCOS symptoms by moving glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells to be used as energy.
Exercise also increases insulin sensitivity and decreases the chronic inflammation that often goes alongside PCOS.
Any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up is beneficial, but high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been found to be especially beneficial for PCOS sufferers.
HIIT involves short bursts of activity, like sprinting or running up stairs, with rest periods in between.
If you’d like to check your hormone levels without needing to see a doctor, you can order a test online from Walk-In Lab.
Then all you need to do is visit a local lab at a time that suits you and your results will be available online within one to two days.
Hormone #1 Baseline Blood Test Panel for Women includes
Estradiol, Progesterone, Cortisol, Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Testosterone and DHEA,s.
There’s also a Testosterone Total Blood Test which only checks for testosterone.
Here are 5 natural treatments for PCOS:
Inositol is a B vitamin that can help to reduce insulin resistance.
It’s also been found to increase fertility, improve egg quality and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. 
Chromium is a trace element that helps with carbohydrate metabolism and lowers blood sugar.
A meta-analysis has found that chromium supplements are beneficial for decreasing body mass index (BMI), fasting insulin and free testosterone in PCOS patients.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia)
Cinnamon is a common spice that is found in most kitchens and can be added to recipes for sweetness without the sugar.
Cinnamon supplements can help to reduce insulin resistance and regulate menstrual cycles for women with PCOS.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice root helps to reduce testosterone levels and improve blood sugar levels.
Studies show that licorice can reduce the symptoms of PCOS by regulating hormonal levels and irregular ovarian follicles. 
Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
White Peony is another herb that is helpful for reducing testosterone levels.
It’s a good idea to discuss any PCOS supplements or herbal remedies with your healthcare provider because some supplements and herbs can interact with prescription medications.
I hope these tips will help you to reverse the symptoms of PCOS naturally.