How do we know if we have PCOS? How important is it that we get a diagnosis? And what exactly is happening with our bodies?
So right now I want you to hold onto your hat because this is going to be a wild ride with lots of information. Because the more you understand the more empowered you are – and we’re all about that!
PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome. It used to be called Stein-Leventhal Syndrome and now they’re thinking of renaming it again because it’s a complicated and confusing syndrome and very hard for the medical community to diagnose.
And even if it’s diagnosed there isn’t any cure. But don’t worry – with all of our frustration and the sometimes icky and devastating symptoms, in the end, you’re in control and I’m going to show you how in next week’s video…
Today let’s begin with some of the symptoms and then I’ll tell you what causes the symptoms of PCOS…
PCOS is a hormonal endocrine disorder or syndrome and you may experience just one – or all of these symptoms:
- Low moods
- Infrequent or completely absent periods
- Excessive facial or body hair where you don’t want it
- Hair loss where you want hair
- Unexpected weight gain
- Skin tags (raisin-like growths on the skin)
- Brown skin patches
- Chronically low energy, exhaustion or lack of mental alertness (brain fog for example)
- Decreased sex drive
If you have an ultrasound, there may be cysts on your ovaries, but maybe not. The symptoms are often different for every woman that’s why it’s so hard to diagnose and that’s why it’s so important for you to be in charge of your health.
Did you know that just by watching this video you are changing the way your genes express themselves for the better?
So what causes PCOS?
It’s considered a hormonal imbalance linked to the way our bodies’ process insulin to regulate blood sugar from the foods we eat (especially carbs and sugars).
This causes inflammation and can then lead to insulin resistance, a major underlying cause of the symptoms of PCOS. And this is a problem because insulin is the KEY that unlocks our cells to let sugar in so we can burn it for fuel.
If our cells are RESISTANT to insulin that means that we can’t get sugar into our cells. So we become tired and fatter with lower moods and imbalanced hormones.
This is because our environment and lifestyles have evolved too rapidly for our bodies to keep up. We are still genetically “wired” to thrive on the habits of our ancestors, who consumed different nutrient-rich foods, a diet low in carbohydrates, and who sustained greater levels of movement and exercise.
Some people may also have a genetic pre-disposition to insulin resistance, while others develop the condition through high stress or lifestyle habits that do not support them…and what I’ve found is that many women with symptoms of PCOS have higher than normal cortisol levels as part of their genetic make up – our flight or flight hormone.
I know this because that’s the way it is for me. The problem with this is that cortisol and insulin work together, so if cortisol is high, so is insulin. That’s because if we’re running from the tiger to keep from being eaten – or maybe we just lost our car keys – both are a crisis and our bodies can’t tell the difference – our cortisol goes high and insulin is produced right along side it to get blood sugar into our cells for energy to RUN!
Over time, these factors damage the complex ability of the body’s cells to use the sugar we eat. When large amounts of insulin cannot get attached to the cell it free floats in the blood stream.
In a complex process this excess insulin stimulates the body to produce increased amounts of male hormones called androgens. High levels of insulin also increase the conversion of androgens to female hormones – estrogens, upsetting a delicate balance between estrogens, androgens and progesterone, having a direct effect on all PCOS symptoms.
This may seem somewhat complicated but in a nutshell here it is…we all need to follow the Insulite 5-Element System for PCOS to help our bodies use insulin more effectively.
Here’s a quick refresher on the 5-Elements…
- Food as medicine,
- Movement as medicine
- Cravings Awareness
When we use this approach our hormones slowly come back into balance. And it can take as little as just a few days to see some positive changes.