Most people assume that PCOS stems solely from an imbalance of hormones. And
while there is no question that a woman’s hormones with PCOS are all out of whack, have you ever stopped to think of how they got that way?
With PCOS there is almost always some degree of chronic inflammation.
One way inflammation occurs is when unfriendly bacteria in the intestines create inflammatory molecules that seep through the barrier between the gut and the bloodstream, causing the immune system to react. Once your immune system gets agitated and inflammation begins, all of your other body processes become dysfunctional, including your hormones. An activated Immune system can also interfere with Insulin receptor functions, which ultimately leads to Insulin resistance.
Insulin Resistance is regarded as the number one cause for PCOS, and causes weight gain, menstrual irregularity, high androgen levels, acne and infertility.
So what is causing all of these things to happen?
Most people don’t know that there are over 160 different species of bacteria living in your gut. That means there are 10 times more bacteria in your gut alone than cells in your body. The problem is that although there are many beneficial bacteria living inside of you, there are also harmful bacteria. Your body’s job is to encourage the good bacteria while discouraging the bad, which sometimes easier said than done.
So how can you help ensure that the good bacteria beats out the bad? Taking a few of these simple steps may not only help you with your digestive health, but it may also help alleviate some of your PCOS Symptoms!
Change Your Diet: This is by far the most important step. There are three things you can do right now to improve your digestive health.
- Eliminate bad unhealthy fats like hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils, fried foods, soy and canola oil and limit sunflower, safflower and corn oil (only non-GMO sources).
- Increase your fiber intake – fiber helps your body to eliminate toxins and it feeds your good bacteria.
- Reduce your intake of refined sugar, carbs and alcohol – this step will help to rid your body of excess yeast.
Start taking a Probiotic Supplement: Probiotics can help increase the good levels of microflora in our guts. Microflora helps with many things such as:
- Breaking down and rebuilding hormones
- Produces Vitamin B, Biotin and Folic Acid
- Promotes healthy weight and metabolism
- Helps control inflammation
- Helps with absorption of minerals
Start eating fermented foods: Here are some examples (organic, non-GMO)
- Sauerkraut, live (look in the refrigerated section)
Fermented foods can help to promote good bacteria and improve overall gut health!
Limit use of Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be very helpful when dealing with serious bacterial conditions. However when using an antibiotic, it not only kills the bad bacteria in your gut but it also kills the good. Killing off the good bacteria only leads to an even more imbalance of bacteria, which can lead to other severe complications. It is important to only take antibiotics when they are prescribed to you by a doctor, and only for the length of time instructed.
Paying attention to what is going on in your gut is not only important for your overall health, but it is also important in maintaining control over your PCOS symptoms.