Written by Kristy Emmett | Wednesday, 8 March 2023
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal conditions affecting between 12-22% of women of reproductive age(2).
But, what is it exactly?
PCOS is characterised by higher-than-normal levels of androgens or male sex hormones, which leads to metabolic and reproductive system dysfunction. It is the leading cause of infertility in females and, unfortunately, 70% of cases go undiagnosed(2). There are however nutritional and supplemental strategies that have shown to be of great benefit to women with PCOS, with some studies showing improvements comparable to common pharmaceutical treatments.
What causes PCOS?
Insulin resistance is present in as many as 70% of PCOS cases(3, 11). Elevated insulin levels can cause disruption to metabolic signalling pathways leading to an excess secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland, which results in an overproduction of androgens by the theca cells of the ovaries(1). Excess small follicles accumulate on the ovaries however regular ovulation is not triggered. Diagnosis of PCOS is made by a medical professional using the Rotterdam Criteria based on 2 of 3 positive criteria including menstrual irregularity, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound(2).
Signs and symptoms of PCOS:
Nutritional treatment of PCOS
There are many natural approaches that can be utilised to support women with PCOS to improve symptoms and wellbeing.
You can learn more about PCOS in these blogs:
Holistic Management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Do you have the signs and symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
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Kristy Emmett is a qualified Clinical Nutritionist (BHSc in Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine) with a passion for holistic health and using food as medicine. Her special interests include hormonal health, gut health, and autoimmune disease.
With an extensive background working as a Registered Nurse combined with a strong desire to understand health and healing on a deeper level, Kristy pursued further studies in Clinical Nutrition at Endeavour.
She believes that true health comes from balancing our body, mind, and spirit, and honouring the laws of nature. She is proud to guide her clients along their own unique paths to wellness, drawing upon her experience in both allopathic and complementary health modalities.