Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
c. 2009, Susun Weed
Grandmother Growth here...
Step 1. Collect Information
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is also known as chronic oligoanovulation, and formerly called Stein-Leventhal Syndrome.
PCOS affects between 5-10 percent of women of reproductive age in the USA - about five million women as the 21st century began. (12)
Women with PCOS have a variety of symptoms: sudden weight gain, facial hair, and irregular menses are the classic ones. But growth of body hair, dandruff, baldness, sleep apnea, snoring, acne, pelvic pain, infertility, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistence, and numerous cysts on the ovaries also frequently occur. (7) The type and severity of symptoms varies widely. Not all women have all symptoms; about one-third have severe symptoms.
Women with PCOS produce about twice the amount of testosterone as other women, (13) so diagnosis depends on a blood test.
Women with PCOS are frequently insulin-resistant. (14) Up to forty percent of women with PCOS develop insulin resistance or diabetes by the age of forty. (15)
The causes of PCOS are unknown at this time; there may be a genetic component. (16) One theory focuses on possible abnormalities in the hypothalamus causing it to tell the ovaries to produce too much testosterone. Another theorizes that overproduction of testosterone is a direct result of ovarian malfunction. Still another holds that PCOS is a side-effect of insulin resistance, not the other way around. According to insulin expert Gerald Reaven MD, too much insulin can cause the ovaries to overproduce testosterone.
PCOS increases the risks of diabetes, endometrial cancer, and heart disease throughout life. (17) Women with PCOS have more coronary artery blockages and calcifications than other women. (18)
Step 2. Engage the Energy
In the simplest of ways, though both sexes have both hormones, estrogen equals female and testosterone equals male. Since women with PCOS have too much testosterone, we could say they too are male-indentified, a common problem in modern cultures.
The homeopathic remedy Silicea relieves chronic cysts.
Affirmations for women with PCOS:
I surrender to the sweetness of life.
I burst out of my bounds and venture all.
I manifest my own inner wisdom for the good of all.
Step 3. Nourish and Tonify
Moderate, regular exercise promotes wise hormonal and glucose usage, leading to less depression, a reduction in breast and reproductive cancers, fewer heart attacks, better blood pressure, less diabetes, and a reduction in the symptoms of PCOS. (19)
Hormones are specialized kinds of fats. When there are hormone problems, I inquire about the fats in the diet. Essential fatty acids are especially important in reproductive health. To increase omega-3 fatty acids and decrease omega-6's, I use lavish amounts of olive oil, butter, full-fat dairy, roasted nuts, and fatty fish. Women with PCOS do better on high-fat, whole grain diets. (20,21)
Avoid products containing trans fats. Trans fatty acids interfere with hormonal signals throughout the body according to lipid chemist Sally Fallon. Also, she says preservatives and other "excitotoxins" in processed foods disrupt healthy hypothalamus functioning and distort hormonal messages. (22)
A diet that includes yogurt and salmon, but no other animal products, can reduce the need for drugs in many diabetics. (23) But don't substitute soy for meat or dairy.
Dr. Mary Enig, nutritionist, says PCOS is strongly related to soy consumption, especially in women who were fed soy-based formulas as infants.(24) Dr. Naomi Baumslag, president of the Women's International Public Health Network, reminds us "The amount of phytoestrogens in soy formula [and soy products] can vary as much as tenfold...the soy used today...has more isoflavones..."(25)
Step 4. Stimulate/Sedate
Chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus) tincture has a strong effect on the entire hormonal system. It is especially helpful for women who have trouble conceiving as regular use can trigger ovulation. A dose is a dropperful.
Best to make your own tincture, as you will take it 1-3 times a day for 12-36 months. Fill a quart jar one-third full of dried chaste berries (or completely full of fresh berries if you have access to them). Fill the jar to the top with 100 proof vodka. Cap well and label. Your tincture will be ready to use in six weeks, though I like to wait longer- even a year is not too long- if I have the time.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) has androgen-modulating effects according to herbalists David Winston and Karta Kahlsa, making it the perfect ally for women with PCOS. Saw palmetto tincture in fairly high doses (4-6 droppersful or more a day) can reduce hair growth, reverse weight gain, eliminate acne, and even stimulate suppressed ovulation. David Winston combines saw palmetto with vitex and dandelion for optimum results.
For women with PCOS, herbalist Terry Willard offers his Female Restorative Roots Tincture (32 drops, 2-4 times a day) : 3 parts (12 drops) dong quai (Angelica sinensis), 2 parts (8 drops) Chinese peony (Paeonia lacti-flora), 1 part (4 drops) false unicorn (Chamaelirium luteum), 1 part (4 drops) black cohosh (Cimcifuga racemosa), and 1 part (4 drops) wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). (26)
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a good-tasting way to help your cells accept and use insulin. Tom make fenugreek tea, put 6-8 teaspoonfuls of the seed into a quart jar or a teapot, add one quart of boiling water. Brew for no more than fifteen minutes or the taste will become bitter. Strain promptly and refrigerate. One or more cups of the tea a day is recommended.
Step 5a. Use Supplements
Women with PCOS are often low in vitamin A. (27) Cod liver oil is a safe way to supplement if you must. Better, however, to eat more well-cooked green, red and orange foods.
Step 5b. Use Drugs
Instead of fertility drugs, try chaste berry tincture. A dropperful several times daily, for up to three years, can trigger ovulation.
Ninety percent of women with PCOS who took Metformin (glucophage) for a month ovulated. (28) (Some took Clomid too.) Metformin helps promote ovulation, increases the chances of pregnancy, and helps mitigate weight gain.
Oral contraceptives (birth control pills), prescription progesterone, and/or spironolactone may be used to block the action of androgens. These drugs may alleviate symptoms and can help decrease the risks of endometrial hyperplasia and cancer. (29)
The essential oils of clary sage (10 drops), fennel (10 drops), geranium (7 drops), and rose (3 drops), diluted in two tablespoons of olive oil - and a little rubbed on the belly - may ease the pain of PCOS. Essential oils are strong medicine. Start with tiny amounts and judge your ability to absorb their concentrated energies before using them in larger amounts or for long periods of time.
Step 6. Break and Enter
"I can remember it clearly, as if it were just yesterday. Throughout my medical training I was told that when performing a hysterectomy for any reason on any woman 40 or older, it was my responsiblity to persuade her to have her ovaries removed..." (30)
Exploratory surgery is not simple, safe, pain free, or "non-invasive." Consider carefully, then consider again, and reconsider before you agree. Every year in the USA, half a million hysterectomies and half a million oophorectomies are done, 90 percent of which are elective, that is, not medically required.
Endnotes Ovarian Cysts/PCOS (+ see notes for ov. cancer)
1. "Ovarian Tumor Options," HealthNews, June 25, 1998 reporting on a study in the April 1998 Journal of Gynecologic Oncology.
2. National Institutes of Health, "Ovarian Cancer: Screening, Treatment, and Follow-up Consensus Statement," April, 1994
3. No More Hysterectomies, Vicki Hufnagel MD, NAL, 1988
4. "Ovarian Cysts: What Doctors Don't Know," Maggy Brown, HealthFacts, July 1991
5. "How common are adnexal cysts in postmenopausal women?", Robert Tebar MD, Journal Watch, March 15, 2005, vol 25/6.
6. "Unearthing true desires keeps your ovaries healthy," Mona Lisa Schultz MD, Body Wisdom, 2000.
7. The Hysterectomy Hoax, Stanley West MD, Doubleday, 1994.
8. "Ovarian Cysts: What Doctors Don't Know," Maggy Brown, HealthFacts, July 1991.
9. Gynecological medical text.
10. (See note 8) Maggy Brown, HealthFacts, July 1991.
11. The Hysterectomy Hoax, Stanley West MD, Doubleday, 1994.
12. "The infertility syndrome that can shorten your life," Ingfei Chen, Health, April 2000
13. News Notes, Wise Traditions, Winter 2003
14. "What is PCOS?," National Women's Health Network News, May/June 2001.
15. "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome," Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, Vol 19, No 5, July 2001.
16. "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome," Andrea Dunaif MD, HealthNews, July 25, 1998.
17. (See note 12) Ingfei Chen, Health, April 2000.
18. "Polycystic ovary syndrome may raise heart disease risk," HealthNews, July 25, 1998.
19. (See note 12) Ingfei Chen, Health, April 2000.
20. (See note 12) Ingfei Chen, Health, April 2000.
21. (See note 15) Tufts Health Letter, Vol 19, No 5, July 2001.
22. "Experts dispute soy infant formula safety," Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price Foundation,
23. "Vegan diet helps treat type 2 diabetes," Environmental Nutrition, Oct. 2006
24. (See note 22) Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price Foundation, 2002
25. Ibid (22) Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price Foundation, 2002.
26. "Help for polycystic ovaries," Terry Willard, Herbs for Health, April 2006.
27. News Notes, Wise Traditions, Winter, 2003.
28. (See note 16) Andrea Dunaif MD, HealthNews, July 25, 1998.
29. "What is PCOS?," National Women's Health Network News, May/June 2001.
30. No More Hysterectomies, Vicki Hufnagel MD, NAL, 1988.
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