What is PCOS?
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance that commonly occurs to women. Women with this imbalance have a difficult time becoming pregnant, as well as suffer from many other symptoms such as anxiety, irregular menstruation, irritability, and headaches. In the MTHFR community, many women suffer from PCOS because of its relation to inflammation. MTHFR mutation affected bodies that are symptomatic are typically inflamed due to the inability for the body to get rid of toxins. Environmental toxins such as folic acid, processed foods, heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides are some of the main toxins that create inflammation for individuals with MTHFR mutations. Fortunately, symptoms of PCOS can be reduced or eliminated and we will discuss a few of these solutions throughout this article.
PCOS affects 1 out of every 15 women of reproductive age. Although the disorder may be one of the most common hormonal imbalance disorders, it has many painful symptoms which affect women both physically and mentally. The ovaries are affected and will either create underdeveloped eggs or won’t release the egg during ovulation when it is needed. This is what commonly causes women infertility, difficulty becoming pregnant, and disrupts a normal menstrual cycle.
The exact cause of PCOS isn’t known but doctors and researchers believe there are several factors that play into the development of PCOS.
Factors involved in developing PCOS:
High levels of Androgens. When abnormally high levels of Androgen are produced, it results in a hormonal imbalance. Androgens are a male sex hormone, meaning they help produce male characteristics. Typically, women with PCOS will have more androgens than are typically seen in women. These high androgen levels can stop the ovaries from releasing an egg when a woman is ovulating. High levels of Androgens also commonly cause extra hair growth, such as on the face/arms, and acne.
High levels of Estrogen. When Estrogen levels are high, this means Progesterone levels are low. Progesterone is a hormone needed for many important functions in the body with one of the main functions being to thicken the lining of the uterus each month to prepare the lining to receive a healthy egg during ovulation. When Estrogen levels are too high, and there isn’t enough Progesterone to accomplish this task, then infertility, painful PMS, abnormal menstruation, and mood swings are more likely to occur. Read our article on Estrogen Dominance for more information.
High levels of Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables cells to use sugar and turn it into energy. When cells become resistant to Insulin, blood levels start to rise, and the body begins producing additional Insulin. Androgens can be produced when there is excess Insulin within the body. Insulin resistance can be common if you have diabetes, are overweight, or have a metabolic condition, however women with healthy weights can also develop this resistance.
Inflammation. Individuals with MTHFR mutations exhibit increased inflammation due to a few reasons. The first is the decreased ability for MTHFR affected persons to detoxify. Secondly, an abundance of stress can increase inflammation. This inflammation triggers the body to produce more androgens resulting in an even higher amount of these hormones throughout the body. Read our article on improving inflammation here.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular/Missed Periods
- Weight Gain
- Excess hair growth (unwanted facial hair)
- Pain in pelvic region
- Hair loss
- Mood changes/Anxiety/Depression
Treat your PCOS Symptoms
The symptoms of PCOS are often triggered due to a combination of genetics and environmental toxins. You can change the environment in which you live in, especially if you know how your genes contribute. In the case of MTHFR mutations, staying away from folic acid, processed foods, heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and many other environmental toxins is important in staying healthy and symptom free. We’ve put together a few ways to heal from PCOS below!
Eat Healthy Healing Foods
The ingredients we place into our bodies determine how we will feel and more importantly play a role in healthy hormone balance. The best type of diet for PCOS is anti-inflammatory, organic whole foods. One tip is to make your plate as colorful as possible with fruits and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain high contents of antioxidants. Here are a few examples of PCOS friendly foods:
- Green Leafy Veggies
One of the causes of high levels of Androgens and unbalanced hormones is inflammation. Think about what you’ve been putting in your body throughout your lifetime. If you’ve eaten processed foods, folic acid, encountered chemicals/pesticides, had lead poisoning, drank tap water containing trace amounts of heavy metals, all these things build up and create inflammation in individuals with MTHFR mutations. Without the ability to properly detoxify, you are at a disadvantage and if you’ve never detoxified, a lifetime of built up toxins are keeping your body chronically inflamed. Certain toxins require methylation to be eliminated from the body and this is where methyl groups become critical. Without the adequate amount of methyl groups, the toxins will sit and accumulate because they aren’t able to complete the process. Biome IQ’s Detox P5.0 and Detox Shake P5.0 is a Phase 1 and Phase 2 Liver Detox. The liver uses specific vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and nutrients to drive both phases of detox. Biome IQ’s Detox combines all the ingredients used by the liver and kickstarts the liver into Phase 1 and then allows Phase 2 to work efficiently. Once the toxins are eliminated from the body, supplementation and nutrition works more effectively. Read more about detoxing here.
Reduce Sugar Consumption
If your cells have become resistant to insulin, then extra sugar is flowing through your bloodstream. Sugars can be tricky because of the high quantity of foods and drinks with hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners. Pay attention to food labels and keep your sugar content low and restricted. Insulin resistance is one of the main contributors to PCOS, therefore avoiding sugar is one way to start towards a healthier body today.
PCOS Friendly Supplements
- Vitamin B’s (B12, B6, B9, B2)
- Omega 3’s
- Vitamin D
- Calcium D Glucarate (If Estrogen Dominant)
A few notes about these supplements. Vitamin D reduces inflammation and helps repair damaged tissues and cells within the body. Due to inflammation’s role in PCOS, checking your vitamin D levels and then supplementing with additional Vitamin D is a good step to take in healing PCOS. Is Estrogen Dominance contributing to your PCOS? If so, Calcium D Glucarate supports the healthy elimination of excess Estrogens and is way of supplementation that can start improving your health and hormone levels right away.
Looking for an MTHFR friendly Calcium D Glucarate supplement? BiomeIQ’s Calcium D Glucarate plus gets Estrogen Dominance under control and adds in Super Oxide Dismutase which reduces inflammation.
Take care of yourself and pay attention to how you are feeling. Stress contributes to the release of Androgens and can create inflammation. Constant stress impacts the body in negative ways making it important for you to find some release. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can reduce stress:
- Take a bath
- Watch a favorite movie/show
- Listen to music
- Sit outside
- Deep breathing
PCOS can be treated, however treatment may vary depending on the cause. Getting your hormone levels checked and blood tests run to determine where exactly your health stands currently, can shed some insight into how to go about treatment.
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