How to fix PCOS

Once you have a diagnosis of PCOS you can choose how you want to deal with it. (We have written an evidence-based protocol to guide you through the process if you are feeling lost.)

The standard medical treatment is the combined oral contraceptive pill. This makes us have a regular monthly bleed (if we choose not to skip it) and blocks the effects of androgens with synthetic oestrogen and progesterone. It does not fix the problem and when you stop taking the pill the symptoms come back. Also the pill is not without it’s drawbacks – read more about this here.

Pill-treated PCOS is problematic, particularly when you want to conceive (the usual reason for coming off the pill) and may not be ovulating regularly. The underlying cause still needs to be dealt with. At this point treatment options usually involve metformin (an anti-diabetic drug for controlling blood sugar) and clomiphene citrate (a drug that stimulates ovulation).

If hirsutism is not controlled with the pill, anti-androgenic drugs may be added to the treatment regime.

Non-drug treatments

Non-drug treatments focus on the control of blood sugar and insulin through exercise, weight loss, dietary modifications, herbal medicine, and nutrients that increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin. In addition, herbal medicine may be used to balance hormones and encourage the regular function of the menstrual cycle.

Things you can do to your diet to reduce PCOS symptoms

Dietary modifications are based around avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates while including protein with every meal and an abundance of fibre-rich vegetables. This reduces the impact of free-wheeling sugars and insulin with a low-glycaemic loading.

Herbs we use to control sugar cravings and hormone disturbances in PCOS

Commonly used herbs and nutrients for insulin resistance include goat’s rue (Galega officinalis), cinnamon, chromium, magnesium and inositol. Herbs for hormonal balance include licorice, peony, tribulus and black cohosh. We detail exactly how much to take of each of these herbs in The PCOS Solution and the support section.

How exercise can reduce PCOS symptoms

Exercise for PCOS should include a combination of resistance training and low-moderate intensity cardio. Do 30 mins a day, 5 days per week. This is the best combination for weight loss too, however, the weight will only come off if you team the exercise with the dietary modifications.

Finding the right combination of these things and sticking to it can be tough, so use The PCOS Solution, a basic, evidence-based guide to PCOS, to guide you through if you don’t feel able to do it yourself. The guide tells you exactly what dietary and lifestyle changes to make, how much is going to be enough, and what supplements to take, including dosage.

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Josephine Cabrall BHSc(NAT) | ATMS
Josephine Cabrall is qualified naturopath specialising in PCOS and hormonal and fertility issues, based out of Melbourne, Australia. Josephine is a fully insured member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS).