PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a female endocrine disorder where too much androgen hormone (testosterone) is being made in relations to estrogen. It affects up to 10% of all women. It is thought that improper insulin regulation is a common cause and shows up in girls as young as 9 years old through post menopausal women. PCOS is one of the main causes of infertility, but PCOS is a symptom of an underlying endocrine imbalance not the reason for the infertility.
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular or no menstrual periods (for women of reproductive age)
- Irregular ovulation, with or without monthly bleeding
- Excess hair growth on the face and body
- Thinning scalp hair
- Accumulation of un-ruptured follicles on the periphery of the ovaries (mislabeled as “cysts”, often called polycystic ovaries)
It is not necessary to have all of these symptoms to have PCOS. In fact it is not necessary to have “polycystic ovaries” to have PCOS. PCOS manifests itself differently in each woman.
I believe that Chinese Medicine is the best medicine on the planet to deal with PCOS and any hormonal imbalances. Using acupuncture, herbs and nutrition we can regulate the hormonal levels sometimes within a few cycles.
There have been a couple of recent studies which show what has been known clinically for 2000 years. Below are some of the articles written about the studies:
- Acupuncture and Exercise Relieve PCOS In this 16 week study from 2009 the once a week acupuncture group had fewer menstrual irregularities and a significant drop in testosterone. Here is another article regarding this study.
- Acupuncture relieves PCOS better than exercise alone - In this similar study to the one above the acupuncture group had more menstrual regulation and a higher drop in testosterone than the exercise group.
In addition these studies only used acupuncture and exercise. There was no dietary intervention or herbal medicine used as treatment. Once we add in these modalities the success rate increases dramatically!
So if you have been diagnosed with PCOS absolutely consider using Chinese Medicine as a treatment modality.
Yours In Health,
George Mandler CNS LDN LicAc