PCOS- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
What is PCOS?
PCOS affects up to 8% of women within the reproductive age group. Some definitions of PCOS define that there are to be 12 or more cysts on one ovary upon diagnosis, however in clinical practice this is not the case and it is actually diagnosed when there is both anovulation and elevated androgens.

Common Signs and symptoms:
• Infrequent periods
• Absence of menstrual period
• Hirsutism (excessive hair appearing in a male type pattern)
• Infertility
• Enlarged ovaries with multiple cysts
• Ovulatory dysfunction
• Excess androgens- a male hormone that rises in women with PCOS (females have androgens too but in smaller amounts).
• Excess insulin
• Acne
• Excessive sebum discharge
• Hair loss (alopecia)
Some women whom have PCOS may be asymptomatic.

Diet and lifestyle recommendations:
– Low GI diet
– Limit or omit caffeine-
– Minimise sugar intake and minimise refined carbohydrates
– Spearmint tea
– Weight loss & Weight management
– Exercise
– Stress management
– Acupuncture

Herbal medicines:
Peony & Licorice: Proven to reduce androgens and modulate hormones.
Chaste Tree: Hormone modulating
Schisandra: Helps with liver detoxification function, helping eliminate excess hormones.
Gymnema: Great for insulin resistance.

So if you need help with your PCOS symptoms, want to stabilise your blood sugars or just balance out your hormones (for conceiving, carrying, normal menstrual cycles, balanced moods etc.), see your local naturopath or herbalist. There is so much we can do to help!
Always consult your health care professional first. Herbs may be contraindicated in certain health conditions or with medications.

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