Healthy Her Living

A Complete Guide to Reversing PCOS

how-to-reverse-pcos

 

It can be a challenge to identify which part of PCOS started first.  Alternative medicine as well as science tends to leave a lot to be desired in cases of this type of illness. When it comes to how to reverse PCOS, any treatment plan that isn’t wholistic (approaching the disorder from multiple angles) is going to create a challenge. In most cases, it takes a combination of medical advice, lifestyle change, and (for the willing) alternative therapies.

One of the healers I’ve worked with, known as Sookton, is especially versed in this. I have to say, managing my PCOS has been an ongoing process. There have been many times that I’ve completely reversed the symptoms and signs of my PCOS (getting clean blood test results, regulating my periods, and improving my visible symptoms). However, it’s something that I’ve relapsed into enough times to take the journey very seriously.

I want to talk about healing PCOS within three pillars of function.

  1. The Physical Body
  2. The Energy Body
  3. The Emotional Body

If you’ve been battling with PCOS for a long time and nothing has seemed to work, please consider some of the more alternative methodologies in this post. It may seem strange at first, but the combination of these options has really shifted a lot for me and for many of the women I know.

Sookton also has a Facebook Support Group for women who are struggling with PCOS, Endometriosis, and other reproductive issues. You can join over 1,000 women struggling with the same disorder, and as a member of the group I can personally speak to the immense gratitude I feel being surrounded by likeminded women.

Experience the support and love of those women here.

To Reverse PCOS, We Must Understand PCOS

PCOS is primarily a hormone disorder characterized by an increase in testosterone in the body as well as cystic clusters visibly seen on the ovaries (and occasionally the uterus) of the woman experiencing the disorder. Some of the markers or symptoms of this disorder are:

  • An Increase in Testosterone Shown on Blood Tests
  • Excessive Facial and Body Hair
  • Male Pattern Baldness and Hair Thinning
  • Loss of Sex Drive and Reproductive Challenges
  • Infertility and Irregular Periods
  • Acne and Inflammation of the Skin
  • Sensitivity to and Over-Abundance of Sugar in the Blood
  • Particularly Heavy or Painful Periods
  • Difficulty Losing or Maintaining Weight
  • Cravings for Carbs or Sugary Foods

The Physical Side of PCOS

Physically, PCOS is best categorized as an imbalance. As with most imbalances in the body, having one hormone out of alignment often causes a trickle-down affect and throws many of your systems out of balance. You’ll often notice that women with PCOS have a variety of additional disorders that doctors play a sort of “whack a mole” with.

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Most women are diagnosed with PCOS through a blood test that shows increased testosterone and occasionally an estrogen imbalance.
  • Blood Sugar Imbalance: One of the risks of this disorder is pre-diabetes and eventually, diabetes. That’s because of how the body handles insulin when you have PCOS. “Cysters” (a term coined by the PCOS community for those suffering with PCOS) are often insulin resistance. You can see a graph about it and answer the question “What is Insulin Resistance” in my post about it here.
  • Emotional Imbalance: PCOS is also characterized by the mood swings and emotional side effects that it tends to cause. Part of these may be because coping with the symptoms of PCOS can be especially difficult while another part of it is the brain chemistry that accompanies the disorder.

The Emotional Side of PCOS

It wouldn’t make sense to talk about PCOS without addressing the emotional side of the disorder.

Studies have shown that PCOS is associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety. The biggest correlation between those who show mental side effects and those who do not was found between women who had menstrual irregularities.

Women with PCOS who had menstrual irregularities were far more likely to suffer from psychological side effects than women who did not.

It’s worth mentioning that the social side of this disorder is easily a cause for psychological distress. One thing that I struggled with when first diagnosed was a severe hit to my self-esteem.

With the amount of pressure placed on women to look and feel feminine, there wasn’t anything quite as discouraging for me as growing enough facial hair that I had to shave daily along with advanced acne all over my face and body.

I have spent many hours in the chair at my therapist’s office combatting these emotional issues.

There has also been a challenge for me with PMS. My PMS seems to be far worse than that of my friends, often making me feel overly emotional (sometimes even crazy) for up to two weeks before my period. With one week of bleeding and two weeks of PMS, I typically have one week a month that I feel relatively “normal”.

That amount of pressure can place a real burden on us women with PCOS and create a high level of stress.

Finally, Let’s Look at How to Reverse PCOS

I would be irresponsible to not state that I am not a health practitioner. While this has been my personal experience and the experience of many of my friends, this advice is not meant to formally diagnose, treat or cure any illness, and any concerns should be discussed with a physician or holistic health practitioner.

There are a few physical options to begin treating and managing your PCOS. You can work with a holistic health practitioner and a physician to make some of these things possible.

Most Common Medications Prescribed for PCOS

The most common treatments for PCOS symptoms when it comes to the medical community are:

  1. Hormonal Birth Control: Physicians use this to attempt to regain hormonal balance for those with PCOS. This is thought to help with acne, hair growth issues, and irregular periods.
  2. Blood Sugar Medication: Medications like Metformin are often used to improve the insulin resistance that you see with PCOS, which is thought to be the leading cause of weight gain for those with the disorder.
  3. Fertility Treatments: A medication known as “Clomid” is often used for women struggling with infertility due to their PCOS. Clomid is a medication used to attempt to induce ovulation for women who struggle with irregular periods.
  4. Psychiatric Drugs: With depression and anxiety on the rise for women with PCOS, it’s not abnormal to be placed on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications as an attempt to manage the mood swings and sadness associated with this disorder.
  5. Anti-Androgens: If the symptoms (like acne and hair loss) are your biggest concern with your PCOS, doctors might try meds called “anti-androgens” to help keep the male hormones in your blood stream at bay. The most commonly used one is called “Spironolactone” which started as a blood pressure medication.

For those who aren’t comfortable with traditional treatment options (like myself), there are also natural methods to managing and treating PCOS.

Natural Ways to Reverse PCOS

Natural but physical options to reverse PCOS are varied but there are options to treat both the symptoms of this disorder as well as to attempt to completely reverse the imbalance all together.

Diet for Managing PCOS:

Working with Nutritionist, Trish Ward, I’ve learned a lot about the holistic approach to PCOS. There are specific dietary changes you can implement to reverse PCOS. You can find specific foods to avoid and enjoy to help with your PCOS in my post, The Best Diet Changes to Reverse PCOS.

This post also includes a 14-Day Dietary Challenge to help manage your PCOS. Things like reducing your sugar intake, limiting the amount of dairy and meat you take in, and going organic in areas that it counts have been PROFOUNDLY helpful for me. You can read more about my journey in my post,

“One Girls Journey with Reversing PCOS”

Fitness for PCOS:

I was really surprised to know that fitness would affect PCOS the way it did for me. There are specific types of workouts that help with PCOS, and the reason for that is this; some workouts use excess testosterone more than others.Weight lifting, and resistance training are amazing at using up the excess stores of testosterone in your blood.

CrossFit was an amazing solution for me. The more of the testosterone you use, the less is floating freely in your blood. This helps reduce symptoms of hirsutism and acne.

Supplementing with PCOS:

One of the most helpful books I’ve read on PCOS has been Sara Gottfried’s book, the Hormone Cure. This serves as a guide to managing hormone imbalances and in it she talks a lot about supplementing for PCOS. You can get a list of supplements that work for PCOS in my post, The Best Supplements for Reversing PCOS.

Spiritual Treatment of PCOS:

Many alternative health advocates point to underlying spiritual causes to disorders like PCOS. The energy healer I mentioned earlier, Sookton, offers a guided meditation for PCOS for free here.

Ultimately, Suki (aka Sookton) has battled with PCOS and Endometriosis herself and has found that this disorder stems from a rejection of your femininity. Part of my journey with PCOS involved me looking to my childhood to lovingly observe reasons why being a woman didn’t feel safe for me.

Energy Healing with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:

Suki also offers energy healing for PCOS. Energy healing focuses on the energetic meridians in the body and how to get them in balance, ultimately creating harmony.Chakra work points to the root and sacral chakra when it comes to PCOS.

Meditations and healings for your root and sacral chakra have also been known to be an effective tool for managing and reversing PCOS.

Common Questions on How to Reverse PCOS

Naturally, when you’re trying to reverse chronic illness, there are going to be a ton of questions that you’re bombarded with. Below, I will attempt to answer some of the more common questions asked when it comes to treating and reversing PCOS.

Is it possible to completely reverse PCOS?

Yes, in most cases it is completely possible to reverse PCOS and return to a healthy level of function. Talking to your doctor about what YOU can do to reverse your PCOS is a crucial part of your journey that I deeply encourage you to do.

While the medical community has determined there is no “cure” for PCOS, I have personally heard many accounts from women who have entirely reversed their PCOS.

What does it mean to reverse PCOS?

Outside of the medical community, reversing PCOS means that you reverse most or all of your symptoms, and get to healthy balanced hormone levels. With treatment, most people are able to go on to try to conceive as normal.

Is there a cure for PCOS?

There is no “cure” for PCOS currently. Lifestyle changes and supplementation have been shown to reverse PCOS in almost all cases, but must be maintained to keep benefiting from optimum health.

How long does it take to reverse PCOS?

Everyone’s PCOS journey is different. It took me about 6 months to completely reverse my PCOS and start noticing major changes in my health. However, this journey isn’t a race. You CAN have a healthier, happier life, and you should give yourself credit for every step in that direction that you take.

Why didn’t my doctor mention reversing PCOS naturally?

If your doctor did not mention reversing your PCOS, it may be because he / she was in “management” mode. Many doctors are (unfortunately) very cynical. That said, I am not a doctor, and I do NOT recommend going against doctors orders when it comes to your health. If you’re not comfortable with the doctor you have, I would HIGHLY encourage you to get second, and third opinions as needed.

Do I need to take meds to reverse PCOS?

While it’s not legally OK for me to tell you not to take medication for your condition, I can say that I was able to reverse my PCOS without the help of prescription medications. If you would like to try a more natural path, I would highly recommend seeking out a homeopathic physician, or talking to your doctor about reducing to eliminating prescription medication.

Did you really reverse your PCOS?

Yes I did! I HAVE to tell you, it was not a straight-up battle. Reversing my PCOS has happened several times, and I have also returned to an imbalanced state several times. The journey has hills and valleys, but it’s 100% worth it, and I hope you’ll join me!

What Else Should I know about PCOS?

If you’re interested in learning more about managing and supporting yourself with PCOS, I highly recommend reading the following posts:

  • One Girls Journey with PCOS; How I lost weight, got pregnant, and found relief from my PCOS symptoms.
  • Can You Be Cured from PCOS?
  • How Can I Lose Weight with PCOS?
  • Can you get pregnant with PCOS without medication?

I’d love to meet you, and welcome you into my circle. Comment below with your name and when you were first diagnosed with PCOS and say hello.

In deep gratitude,

Amanda

Amanda @HealthyHer

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