I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN )with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (sometimes referred to as disease depending on severity) is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with one’s periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancers! Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts themselves are not harmful, but lead to hormone imbalances. Did you know that symptoms of PCOS persist even when both the ovaries are removed? The root cause of the problem is not in your ovaries but in your metabolism.There is involvement of the hormone regulation centre at hypothalamus in the brain which affects multiple organs (Multi-system disease).
As if it was not bad enough, it increases your chances of developing a big disease later on in life, like full-blown diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease and even cancers.
The BioCycle study (NIH 2009) showed that untreated, hormonal imbalances increase significantly a woman’s risk to diseases of inflammation – heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature ageing, not to mention a perpetual state of body suffering before these diseases even show up.
Today, the western medicine deals with identifying and treating the symptoms around PCOS. But these spot treatment are at best described as band-aid solutions to a much deeper problem that gets worse not only due to the ignorance of the root cause but also as side-effects of these symptomatic treatments over long periods of time. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, chances are you have been prescribed Birth Control Pills or OC’s (oral contraceptives) for regularising hormone cycles and hence periods and metformin for elevated blood sugars or pre/diabetic conditions. All in an attempt to mask the symptoms but they come back in a worse form once synthetic hormones and pills are stopped. Lets have a look at these two so that you can get to the root of the problem and avoid potential side effects of these.
What it does: The synthetic hormones in the birth control mask your natural hormonal patterns to prevent ovulation from happening, and therefore prevent pregnancy. The menstrual period you experience on the pill is not an actual period, but rather a “break-through bleed” that occurs from the drop in estrogen. So even though it might be regulating your cycle, once you get off the pill chances are your period will return to the same state is was before and mostly it gets even worse.
Side effects: Women who continually use contraceptive pills are more likely to develop circulatory problems (thrombosis and embolism), liver tumors, headaches, depression and cancer (especially breast cancer) than those who don’t use them. The risk increases with age.
What it does: Metformin helps with blood sugar and insulin management by suppressing glucose production by the liver. It’s commonly used for diabetes and PCOS with insulin resistance.
Side effects: In a recent study, metformin was found to cause an impairment mental cognition. It’s more commonly known to cause serious digestive issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more uncomfortable symptoms.
If you are diagnosed with PCOS and you have been offered a prescription of birth control pills & synthetic hormones, PLEASE STOP!
The advice to lose weight & exercise moreover, does not completely work either. They say that you should lose weight to be healthy but I say that you should be healthy to lose weight. I am sure you can relate to that. I am not here to criticize any system, and each kind of treatment has its own role.
Very often you’ll be told that the only thing you can do is take a pill, but I hope this article has opened your eyes to the side effects of synthetic hormones and helped give you your power back when it comes to making informed decisions about treating your PCOS symptoms.There is no quick fix to treating PCOS. It is a systemic issues that needs to be managed through diet and lifestyle and holistic approach. If you’re ready to get to the bottom of your hormonal imbalances once and for all, let me help you. Your body CAN work for you. You can choose to stop suffering and start feeling good all month long.
I believe it is my responsibility to share what I’ve learnt so that you and many others are not held back by PCOS & hormone imbalances, but rather use it as a way to improve your lives. I want to empower you. I want you to be the captain of your own ship because I know that if we take the necessary steps, we can improve not only our own lives, but those of our family, community & the world at large.
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’
I will be glad to help you if you choose to take that first step in healing.
Wishing you health & happiness!
Originally published July 13, 2019 by Dr Disha Sridhar