Diet Changes for PCOS: I was diagnosed with PCOS back in 2000 at the age of 21. I had almost no periods; I was rapidly gaining weight, no fertility, severe acne, facial hair and so on.
Over the years, I have tried diet (but haphazardly) Chaste Berry, and several other herbs ,some exercise, Metformin 2000mg/day for two years, synthetic progesterone to get my periods and none of that has helped. Not even the Metformin which so many people swears by.
By the time I was 27, I realized I had gluten intolerance. I had poor digestion, a large belly and developed psoriasis. Once I eliminated gluten from my diet, I instantly lost inches and my skin cleared up. Over the next several years, I had to clean up my diet even more to improve my digestion, lose more weight and get rid of estrogen dominance that's so common with PCOS.
I eliminated, gluten and most other grains including "healthy" brown rice and corn, sugars except for low GI fruit and occasional palm sugar (lower GI than agave), fruit juice, soy, dairy, processed foods (of course), hydrogenated oils, canola oil, and several other foods.
My diet is rich in green veggies, low GI fruit, green juices, lean protein, nuts, and, good fats (including unprocessed coconut oil). I make sure that 80% of my diet is raw fruits, veggies, and nuts.
Besides diet, I take supplements including kelp. Though my thyroid tests always came back normal, I may have had subclinical hyperthyroid because when I added 12mg of kelp per day, I started ovulating on CD 15 for the first time ever. I have been taking 12mg kelp daily for 8 months and my body haven't skipped a beat. When you look for kelp in the store, it usually comes in 225mcg tablets. You will have to do the conversion to get the right amount.
I went from a size 14 to a 6 in less than a year and I have kept it off. I think between diet, regular exercise, the usual suspects of supplements (omega 3, B complex, etc) and kelp has been my answer to PCOS.
(Montclair , NJ)
I am 28 yrs old and a mother of two children.I have been on antidepressants since I was 17 because I am very emotional sometimes with fatigue. I was diagnosed with pcos after I had been dieting and exercising for over a year with no results. After stopping my hormones I started to get excessive acne, hair loss, no sex drive, and tiredness.
I doctor did a pcos workup and all my labs were normal. I was referred to a specialist that thought all the symptoms were in my head and thought I needed a personal trainer. I had only a little facial hair, no fertility trouble, only 25 lbs overweight, and my labs were normal. After aguing with the doctor for 30 minutes he did an ultrasound to 'humor' me. I had 15 cysts on one side. I was rx'd metformin, which made me extremely ill.
I had to stopped taking it because I couldn't work on the med. Carbs!!! Thats the problem. Our bodies were not meant to eat all this processed food. If you want your symptoms to go away you need to change your lifestyle. Exercising and a low glycemic diet is the key. I lost 45 lbs in a year and a half. I weigh less now than in high school. Once you train your body to need the right foods you stop the vicious 'bad'carb craving cycle. You crave carbs because your body is not coverting them into energy, they are being stored as fat, which makes you tired and wanting to eat more 'bad' carbs.
Other than a low carb diet I am a firm believer in hollistic cures. There are herbal supp that can keep your sugar from spiking and destroys it before its stored. Which is also important with pcos.1) Fenugreek- 1 capsule 1 to 3 times daily 2)Gymnema Sylvestre-400mg, also if dissolved on your tongue can keep you form tasting sugar.
I work in the medical field and believe no one, no one knows your body better than you!!
It has been almost a year since I had my last period. I'm 19 and not pregnant so this is not normal. I believe I have PCOS since I have all the side effects of loosing my hair, cysts etc. I've done lots of reading on the subject and it seems the only "cure" proscribed by doctors is hormone therapy-- which I am against. I then found some postings about low carb diets. So I tried it. I've cut the whole grains food group out of my diet (I still eat as much fruits and veggies as I like--I'm not on an Atkins style diet--I'm on a healthy one!). I've been at this for only a week and I woke up this morning with my period! I don't think most women wake up excited about getting their period, but I did!! I encourage any woman dealing with PCOS to try this before they go on any hormones! Giving up breads and desserts is a sacrifice I am willing to make if it means I won't have to be on hormones for the rest of my life!
(Brooklyn, New York)
(Perth, Wa Australia)
Y___ brand tea makes a tea for women that contains Dong Quai that relieves the pain and swelling of PCOS that I get from eating chocolate. Chocolate seems to exacerbate PCOS for me. Dong Quai is wonderful, the tea is wonderful, especially for PMS, too.
Hi Earth Clinic, this is Sophie again. I promised to update you on my PCOS situation, so here it is: I had a transvaginal ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts and also full bloodwork to look at my hormone levels, blood glucose, etc. I just got the results today. BOTH tests came back normal. I do not have cysts and my testosterone levels are normal. HOWEVER, my doctor, who is excellent, said that a lot of times you can have PCOS and still come back normal on all the tests. It's a disease of varying degrees... Some people have it worse than others. Because I am experiencing all the classic PCOS symptoms (facial, chest & foot hair; thinning hair; easy weight gain and difficult weight loss; long intervals between periods; ovulation pain) he is putting me on Metformin. PCOS is primarily a problem of insulin resistance. Your body makes enough insulin, but cannot use it efficiently. This causes your hormones to get out of balance, slows your metabolism, and causes the weight gain.
I have so far been treating myself by going completely grain free and eating a low-glycemic, high-protein diet. My doctor agreed with me that it was the best way to eat for PCOS. I am also upping my intake of oily fish again (although I already eat a lot! ). I have not started the Metformin yet, but my plan is to use it for a short time just to "reset" my system so that my body becomes more receptive to the insulin and I can lose the weight. Unless I get down to a normal weight, the PCOS will continue to progress, because fat causes the insulin resistance to get worse and affects hormone production. I am supposed to re-evaluate my situation with the doctor in January.
The decision to use the Metformin has been a difficult one, because it seems to me that PCOS should be easy to manage with proper diet and exercise. I hate taking any kind of medication. But truthfully, I do not see being able to lose the necessary weight in a reasonable amount of time just doing it on my own. I am fighting an uphill battle, as I have been eating right and exercising for 2 years without success. So I am going to take a very low dose of Metformin just until I can get myself on the right track. Then I am confident that my low-glycemic, high-protein diet plus daily exercise will be enough to keep my PCOS under control.
Has anyone out there with PCOS taken Metformin? What were your experiences? Were you able to stop taking it and manage your PCOS naturally?
Also, I am not trying to get pregnant, so that does make a little difference. I don't mind if my fertility is not restored, I am mostly concerned about the possibility of the PCOS progressing and leading to diabetes and heart disease, which is common with PCOS.
Thank you everyone on Earth Clinic! I appreciate all your wonderful advice and support, and I welcome your suggestions.
(Trinidad And Tobago)
Hello, My name is Sharon, just turned 34. I was diagnosed with PCOS 1 1/2 yrs ago. Don't know how long I've had it without knowing but I suspected that I've had it for yrs without knowing. (Thank GOD for private doctors) Anyway, I suffered with High Blood Pressure, against the doctor's advice I refused to be on medication for the rest of my life… I've always had irregular period and terrible acne problems, and yoyo weight problems. Something was wrong but regular doctors would always diagnose the symptoms with something else.
3 yrs ago, I was introduced to a few medical missionaries who counseled me about my lifestyle, Nutrition, Water intake, Exercise, etc…. I sat there for what seemed forever and at the end of that session I walk out of that place 100% Vegan. I went cold turkey!! (Family members thought I was crazy until they saw the results for themselves) I did everything they told me to; which was to simply take BETTER care of myself.
As I continued to administer these new found ways of healthy living, for the first time in my life I started to get my period every 28 days. I lost 18lbs, which brought me to my normal weight for my height and age. Not only did I feel more energetic because of my anemia problem but my Blood pressure is now under control.
Hence, I decided to become a medical missionary because of the unbelievable result I got. I am now helping others to live a healthier lifestyle and in the process diseases are being cured; And it's all due to the one who created us. I will willingly help anyone who is suffering and need help especially with type 2 diabetes. My email address is dhealthlaws(at)gmail.com
(Saint Louis, Mo)
This is a remedy that I have researched and am only just beginning to try. As we all know, PCOS is a syndrome that presents itself in different forms in every woman. For instance, according to my doctors, although I have cysts on my ovaries and have weight issues, my periods are very regular, progesterone is fine, I ovulate each month, BUT I do have elevated testosterone (which causes the hormonal body hair, and in some women, baldness, and acne).
I looked into the elevated testosterone levels, and found that not only does excess body fat EXACERBATE testosterone levels (best solution - reduce body fat), but the KEY to reducing testosterone could be in ELEVATING your SHBG (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin) levels.
For those of you who have had a thorough blood test for your hormones, you will note that Doctors mainly talk about your Oestrogen, Progesterone and your Testosterone Levels. But I suggest you look at your test and note the levels of your SHBG. SHBG is a glycoprotein in your blood that BINDS the FREE ANDROGENS in your blood stream. Free Androgens are the Male Hormones that are floating in your bloodstream that cause the male pattern baldness, hormonal hair, acne and other androgenous conditions. If your Testosterone is high, more than likely your SHBG is in the lower levels. Basically, there is not enough of the SHBG protein to catch these little fellows that cause all this damage.
I researched how to elevate SHBG naturally, and it seems that GREEN TEA is the best solution. BUT since we all can't drink countless cups of Green Tea to elevate these levels, it would be a wonderful idea to take a natural supplement of GREEN TEA EXTRACT. Check with your health food store or pharmacy, you should be able to get it in capsule or tablet form.
Along with increasing your SHBG levels, Green Tea Extract may also serve to speed up your metabolism, and also burn body fat. If you have PCOS and are experiencing baldness or thinning of your hair, this may be the best long term "INTERNAL" solution to the problem.
My other suggestion is to stay away from hormonal contraceptions at all costs. They do more damage than good to your already sensitive hormone levels. Synthetic hormones are not easily assimilated in our bodies, and therefore, our body reacts adversely. The pill may be the cause of greater infertility than you realise.
The final note for women with PCOS is to remember that PCOS is linked to DIABETES, SYNDROME X/INSULIN RESISTANCE. The majority of women with PCOS have been found to have a history of Diabetes in their families, or come from a culture where diabetes is prevalent. The key for all of us therefore, is to reduce our consumption of simple sugars and any food that elevates our blood sugar levels too quickly (high GI foods). Higher protein, lower PROCESSED carb diets work well for us. Increase your raw vegetable and fruit consumption. Also increase your essential fatty acid intake (i.e. good oils - extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil etc).
These changes will go a very long way to ensuring greater fertility, better balance in your hormones, and long term prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
Good luck everyone. If you wish to email me with questions, you are more than welcome to.
For PCOS, try the supplement inositol. It makes a remarkable difference - helps with period, facial hair and weight
Long story short, I have a history of endometriosis and most recently diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I'm used to having crazy cycles where I'll have no bleeding for 3-4 months, then bleed for 1 month straight.
This time around, I started bleeding in January 2014 and haven't stopped. It's like an ongoing spotting that never stops. From time to time I'd experience cramping/heavy bleeding/large clot for 6-7 days then resume the spotting.
I've tried the pineapple remedies, the molasses remedies, shephards purse etc. to no avail. What I did was simple: 1/4 C of liquid chlorophyll 1x per day along with 1,000 mg Vitamin C. Within 3 days, the bleeding slowed up a bunch. After 16 days (ie. 2 bottles) I've not experienced any spotting, no bleeding in the last 5 days!!!! For those who are experiencing heavy bleeding, give this a try and let me know what you think.
P.S. My fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath caused from anemia are gone as well.
I recently bought Maca Powder from one of the supermarkets as I have been suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome since I was 15 years old. I am 22 years old now, and I hadn't had a natural period in over 5 years. I have been trying every remedy that has been researched for reliving PCOS. Apple cider vinegar being one of them, yet that seems to have no real impact.
However, I used maca powder in my smoothies for 2 weeks. And voila!. my first period! I haven't been so delighted! It may taste absolutely foul and smell revolting, but it seems to be the miracle for me. I have it in my smoothies every morning.
Try it and see what the benefits are for you. Many say it does nothing for them, but you may well be the lucky one.
Good luck :)
I have known I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome since I was about 20; my doctor finally agreed about two years ago. I had irregular cycles (usually once every 4 months or longer with horrible cramping and heavy bleeding) since I got my cycle at age 14 until about five months ago (I am almost 26). Once I even had constant light bleeding for 8 months straight.
My cycles have really started to regulate over the last five months (ranging from 35-40 day cycles but gradually becoming shorter) and I believe it is due to a number of reasons. I started seeing a naturopath doctor about a year ago and over time we have found what works. I am taking Omega supplements, 6 grams inositol daily, vitex twice a day, a whole food prenatal, and a BSM drink a few times a week when I remember before ovulation but after ovulation I make sure to take it everyday.
I was having very bad cramps when I came across BSM on this website and found that it almost eliminated my cramps in less than an hour! The first cycle I began taking it my period went 9 plus days to 5 days and this has continued since.
I believe the inositol and vitex have been essential for helping my cycle and I will continue to take these. Inositol has also been a huge help with regulating my mood especially around PMS time. I also drink a homemade green smoothie everyday.
With my cycles regulating since starting BSM, I can't help but wonder if that has been the final magic ingredient for me.
At first I could not bear the taste of BSM. Now I take BSM as a warm drink. I use a heaping tablespoon of unsulphured BSM and two teaspoons of raw cocoa powder (also has lots of health benefits). It almost tastes like hot chocolate.
Thank you Earth Clinic for multiple cures I have found on your website. I hope my story is able to help someone else.
I've been taking BSM (black strap molasses-Plantation brand from the health food store) for about a month now. Two and a half years ago I had my hormones tested and results showed I had too much testosterone, too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. (also low cortisol) I've had polycystic ovarian syndrome my whole life (I'm 37).
After trying to heal my body under the guidance of a nutritionist/chiropractor following the S. P. diet books (just using the initials of the book name here) my hormone imbalanced grew even more out of control. I gained about 25-30 pounds (the chiro and books told me this is supposed to be "normal" as your body heals it's metabolism) and the result was increased bleeding that did not stop.
So, for the past 2 1/2 years I've had to deal with heavy, lingering bleeding. Rx drugs are not for me, so I have been trying to solve this with natural remedies. I managed to lose the extra weight I gained following the SP diet, thank goodness. This helped lessen the bleeding. I lost more weight with diet/lots of exercise and ACV. The bleeding didn't completely stop, but more or less just lingered on and on. Still, it was a big improvement over what I had been suffering.
Then I got my new job where I am sitting a lot, started eating lots of goodies over the holidays, and...no surprise...gained some weight back. As most of us know by now fat = estrogen. Too much estrogen with not enough progesterone to counteract it (due to lack of ovulation) means excess bleeding. And, I started bleeding heavier again. I was ready to pull my hair out and really disappointed in myself for gaining weight back after all my hard work and success.
So, I came to EarthClinic and read about BSM. Once again, so many women said they had good results from it I could not ignore their advice. After taking BSM for about 2 weeks my bleeding STOPPED!!! No lingering, no spotting, nothing!
I tried several ways of taking it...on my granola first, which was totally disgusting. Then I finally tried it mixed in warm water and drinking it like tea. It's actually very, very good this way. My recipe is 2 teaspoons mixed with about one cup warm water morning and night.
After missing the night dosage for a while (during my bout with the flu) I noticed a little spotting returning. I don't know how BSM will affect me altogether, whether or not it will help me have a normal cycle, I just haven't taken it long enough. But I do know that the awful incessant bleeding has stopped and I am so relieved!
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and feedback. Without it I would never have tried BSM.
I would like to know why NAC (N-acetylcysteine - an amino acid) is not mentioned under PCOS as a treatment. My daughter is just awaiting blood results to confirm she has PCOS (difficulty losing weight, hirsutism, acne etc) and I have been researching it.
I ordered NAC for other reasons and was amazed to see how many other benefits it has including treatment of PCOS. I ordered her some as well and she is going to take it to her Dr and tell him she wants to try this rather than prescription drugs (ie Metformin - same results, but no side effects). According to scientific studies there was a trial of NAC and women taking 1.6g a day apparently had decreased BMI, hair loss, acne etc..
If anyone else has tried this I would like to know their experience with it and I will also report down the track on results for my daughter.
I have suffered with PSOS since i was in my teens and have stopped my monthly flow .. i am only 32 and had not had a period in 2 years.. after only two weeks of Oil Pulling, acv, removing Gluten and BSM, i now am having a flow ...I am in some heavy pain but my hopes are high I dont know why. its so hard to find info on healthy alternative to Westen meds. and on top of this im loosing weight and my skin looks better than it has in years also dark rings around my eyes have nearly dissapeared. Bright Blessings to those who have shared.
(St. Louis, MO)
Hi there! I have been diagnosed with PCOS which stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is a red flag for just about anything you can think of from heart disease to endomitiosis to breast cancer. I am trying to heal my body through diet and exercise and I thought that a healthy dose of some natural supplements wouldn't hurt either. Is there anything I can use that will help to balance out my lady hormones? I am 35 and just had my first baby without any complications. :) I want to make sure to continue in a healthy lifestyle by using these supplements.
Thank you in advance for any and all advice you can give!