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I am constantly being asked by clients about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), from which many women suffer where cysts on the ovaries cause pain during ovulation, PMS, and excess hair growth on the face, legs and arms.  It’s been known for some time that PCOS is associated with high insulin levels, which stimulate the ovarian production of androgens (male hormones).  In a study of obese and non-obese women with PCOS (Nobumasa et al, 2002), various hormones were measured with interesting results: the average levels of testosterone and androstenedione in obese women were significantly higher than those in non-obese women.  This is yet another indicator that obesity can contribute significantly to hormone imbalance.  PCOS disappears rapidly in most women when they cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from their diet.

Can Progesterone help recovery from PCOS?

PCOS is a condition which is rising alarmingly all over the world.

PCOS is generally considered a syndrome rather than a disease, because it manifests through a group of signs and symptoms that can occur in any combination, rather than having one known cause.

Symptoms vary and include some or all of the following…

  • oligomenorrhoea (absent or infrequent periods) or amenorrhea (no menstrual period).
  • enlarged ovaries (usually 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal).
  • cysts (fluid-filled sacs), giving the classic “string of pearls” appearance to ovaries with many cysts. Cystic ovaries can lead to…
  • chronic pelvic pain – although the exact cause of this pain isn’t known, inflammation is the most likely cause.
  • anovulation (lack of ovulation), which is relatively common as the follicles mature only occasionally, this leads to…
  • low progesterone levels, as it’s only after ovulation that the follicle, now called the corpus luteum, produces progesterone. But low progesterone levels lead to…
  • high levels of luteinising hormone (LH) as the pituitary is trying to stimulate ovulation. High LH suppresses follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) so this leads to arrested follicle growth in the next cycle. But LH also stimulates the thecal cells in the ovary to produce androgens which leads to…
  • high androgens (hyperandrogenism), particularly high testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), leading to excess facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, deepening of the voice, weight problems including obesity and a smaller hip to waist ratio, acne, oily skin, dandruff, suppression of ovarian function, leading to anovulation which leads to…
  • infertility (the inability to get pregnant within six to 12 months of unprotected intercourse, depending on age) and low progesterone levels

Natural treatment

  • Above all have a vitamin D test done, and take a minimum of 5000 IU’s per day, bringing the level in the blood to 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or above. A lack of vitamin D is found in PCO, with many authorities believing it could be the main contributing factor. A lack also leads to hyperparathyroidism which is often present in PCO. High levels of parathyroid hormone suppresses thyroid activity, leading to a higher than normal TSH level. The year round level of vitamin D should be 50ng/ml (125nmol/L) or higher
  • A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone
  • Use between 150-250mg/day progesterone, this helps stabilise blood sugar and suppresses androgen production. It also helps to correct ovarian malfunction
  • Take the B vitamin inositol, this aids in reversing insulin resistance and stabilizing glucose levels. Studies have shown this restores gonadal function.
  • Take the antioxidant amino acids L-arginine and N-acetyl cysteine, studies have shown these restore gonadal function.
  • The amino acids L-glutamine and L-glycine are very helpful. The brain can use them in place of glucose for energy, so they stop all binging, tiredness, cravings for sugary foods and alcohol. Glutamine also heals the lining of the gut, it boosts the immune system and is the most abundant amino acid in the muscles, so helping with muscle weakness. These two amino acids are also two of the three precursors to glutathione, which apart from vitamin D, is the most important antioxidant the body makes. The third amino precursor is cysteine, which is essential to take.
  • MCT oil (medium chain triglyceride) is another excellent source of energy which is not converted to fat, but can be used directly by the cells for energy, take 5-60ml/day. It’s extracted from coconut oil and comprises 60% caprylic acid, which kills candida, and 40% capric acid.

It could take a while for things to sort themselves out, so have patience. Researchers have found it takes from four to six months for the ovaries to start functioning correctly.

Additional Information

Progesterone

Apply 150-250mg of progesterone per day. The higher dose might be needed.

It should only be used at ovulation, for the last 14 days of the cycle, taking day 1 as the first day of bleeding.

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It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly 1 in 20 people across the globe. In England and Wales, there could be up to 1.76 million adults with fibromyalgia.
Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although the condition affects more women than men. In most cases, fibromyalgia occurs between 30 and 60 years of age, but it can develop in people of any age, including children and the elderly.
Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because there is no specific test and the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions.
I see a number of clients in my clinic with fibromyalgia and, in my experience, there seems to be a link between this condition and hormone imbalance (ie polycystic ovaries, endometriosis etc) and also a link with depression.
My clinic and the way I practise is multi-faceted, tailoring the treatment to the individual, but I find that Reflexology particularly helps with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. What many people don not realise is that Reflexology is a powerful treatment which works the body from the inside out – working every system and organ of the body to bring about homeostasis (balance) to the body.
Why does it work so well with fibromyalgia? Well this could be for a number of reasons:
Reflexology:
• Promotes the reduction of pain through gate control and stimulation of the production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) – it therefore reduces pain. Pain reduction following reflexology treatment is documented in 27 studies including research showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states;
• Offers further pain relief by promoting blood flow: studies show that reflexology increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines;
• Creates relaxation: From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation begins as shown in research using EEG brain activity. All together, 24 studies demonstrate reflexology’s relaxation effects;
In common with most complementary therapies, there has only been limited research aimed at validating reflexology – but there have been 100s of studies and a survey of 170 studies showed a positive result for 83% of areas researched.
A Chinese survey of 8,096 case studies noted a 94% effective or significantly effective rate. Significant areas of study include: stress and anxiety, lessening of pain and cancer care as well as general health concerns for individuals of all ages.
Further, a randomised controlled study on MS patients showed significant decreases in intensity and duration of parasthesia and urinary symptoms together with an improvement in spasticity. There was also a borderline improvement in muscle strength. This is even more remarkable as some of the pharmacological agents used are associated with muscle weakness.
Out of all my treatments, I absolutely love Reflexology because I see the power, and the effects, of this amazing treatment the minute my clients get down off the therapy couch!

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The Polycystic Ovary (PCO) formula is designed to reduce inflammation and stabilise blood glucose and insulin levels. Although PCO is regarded as a sugar metabolism problem, increasingly studies are finding it’s due to oxidative stress. Both have a role to play, as sugar and foods which convert to glucose are the most oxidising of all ‘foods’. Many of the PCO formula ingredients have other benefits, including:

  • aiding the immune system
  • detoxifying the body
  • lowering cholesterol and triglycerides
  • improving cognition
  • calming and relaxing

Ingredients (contains only the following – no fillers or preservatives):

Aginine; chromium picolinate; B1; milk thistle; cysteine; selenium; B2; glutamine; glycine; taurine; zinc; B3; B5; B6; B12; biotin; choline; folic acid; inositol; D3.

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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent reproductive problem in young girls and women. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have:

  • Insulin resistance, which in turn leads to weight gain, blood sugar problems, high triglycerides and high androgens;
  • High blood sugar level (leading to high insulin, which leads to high androgens. High androgens lead to excess hair, weight problems, acne, suppression of ovarian function, leading to anovulation
  • High triglycerides which lead to heart disease;
  • Low progesterone levels (as ovulation does not take place, so only half the cycle is being completed);
  • High levels of 5-alpha reductase (this converts oestrogen to androgens. Progesterone inhibits 5 alpha reductase).

If insulin resistance is reversed, insulin levels drop, this in turn lowers androgen levels, which in turn prevents the suppression of ovarian function, allowing the ovaries to start functioning normally.

The common treatment for PCOS is the contraceptive Pill (to prevent ovulation) and Metformin (a diabetic drug to bring down sugar levels).
The Pill contains synthetic progesterone and oestrogen, which stop ovulation, but also reduce the level of natural progesterone. Synthetic progesterone or ‘progestins’ increase insulin resistance.

It is crucial that the insulin resistance is reversed before ovarian function returns to normal.

Support for PCOS:

  • Reduce insulin levels – eat organic protein (with no growth hormones), avoid all starchy carbs, including fruit, eating only the non-starchy leaves, shoots, sprouts etc
  • Reduce androgen levels – use progesterone and avoid all food which converts to glucose, to reduce insulin, which causes androgens to rise
  • Use between 200-250mg/day of progesterone cream, this helps stabilise blood sugar and suppresses androgen production. It also helps to correct ovarian malfunction
  • The B vitamin inositol is essential for the reversal of insulin resistance
  • The amino acid L-glutamine is very helpful. It’s best dissolved in water and drunk throughout the day. The brain can use it in place of glucose for energy, so it stops all binging, tiredness, cravings for sugary foods and alcohol, it heals the lining of the gut, it boosts the immune system and is the most abundant amino acid in the muscles, so helping with muscle weakness
  • Have a homocysteine test, if It’s high, take:
    • 150mg B2-riboflavin
    • 75mg B6-pyrodoxine
    • 1000mcg B12-cyanocobalamin
    • 1200mcg Folic acid
    • 3000mg TMG-tri-methyl glycine (anhydrous)
    • 20mg Zinc

As homocysteine could be a contributing factor to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a blood test should be carried out. If the results are higher than 6 then it is essential to take the following nutrients:

  • 150mg B2-riboflavin
  • 75mg B6-pyrodoxine
  • 1000mg B12-cyanocobalamin
  • 1200mcg folic acid
  • 3000mg TMG-tri-methyl glycine (anhydrous)
  • 30mg zinc

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