PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex disorder that can affect a women’s menstrual cycle, ability to have children, hormones, heart, blood vessels and appearance. About one in ten women of childbearing age has PCOS and it can occur in girls as young as 11 years old. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
Historically, PCOS was believed to be caused entirely by the surplus production of androgens (male hormones) but recent research shows that high insulin levels and insulin resistance are key instigators. PCOS seems to have a genetic component as well, and therefore can but does not necessarily, run in families. Some research shows that excessive exposure to male hormones in fetal life may permanently prevent normal genes from functioning properly. There is also some research that has shown that some women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by a poor diet, environmental toxins and stress which can all lead to excess burden on one of our main detoxification organs – the liver.
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- High levels of androgens (testosterone and androstenedione)
- Elevated fasting insulin levels
- Obesity, particularly around the waist
- Increased facial hair and thinning hair on the head (due to high testosterone)
- High estrogen and low progesterone
- Ovarian cysts
- Irregular menstrual cycles – lack of ovulation
One of the potential significant aspects of PCOS is a buildup of the lining of the uterus. This occurs because the ovaries still produce adequate estrogen, but not enough progesterone, due to the lack of ovulation. The uterus then receives what is called “unopposed estrogen stimulation”. This can lead to an increase in estrogen, also referred to as “Estrogen Dominance” This excess estrogen can cause the uterus to thicken and those cells over time can become atypical or even malignant.
Our liver is one of the most important organs in the body for detoxification. Keeping the liver healthy and supporting its ability to break down hormones efficiently is essential for treating PCOS and reducing excess androgens and estrogens.
EstroSense® is a natural and unique formula that may be beneficial for those women with PCOS. It contains effective ingredients that support healthy liver detoxification, which in turn promotes healthy hormone balance.
Liver supportive ingredients such as milk thistle and curcumin are essentials for supporting those detoxification pathways as well as calcium-d-glucarate, indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane help the liver metabolize excess estrogens from the body. Green tea extract has been shown to reduce excess testosterone levels and to control high levels of insulin. It is also a potent antioxidant along with lycopene and rosemary extract. Antioxidants are key players that bind onto free radicals during detoxification of harmful substances.
Dr. Marita Schauch BSc ND is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Canada’s premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine. Dr. Schauch’s health articles educate the public about health and wellness and have been featured in numerous print media. She currently resides and has her clinical practice in Victoria B.C. www.drmarita.com