PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome: 1 in 10 women have it, it is debilitating, and so many don't know about it.
In women with PCOS, the ovaries produce more androgens than normal. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation, causing a large number of cysts or underdeveloped follicles to migrate to the outer part of the ovaries, giving that lumpy-bumpy, enlarged appearance.
Recent research points to insulin-resistance as being the initiator for hormonal imbalance involved in the development of PCOS.
What can be done?
- Junk food
These foods cause inflammation in the cell wall and reduction in how nutrients are able to pass through the cell wall to enter the cell.
Since the cell needs sugar to produce energy, and the inflamed cell wall won't let it through into the cell, the body responds by increasing the production of the hormone insulin that supports the transport of sugar into the cell. Because of excess insulin floating around, the cells become over-stimulated by insulin, and over time develop resistance to the hormone.
Some very important nutrients for dealing with with PCOS and insulin-resistance include chromium, zinc, and iodine, or the herb Gymnema.
Chromium is an essential mineral that helps the body regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. Some research suggests that chromium supplements can help people with diabetes lower their blood glucose levels. One study examined the role of the mineral in women with PCOS. The results indicated that 200 mcg daily of chromium picolinate significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and insulin levels in subjects — enough that the effects were comparable to the pharmaceutical, metformin.