Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Doctors Don't Get It!

I watch Embarassing Bodies on Channel4 and in the last two weeks they've featured women with PCOS. Both of whom in addition to the classic symptoms suffered from extreme hirsutism. As usual the doctors told them the classical ways of dealing with their condition was putting them on Birth Control Pills (BCP) or prescribing Glucophage (the anti-diabetic drug also known as Metformin, commonly prescribed for women with Insulin Resistance related PCOS).

I was disappointed that there was not a single mention of lifestyle changes. Both of these women were obviously overweight. Yet the good doctors, after telling them there was no cure for PCOS, believed pumping them with drugs is the solution.

Neither BCP's or Metformin help PCOS by eliminating the cause of it. What they do is chemically suppress the symptoms. For instance, if you were having irregular periods taking BCPs makes you bleed every month but it hasn't really resolved the fact that you're getting irregular periods on your own due to hormonal imbalance. In other words, it doesn't correct the inherent hormonal imbalance that's causing irregular periods, hirsuitism, and all the other symptoms.

I just find it incredible that the medical profession overlooks the fact that permanent lifestyle changes have been proven to be the best way to tackle PCOS. By cutting out refined carbohydrates, sugar, eating fruits and vegetables and water and taking regular exercise can not only reverse ones symptoms but enable ovulation, conception and staves off long term complications that come with untreated PCOS such as type 2 diabetes, miscarriage, high blood pressure and heart disease.

If you have PCOS, you don't need to rely on drugs for the rest of your life. I've met women who have been taking Metformin for almost 20 years who are tired of taking it and are considering natural ways of dealing with the condition. Similarly, I have a type 2 diabetic friend who was taken off Metformin and started up on insulin injections because she refused to modify her lifetyle the Metformin was ineffective in suppressing her symptoms. Similarly, there are people out there who have cured themselves of type 1 and 2 diabetes.

I'm sick of the medical profession telling people there is no cure for things that clearly have a genesis. You don't develop these conditions overnight, there must be a precipitant. There must be something you are doing or not doing excessively that caused sufficient strain on your body for it to give up and let a condition manifest.

My advice to women with PCOS is this: if you are over weight lose the excess by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Never mind if you lose as little as a pound a month, don't give up. Losing small amounts of weight over a long period of time is more likely to be maintained than losing large amounts over a short period of time.

If you're trying to conceive, losing as little as 7% to 10% of your current weight is enough to kick start ovulation. Research the low Glycemic Index diet or the Insulin Resistance diet and try to exercise at least 30 minutes everyday, even if it's just to walk around your neighbourhood.

If you are not overweight (if you are a thin cyster) it's possible your body is severely lacking in certain micro nutrients. There are women who've improved their symptoms by taking vitamin D supplements. Research food supplements that are connected to infertility/fertility or see a good naturopath or nutritionist who can do a through check up to see what deficiencies you may have.

Women with PCOS should try not to consume genetically modified foods and endocrine disrupter's. Eat organic as much as you can afford. Steer clear of or severely reduce consumption of dairy products and red meat (although some can tolerate it, it's up to you as an individual to see how your body reacts).

A lot of women with PCOS moan about food they absolutely cannot stop eating. The truth is if you understand WHY something is bad for you, and you truly want to improve your health, you won't hesitate to cut it out of your life. Likewise if you know something is good for you, you'd try to do as much of it as you can.

It really is that simple, don't let anyone tell you there is no cure or that you have to 'suffer' with it for the rest of your life or pop pills for the rest of your life. It can be done naturally, and more and more women are choosing the natural/drug-free approach.


  1. it is shocking to know that those doctors were simply only pumping the ladies with drugs and didn t give them suggestions on changing the lifestyle. Almost all my docs told those things to me but yes to get serious changes, you need to religiously follow those rules. You have a very well written article here about how PCOS can be cured by nature and will power. I support you and there should be more awareness about this. It can bring lots of confidence to women around the world. Keep up your good work.

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words, CP, :) I am an advocate of doing it naturally. Our bodies are so sensitive that for some women just a minute differerence in hormone levels is enough to weak havoc on their self-esteem and fertility. By recognising that what goes into our body and our levels of physical activity is very important in determining the quality of our life, I sincerely hope more women will take their health into their hands and not just swallow what the doctors peddle whole sale.

    I'm glad you're going at it naturally too. Keep sharing your wonderful tips on your blog, so we can all learn from each other, :)

  3. I really want 2 thank you for this article. I have been detected with pcos recently for which doctor has taken by blood for tests. they really are into getting this thing as a business... i am 5feet 2 inches tall and i weight 54 kg which is normal n doctor says i am overweight which is not at all true! i will go for natural cure instead of the list of pills she waits 2 fill me up with


  4. I am a type 2 PCOS cyster and all I ever here is lose the weight which refuses to happen despite healthy lifestyle. I admit though I have not been taking my vitamin D. Off to go take it now...