Oh! Thank goodness! Now we know why…… Whew. Just kidding!
Okay, not entirely kidding. Remember Brittany from this season’s The Biggest Loser? She had incredible trouble losing weight, only dropping very small amounts of weight even with careful dieting and more exercise than most of us get in a year. Towards the end of the season, she discovered that she has a medical condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS, for short) which inhibits her ability to lose weight. She said on NBC this morning that her low levels of estrogen are the specific cause of her difficulties with weight. PCOS is fundamentally an imbalance of a female’s hormones which causes disruption in a number of key health areas including blood sugar, cholesterol, metabolism, and fertility.
I decided to research this a little more and found the following information on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Women’s Health.gov site:
Does polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) put women at risk for other health problems?
Women with PCOS have greater chances of developing several serious, life-threatening diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer. Recent studies found that:
- More than 50 percent of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) before the age of 40.
- Women with PCOS have a four to seven times higher risk of heart attack than women of the same age without PCOS.
- Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure.
- Women with PCOS have high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
The chance of getting endometrial cancer is another concern for women with PCOS. Irregular menstrual periods and the absence of ovulation cause women to produce the hormone estrogen, but not the hormone progesterone. Progesterone causes the endometrium to shed its lining each month as a menstrual period. Without progesterone, the endometrium becomes thick, which can cause heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding. Over time, this can lead to endometrial hyperplasia, when the lining grows too much, and cancer.
Their site emphasizes the use of prescription drugs as major components of treatment. Here are the drugs they recommend: AldactoneÂ®, PropeciaÂ®, GlucophageÂ® (which is metformin), ProveraÂ®, ClomidÂ® and SeropheneÂ® (which are clomiphene citrate), and gonadotropins.
As you all know, my emphasis is on healing. And since drugs often/usually cause very unhealthy side effects, I’ll be researching this more to bring you healthier alternatives than drugs and “ovarian drilling.” Where do they come up with that stuff? It’s just draconian, and seems more like there hasn’t been enough modern research done on alternative and complementary medicine to make most Western allopathic doctors comfortable with ancient (and therefore well-researched) techniques.
Here’s a quickie list of alternative healing options for PCOS:
These should obviously be used in conjunction with balanced medical supervision, but always trust yourself.