The Hormone Center

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and What You Can Do About It

talking to a doctor about polycystic ovary syndrome

What is going on with my body?

Suddenly, you are experiencing abnormal menstrual cycles, mood swings, excessive weight gain, extreme hair growth, and trouble sleeping. You may think “it’s just a bad period.” If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, you may have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance that branches from a surplus of male sex hormones, most commonly, testosterone. All women produce small levels of male hormones regularly to help control vital functions of menstruation. These hormones are called androgens and are usually produced in the ovaries in women, but can occasionally be produced in the adrenal glands.

Insulin is another hormone that can contribute to the irregularity associated with PCOS. Insulin enables the body to absorb blood sugar into cells to create energy for your body. PCOS causes the body to be less responsive to insulin which creates elevated levels of blood sugar in the body. When insulin levels are high enough, the ovaries can stimulate testosterone production when it is not needed, leading to overproduction. Therefore, PCOS is some patients is a pre-diabetic state.

Researchers believe that environmental as well as hereditary factors could contribute to or even advance PCOS symptoms. Xeno-estrogens (such as those found in plastic bottles and make-up) are thought be a leading cause of PCOS.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Acne breakouts
  • Abrupt weight gain
  • Unwanted or abnormal hair growth
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Atypical or absent menstrual cycles
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular headaches
  • Thinning of the hair
  • Signs of decreased fertility or infertility

Diagnosis

Most traditional medical providers will only diagnose PCOS if the patient has all or the majority of symptoms. However, one can have PCOS with just a few of the symptoms from the “checklist”. Progressed symptoms and signs of infertility help medical practitioners determine that ovulation is irregular and may be associated with a hormonal imbalance. The range for PCOS is nine to sixty years old.

Common PCOS Treatment Options

Traditional physicians often use birth control pills to help regulate menstrual cycles and decrease testosterone. While effective for some patients for a relatively short period of time, birth control pills can create major problems, such as: yeast infections, diabetes, weight gain, increased risk of breast and liver cancer, nutrient depletion, shrinking of the pituitary gland, oxidative stress, and trouble conceiving later in life. Parents are often understandably concerned that their children will be on birth control pills.

Alternative PCOS Treatments

Some alternative options can be just as effective as a birth control pill. From a molecular perspective, bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the natural hormones in your body. The most common bioidentical hormone used for the treatment of PCOS is natural progesterone, which comes from a plant and regulates menstrual cycles. In PCOS patients, progesterone can be scarce. With natural progesterone, menstrual cycles begin to regulate, and testosterone is restored to normal levels. Progesterone is most often applied via cream.

Telemedicine – The Hassle-Free Way of Reaching your Doctor

Telemedicine is an easy, and hassle-free way of consulting with your medical provider. It is best described as a secured “Skype” connection for medical consultations. Telemedicine is HIPAA compliant with no patient data stored on the cloud and is available for desktops, smart phones, and tablets.

All current patients of The Hormone Center have full access to telemedicine. New patients are eligible if they are Pennsylvania residents or if they can come to Pennsylvania to establish a doctor/patient relationship. An in-person visit at least once every two years is required for those who are receiving controlled substance prescriptions, such as testosterone.

Learn more about The Hormone Center and how we can help you

Is Gluten Free Just A Fad?

Gluten is a protein that has been genetically modified and/or cross bred into most wheat products.  Gluten offers no nutritional value nor does it add flavor to breads/pastas.  Gluten simply makes the bread “bind” better.  That’s why gluten free bread crumbles more easily than “gluten bread”.  

The issue is that from an evolutionary standpoint, we do not possess the enzymes to break down gluten in the body.  When the body encounters a “foreign” substance, much like a virus, the body’s immune system goes into gear, leading to inflammation.  It is thought that gluten especially causes inflammation in the brain and is perhaps a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s.  (We recommend the book “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, M.D. and the documentary What’s With Wheat for additional insight into gluten’s effects).

Symptoms of gluten SENSITIVITY (not Celiac’s disease) include (but are not limited to):

  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Brain Fog
  • Auto-Immune Disease
  • Low Immunity
  • Dental Issues (cavities, canker sores, tooth decay)
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Skin problems (eczema, acne and dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • From Glutenfreeschool.com

We recommend that everyone should be off gluten.  If you have some of the conditions above, try a gluten free diet.  What’s the worst thing that will happen? You lose some weight?

For more info on a gluten free diet, contact The Hormone Center for free dietary information and suggestions!

Auto-Immune Illnesses

Welcome to The Hormone Center blog.  The goal of our integrative medicine practice is to be a community informational and practical resource for holistic ways to treat and prevent illnesses. As such, we hope this blog offers the community a forum for health discussions.

Auto Immune Illnesses:   Many of those who suffer with auto-immune diseases are frustrated since the current treatment protocols may not be working for them.  Please check out:  www.lowdosenatlrexone.org as an additional resource.

For certain patients, low dose naltrexone combined with gut healing can produce a dramatic reduction in symptoms.

 

Contact Us

The Hormone Center

412-432-7909


Pittsburgh

2100 Wharton Street, #315
Pittsburgh, PA 15203


Cranberry Twp.

20399 Route 19, #120
Cranberry Twp, PA 16066


Info@HormoneCenter.net