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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10 individuals with ovaries who are of reproductive age. When you have PCOS, three main hormonal systems are off kilter: you have excess androgens (hormones like testosterone and androstenedione), not enough progesterone, and an abnormal response to insulin (so blood sugar is higher and insulin production gets cranked up, contributing to even higher androgens). Among the many frustrating features of PCOS, which can also cause ovarian cysts and other issues, is that we may never have a definitive answer for what causes it. (If you had a dollar for every time you heard that, right?) What we do know is that PCOS causes infrequent or irregular periods (due to the lack of progesterone) and is a leading cause of infertility when it’s not diagnosed and managed. Not everyone with PCOS develops cysts, despite the disorder’s name. In general, symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, acne, mood changes, headaches, pelvic pain, and more. All those extra androgens can cause unwanted hair growth on the face, arms, and other areas of the body (a condition known as hirsutism), which is also a distressing symptom for some people. It can cause those with PCOS to deal with a lot of embarrassment, especially if they are in their young adult or adult years. At the same time, not everyone is bothered by body hair—some people don’t mind it, and others embrace it. Everyone is different! Unfortunately, there is no single test for PCOS, so if you are having symptoms, your practitioner will likely do a careful history, lab work, and perhaps an ultrasound to look for ovarian cysts. There's no known cure for PCOS, and treatment mainly focuses on your individual concerns, such as infertility, hirsutism, or weight gain. If you are not trying to get pregnant, practitioners will often recommend hormonal birth control as a standard treatment. Studies suggest certain herbal remedies, such as chasteberry, black cohosh, and Chinese cinnamon, can relieve some of the symptoms. Myo-inositol, vitamins D and B-complex, and acupuncture are other popular treatments. If you have PCOS, remember that you’re not alone. Whatever your symptoms, there’s someone out there—and probably right here on Wana—who gets what you’re going through.

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Healing PCOS: A 21-Day Plan for Reclaiming Your Health and Life with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

A proven 21-day diet and lifestyle plan to help women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) take back control of their health and resolve their symptoms from a certified health coach and founder of the large PCOS Diva online community. PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders, and the most common cause of female infertility, affecting roughly five million American women. Because it’s symptoms are widespread—including stubborn weight gain, acne, mood swings, abnormal hair loss or growth, and irregular menstrual cycles—women suffering from PCOS are often misdiagnosed and treated with "Band-Aid" pharmaceuticals with uncomfortable side effects that only mask PCOS’s root causes. While there is no cure for PCOS, women can learn to control their symptoms naturally. In this welcome guide, Amy Medling shows how to combine an anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing diet, daily movement, and stress-reducing self-care to successfully treat their PCOS. Grounded in the latest medical research and filled with the knowledge she’s acquired dealing with PCOS herself and working with thousands of women, Healing PCOS offers women small, manageable steps that help alleviate their symptoms and control the inflammation, hormonal imbalance, and insulin resistance that underlie the condition. Amy’s revolutionary program consists of: A 21-day anti-inflammatory, hormone-balancing and gluten-free meal plan, including meal prep and plan-ahead tips to make eating this way simple and fast 85 delicious recipes—half fan favorites and half new dishes Daily self-care exercises, including meditation and journaling prompts Amy has helped tens of thousands of women with PCOS take back control of their health and their lives through lasting, healing, and sustainable lifestyle change. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have struggled with PCOS, her revolutionary program can now work for you.

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