Living Empowered With PCOS
Having suffered with PCOS herself, Dr. Brooke utilizes a thorough Functional Medicine approach the addresses all of your hormones, not just those thought to be common with PCOS such as insulin resistance.
Often women with PCOS are merely told, “lose weight and don’t eat carbs” which works OK for some but creates more thyroid and cortisol issues for others – never mind their flagging energy and out of control cravings.
What women with PCOS need is to understand the underpinnings of PCOS which is largely a problem with inflammation. We are genetically and biochemically hardwired to have more baseline inflammation and struggle with more fallout from dietary and lifestyle sources of inflammation including food sensitivities, stress and unhealthy digestive and immune systems.
Inflammation itself can leave us tired, puffy and bloated but it also creates widespread hormonal chaos. I call inflammation the great hormone mess maker as it so profoundly impacts every hormone from progesterone or estrogen to thyroid and insulin and quite often when your lab tests for these hormones are completely normal yet you have every associated symptom on the list.
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This inflammatory component is a game changer once a woman with PCOS understands it. And it makes dietary advice for PCOS that only talks about avoiding sugar and simple carbs fall very short.
When we understand that unfair or not foods like gluten and diary or other foods uniquely inflammatory for you; too much stress or lack of sleep; over or under-exercising can be much harder for those of us with PCOS to tolerate than our more hormonally balanced girlfriends we can take some very big steps towards balancing our PCOS physiology that go far beyond “going low carb”.
Managing PCOS entails some unique nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and mindset tools that get deep into the underlying hormonal imbalances of this condition that include inflammation, insulin resistance, cortisol imbalance, thyroid issues and estrogen:progesterone imbalance.
To resolve your PCOS related issues you need to understand what foods work for you and what ones don’t, heal your gut and nourish your biotransformation (commonly called detox) pathways, find your Unique Carb Tolerance and learn how honor your PCOS body type with the right exercise regimen.
This is the work I love to do. Helping women like myself regain their health and hormone balance and feel at home in their bodies.
Do You Know Your PCOS Type?
If you’ve Googled around you’ve likely seen “types” of PCOS articles pop up in your searches such as Adrenal PCOS, Ovarian PCOS, even hypothyroid PCOS.
These categories can help you feel like, “Oh thank goodness, this makes sense to me now!” but putting you into a bucket that focuses on just one hormone or gland fails to honor the beautiful – yet sometimes frustrating – intricate relationship your hormones have with each other misses the point of this complicated condition.
It is very rare that a woman with say a cortisol issues has just a cortisol or adrenal problem. She also likely is feeling the impact of this hormonal imbalance on her thyroid her progesterone and her blood sugar and insulin. In my opinion it’s far more important to have a thorough evaluation and determine all of the hormones involved in your particular manifestation of PCOS than to categorize you as adrenal or ovarian PCOS. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to have just your thyroid or just your ovaries involved in this complex issue, it’s simply not that simple!
Here’s an example: low thyroid levels can create PCOS looking ovaries on ultrasound that are resolved when you normalize her thyroid hormone levels.
And women with PCOS are three times more likely to have autoimmune based hypothyroidism as a woman without PCOS which can have low thyroid levels in time but will most definitely bring with it more inflammation. Which you now know is already a problem for women with PCOS and very quickly we have more thyroid imbalance, more cortisol involvement and worsening estrogen and progesterone imbalance.
So you see, it’s much more involved that labeling your PCOS type because again, your hormones are one big team, playing together and what I want for you is to get back on its side.
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What will help you far more is understanding how all your hormones – at least your five biggest hormone players of insulin, cortisol, thyroid, estrogen and progesterone – are faring right now so you can nudge them all into better balance.
Your hormones are talking to you all the time and my wish for every woman is to understand what they are saying. With this understanding you can wade through the vast ocean of information out there on PCOS and do what works for you. And most of all make peace with your PCOS body.