The best diet for PCOS

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The best diet for PCOS

Got PCOS and don't know what to eat? Or perhaps you do but don't understand why?

There is a lot of information out there so if you've began to research diet for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) you've probably got the idea that it involves…

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Lose weight with PCOS

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Lose weight with PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is known for making weight gain hard to shift, especially around the waist, giving many women with the syndrome that classic apple shape. Not only is this excess weight frustrating and stressful, it actually worsens PCOS because fat tissue promotes insulin resistance. This causes excess insulin release, which promotes fat storage, creating a perpetuating cycle. So when the weight seems to stay no matter what you do, how do you lose weight with PCOS?

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What causes PCOS?

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What causes PCOS?

Ever wonder what put you on the road to PCOS? Whilst the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, there are factors known to play a role. These factors vary from person to person. This is why not every woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has the same set of symptoms. Here's a list of what could be contributing to your PCOS.

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Is my acne hormonal?

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Is my acne hormonal?

I hear it a lot in my clinical practice: "I think my acne might be hormonal". In a sense all acne is hormonal. You may not have overt hormonal aberrations turn up on your blood test, but there may be something more subtle at play. Let me explain...

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The real cause and solution to acne

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The real cause and solution to acne

If you’re like me you would have tried every product, salon treatment and skincare regime under the sun for your acne.  From supermarket brands to harsh chemicals like benzoyl peroxide, designer skincare, peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments and more. But none of them seemed to work. When I turned to natural, non-toxic alternatives, I found the answer to caring for acne-prone skin was simpler than any of us have been lead to believe...

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Hirsutism & PCOS: how to get rid of that unwanted hair

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Hirsutism & PCOS: how to get rid of that unwanted hair

Hair growth in places that women aren’t expected to have hair (hirsutism) can be very distressing.  Dealing with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is hard enough, when we are worried about lack of ovulation, acne or excess weight.  It’s understandable that our femininity feels even more challenged when we see coarse, dark hairs on our chin, upper lip, face, abdomen, nipples, pubic region, inner thighs or upper arms.  This can make many of us feel anxious and desperate to get rid of it.  So I wanted to share with you, how to tackle this problem...

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How to keep your hormones happy: stress and PCOS

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How to keep your hormones happy: stress and PCOS

Stress is one of the biggest causes of an irregular menstrual cycle.  This is partly due to the wisdom of our bodies.  When we are highly stressed our body says "Wait! This is not a good time to get pregnant! Let's prioritise other things instead (like survival!) and leave the ovulation till later."  We won't have a true menstrual bleed until we do ovulate so this can cause the length of our menstrual cycle to vary.  This is known as an irregular cycle or stress-patterned menstrual cycle.  Irregular cycles are a common feature of PCOS and they are often driven partly by stress.  To make matters worse, being diagnosed with and living with the symptoms PCOS is often very stressful in itself, creating a vicious cycle.

How does this happen?

For those of you that need to know how it all works: basically stress directly affects the menstrual cycle because the parts of our brain that are responsible for responding to stress are also responsible for signalling our reproductive organs.  When we are stressed the hypothalamus in our brain sends a signal to the pituitary gland in our brain, which in turn sends a message to our adrenal glands to release stress hormones.  This is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.  Similarly, we have a HPO (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian) axis which governs the release of hormones from our ovaries.  When the HPA axis is very active (in times of high or chronic stress) it suppresses the HPO axis.  It can also make tissues, such as the lining of the uterus, unresponsive to ovarian hormones.  Thus ovulation and menstruation may be halted...

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My top 10 herbs & nutrients for PCOS

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My top 10 herbs & nutrients for PCOS

Herbal medicine has a long history of traditional use, throughout the world, for menstrual irregularities and fertility.  More recently, scientific research has been showing positive results for herbal and nutritional treatments for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and deepening our understanding of the underlying causes.  We now know that herbs and nutrients can be used to adjust levels of specific hormones and encourage the normal, healthy function of organs.  Teamed with modifying our diet and forming good habits in our daily lives, these therapies can form the basis of long-lasting hormonal change. 

Whilst there are some effective natural medicines available over the counter, herbs and nutrients are best prescribed by a trained Herbalist, Nutritionist or Naturopath (both Herbalist & Nutritionist).  When choosing a natural medicine practitioner look for someone with a sound education in Science and who is a member of a government-recognised Professional Association. This means that the practitioner is bound by a duty of care that ensures that they do no harm.  Ask to see their qualifications.  There are a range of treatments that your practitioner may select for you.  Here are my 10 favourite:

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