A close friend called me recently, she was in tears.
For the last 5 years her and her husband had been trying to have a child. They’ve been to a variety of doctors and specialists with no luck.
They decided to a fertilization clinic so they went through a series of tests.
The results came back from the test and my friend found out she had cysts.
At first she thought – is it Cancer?
Will it kill me?
Will I be able to have kids?
My friend is not alone.
Many women are discovering (approximately 10% of the population), they suffer from a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS for short. This syndrome occurs when a woman’s hormones are naturally out of balance, which can then cause her to struggle to get pregnant, not to mention lead to other symptoms including insulin resistance, increased face and body hair, depression, thinning hair on the scalp, and the development of acne. In addition to that, these women also have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.
As any woman who’s plagued with this condition knows, it can be incredibly frustrating.
While medications are available to help manage this condition and the symptoms associated with it, new studies are illustrating that the better answer may come from looking internally.
Rather than covering up the symptoms with medication, it’s important to look at what’s really going on inside the body to cause this imbalance of hormones in the first place.
One recent study published in the PLOS ONE journal looked at this vary thing. The researchers noted that those who suffered from PCOS had a different gut environment compared to those who weren’t suffering.
When two test groups were examined, one that served as the placebo and one group that was given the drug Letrozole (which is used to treat breast cancer patients and can induce a state similar to that of PCOS), it was noted that by the end of the study, the two groups displayed very different gut environments.
The researchers noted that there was an increase in a type of bacteria that has also been more notably found in those who are in the obese category, which could, in part, explain the metabolic dysfunction that comes with PCOS.
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This isn’t the first study to look at this either. Another study published by the Medical Hypotheses journal also suggested that disturbances in bowel bacterial flora that comes with a poor diet can increase gut mucosal permeability, which can then result in an increase in movement of other types of bacteria into the system. This in turn leads to activation of the immune system and impacts insulin receptor function, which can then alter the level of hormonal concentrations in the body. In short, it’s becoming quite clear that the type and amount of healthy bacteria residing in someone’s gut could play a very key role in the development of PCOS.
Applications To Others
And, this may not just apply to women who are suffering from PCOS. The researchers of the previous study noted, “What you see when you look at obesity is large changes in specific groups of microorganisms that are involved in breaking down dietary fiber and regulating metabolism.” It’s becoming crystal clear that gut health impacts every element of your overall well-being. If you are battling a weight problem or other health issues, stop and consider whether your internal gut environment could be to blame.
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If you are not utilizing a quality probiotic supplement and don’t know for certain that your gut health is up to par, this could very well be the reason you are having problems.
For women suffering from PCOS, this new research offers promising hope that perhaps they can sidestep some of the unwanted symptoms that come with typical medication routes and instead, consider trying a more natural treatment.
As for my friend, I referred her to a ND friend who is a specialist in genetic and hormone testing. She had a look at her genetic and hormonal response to foods. She then made adjustments in her diet, her supplements and began aggressively combining probiotics and enzymes to help her reclaim her gut health and ultimately her hormone health.
She’s also under the care of of an MD who is fascinated with the changes she’s experiencing just from changing her lifestyle.
My friend now feels back and control and is back on her way to recovery.
Kelley, Scott T., et al. “The Gut Microbiome Is Altered in a Letrozole-Induced Mouse Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.” PloS one 11.1 (2016): e0146509.
Tremellen, Kelton, and Karma Pearce. “Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota (DOGMA)–a novel theory for the development of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.” Medical hypotheses 79.1 (2012): 104-112.