PCOS, Pandemics and Perseverance

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What a ‘wake-up call COVID-19 has been for all of us on so many levels.

We can take nothing for granted, we can be struck by the virus at a moment’s notice.

All our dreams and aspirations are as ephemeral as the wind.

Hi Dr Cooper here, Life Source Medical Director.

We have all been challenged massively. Our Governments have locked us in, our businesses have all but fallen over our routines and minds messed with as we all try to avoid becoming infected. Why is the COVID-19 pandemic even more disturbing for someone managing PCOS?

PCOS

Firstly, PCOS is more than missed periods, infertility, unwanted hair and also hair loss, weight gain and a myriad of other upsetting and confronting signs and symptoms not to forget the emotional upheaval.

Studies reveal immune genes are affected in PCOS, causing higher levels of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines). This can cause more inflammation, a hidden hallmark of this condition. It appears that these (‘messed up’) genes called gene ‘polymorphisms’, are an ‘upstream’ mechanism causing auto-antibodies to the pancreas, the thyroid glands and the ovaries and other organs. The results of these are weight gain, sluggish metabolism, period problems, high male hormones (androgens), and if that is not enough, the risk of poorer immunity amidst COVID-19.

PERSEVERANCE

Being home-bound and not having had access to gyms and others sporting venues has not helped, so the tendency to gain even more weight through reduced exercise just makes it all worse, not to mention eating ‘comfort’ foods as you power through another episode of a ‘Netflix’ series.

How can we become better in Mind Body and Spirit while negotiating this pandemic?

Let’s track back to what is behind the weight gain. It appears that the low grade chronic inflammation as a result of gene ….say it…..’polymorphisms’ cause The Metabolic Syndrome’  or MetS, which is the factory behind the fat. MetS includes insulin resistance, high blood sugars, high blood pressure, low good cholesterol (HDL) and high bad cholesterol (LDL). 

PROTECTION

SPOTLIGHT ON…. CURCUMIN

The extraordinary yellow spice which is so delicious in curries called Turmeric, is the source of Curcumin, which just ‘ticks all the boxes when it comes to inflammation. It is a powerful antioxidant and even has anti-depressant capabilities.

Curcumin has been shown to improving insulin sensitivity suppressing fat building (adipogenesis) reducing elevated blood pressure, inflammation oxidative stress high cholesterol and high blood fats (triglycerides)-Wow!- Curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory and is suppressing inflammation at many levels and in doing so reducing The metabolic Syndrome and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

PCOS SUPPORT

Remember: Curcumin is lowering inflammation, sensitizing the insulin receptor, reducing excessive insulin’s effect on the ovaries which in PCOS resulting in multiple immature follicle high androgens, high oestrogens, no ovulation, no progesterone, fluid retention, anxiety, depression and improve immune function. 

Curcumin is working for you on so many levels.

Next time you take a capsule of PCOS SUPPORT Hormone Balance, you are consuming a generous dose of high quality Curcumin which is a ‘One Stop Shop’. Along with other carefully targeted ingredients for PCOS relief and peace of Mind and Body. 

 

Self care

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When last did you really practice self care?

Not push yourself to go to the gym, starve your body of calories, compare yourself to others to get motivated or try a new beauty regime… we’re talking

REAL SELF CARE… the things many of us don’t do because we think it doesn’t give us much, change us as much, help make a difference as much.

Our lives and our bodies are a result of many different factors but we are usually too busy with life to realize what we are allowing until it is too late.

It’s a great time to be alive but it can also be tough if we don’t S.T.O.P once in a while and take stock. Not just of our actions but of our thoughts and inner dialogue which are usually negative. We deal with a lot more pressure which has come with the age of social media.

Perhaps some new self care habits can add a little more passion, self esteem, joy and beauty into all the madness.

Here are a few self care activities to try.

  1. Meditate: Cliché but a few minutes focusing on your breathing with your eyes closed and learning to ‘not need anything in the moment’ helps you slow down and has proven to be beneficial for your adrenals as well as cardiovascular health.
  2. Create: Make something. A cake, a blog post, knit, draw, colour in, learn to make candles, make anything. Humans are meant to create. It is in our nature. This is incredible therapy, nurturing your creative side and boosting your self esteem.
  3. Buddha once said to be healthy, one must always sweat. We’re not talking in the gym though. Go out for a walk, around the block or somewhere beautiful and inspiring. Go for a sauna, grab a bike, dance, whatever works for you.
  4. Appreciation: To say thank you is easy but to mean it is a little different. Looking around and feeling grateful for it all. The good and the bad. Being grateful for the hard stuff almost takes its power away. It makes up your life’s journey. It leads you on your own path. Its your wild, crazy beautiful life.
  5. Read: Not fictional books but something you can learn about. Finance, health, history, auto/biographies. Books that teaches you something new.
  6. Research: Food is always an issue especially with PCOS. Research your meals a week in advance and eating healthy will be so much easier. ‘Falling off the wagon’ shouldn’t be an issue… there actually isn’t a wagon, just great food and not so great. Never a reason to be upset.
  7. Literally. Phones, computers, TV’S. All the things trying to sell you stuff or distract you. Focus on you.
  8. Sleep.
  9. Have guts: Take a probiotic. A healthy gut is the foundation of a happy, healthy life.
  10. Do a social media clean out. Delete or mute negative accounts that don’t make you feel good.
  11. Do one thing that’s been sitting on your to do list forever that you haven’t got around to doing
  12. Be selfish. Just say NO
  13. Get 10 minutes of sun. A little dose of Vitamin D is crucial for mental and emotional happiness.
  14. Be your own best friend. If you were, what would you tell your self right now.
  15. Learn: Take an online course. Building a website, becoming a writer, there’re endless courses to choose from.
  16. Help: There is so much joy from helping others as well as building your own self esteem.
  17. Write: Morning pages is a great way to get everything off your chest.
  18. Pat: A pet…. Research has shown the incredible effects animals have on humans.
  19. Strength: Do something you’re good at. Whether its singing, cooking, arranging flowers, playing an instrument organizing, or dancing. Find an opportunity to do it today.

 

PCOS, hormonal disruptors and hormonal imbalances. How much do you know about your condition

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HORMONE ISSUES SEEN IN PCOS.

Important PCOS information that you need to know!

 PCOS

PCOS is known as a metabolic and hormonal disorder. A mix of hormonal issues such as low progesterone, high androgens/testosterone, and high oestrogens. Other things at play are inflammation, thyroid issues, insulin resistance and genetics. This makes for a tough syndrome to get a hold of and control, but it can be done! First though, let’s look at what’s really happening in our bodies.

It is vital to stress just how important hormones really are to us! There are many different hormones in our complex system and they are in charge of our body’s master control room. They tell each part of our body what to do, when to do it and for how long. They influence growth and development, recovery, sleep cycles, mood, hunger, metabolism, energy levels, sexual function, as well as reproduction.

No one can say for sure, with hard medical fact, what comes first. Does PCOS cause of all our hormonal issues or does our hormonal imbalance result in PCOS? What is important is that we understand our hormones issues and how we can take control.

Our hormones are constantly in a delicate balancing act. When we are healthy, all levels are in a specific ratio to one another. When there are hormonal issues as seen in PCOS our body won’t function as it’s supposed to. As our hormone ratios are completely out of sync. The most important goal for a PCOS cyster is to balance out the male/female sex hormones naturally, namely

  • Oestrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Androgens

as well as reduce inflammation throughout the body and sensitise our insulin receptions. This ensures a vibrant, healthy, happy and fertile life.

Hormones and PCOS:

When treating PCOS, it is impossible to target just one problem of the condition as each issue feeds the next. PCOS is an eco system of hormonal and metabolic dysfunctions that must be addressed in it’s entirety.

A PCOS Cyster’s hormonal ‘baseline’ is not what it should be naturally. Which means we need to incorporate habits, good foods, supplements and other lifestyle elements daily that will sway hormone levels to a more ‘normal’ ratio. This is not a once off project. It’s a lifestyle commitment.  Unattended hormonal imbalances are a one-way ticket to a PCOS nightmare.

What contributes to my hormonal issues?

There are a number of factors, which we will address one at a time in separate blogs. In this article we are going to focus on one of the major culprits of our hormonal issues. One that may have gone undetected in your life for many years. First though, let’s get familiar with one of the female sex hormones that you may have heard of before.

Oestrogen is a female sex hormone that is very important to the body, although PCOS cysters usually produce too much of it. This is called oestrogen dominance.

Too much oestrogen contributes to PCOS issues such as:

  • weight gain
  • irregular and painful periods
  • back pain
  • breast tenderness/swelling
  • headaches
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety and depression
  • Moodiness
  • Cravings
  • Cold hands and feet
  • memory issues
  • decreased sex drive
  • fibrocystic lumps in the breast

Oestrogen is produced in the ovaries, the pituitary gland as well as in your body fat.

We also consume oestrogen via our food mainly in low doses. Some PCOS cysters prefer to cut these things out, such as alcohol, grains as well as dairy and meat.

Other ways we consume oestrogens is most times unbeknown to us. It is undoubtably one of the major players that contribute to oestrogen dominance and are found in almost all household and beauty products that we interact with on a daily basis.

Hormonal disruptors

Hopefully you’ve heard about hormonal disruptors, if not you’re about to get the low down on just how sneaky these guys really are.

The medical term is XENOESTROGENS.

XENO- Greek for ‘foreign’

Meaning:  ‘foreign’ / ‘other‘ / ‘fake‘ oestrogens.

We are a complex system, our physical body could be compared to a computer. It scans everything that we consume, such as food and supplements as well as chemicals. Our body’s incredible processor is able to ensure all substances brought in are used in the body or ‘put in the trash’. Some chemicals that are not natural, found in man-made products, are foreign to the body. The body, unable to process foreign substances, labels them as ‘fake‘ ‘oestrogens’ and keeps it moving. Which you can only guess, creates further issues, worsening our condition and exacerbating our symptoms.

What does my body do with these ‘fake hormones’

Oestrogens are eliminated from the body by metabolic conversion that are eventually excreted in the urine and/or faeces. The metabolism of oestrogens mainly occurs in the liver. When there is too much oestrogen in the body, the liver isn’t able to metabolise effectively. What eventually occurs is almost a ‘backlog’ and the liver is overwhelmed. More and more oestrogens filter through to the liver which cannot handle the demand. This results are oestrogen dominance and all the bad side effects start to kick in.

Certain supplements such as Life Source’s PCOS Support help the liver to metabolise these oestrogens and assist the body to excrete them. This is why some ladies will experience a detox effect when first taking the PCOS Support supplement. A great sign for those who have lived with oestrogen dominance.

 

Where do we find these fake hormones?

These guys are found in many different ‘everyday’ things. Plasticware, scented candles, non-organic incense,  fragrances, makeup, beauty products and detergents are all major culprits.

Our food is another easy way to expose ourselves to fake oestrogens. Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on our fruit and veg, not forgetting the growth hormone in most of our meat and dairy.
That’s why organic products from beauty to food and everything in between is extremely important.

Being aware is the first step to eliminating and protecting yourself from these undercover agents.

How can I avoid further aggravating my hormonal issues?

PCOS is easy to navigate when you know how, just a few changes in your lifestyle can make all the difference.

Beauty:

Read your beauty product labels! If you can’t pronounce it, its probably a chemical your body won’t appreciate!  Opt for beauty products from your local health shop or natural market, or better yet make your own at home. There are also many beauty brands that are completely natural in South Africa. Africology, Lulu and Marula, Skoon, Naturals Beauty and Skin Creamery. These are all top tier beauty brands that use 100% natural ingredients which are PCOS friendly and local.

According to research a women has over 168 different chemicals on her skin everyday. All noted as xenoesrogens by your body. These chemicals are found in our everyday items. Soaps, deodorants, perfume, body creams, makeup, and hair products.  Even your clothes that have been washed with chemicals are absorbed through your skin throughout the day.

Don’t forget nail products are also filled with xenoestrogens. As great as it is having your nails ‘done’ its probably best to save it for only special occasions.

All of this is enough to worsen your PCOS symptoms exponentially! Your skin is your body’s largest organ and has the ability to absorb many things through touch. These absorbed chemicals go straight to your bloodstream and severely effect your hormonal ratio. In turn overloading your body’s natural metabolic system.

 Cleaning:

It is more common for ladies to clean the house and expose themselves to many cleaning detergents. These are a hazard to our PCOS. Breathing in the fragrances is just as bad as touch them. Luckily, there are a few natural cleaning brands on the market in S.A. Head over to websites as as www.faithful-to-nature.co.za for a great selection of natural cleaning products.

Plastic:

Making an effort to stop using plastic tupperware and switch to glass makes a big difference! Consol glass offers a wide variety of glassware of everyday food and beverage storage.

Warming food in the microwave using plastic dishes is dangerous for PCOS. Toxins and harmful chemicals from the plastic can leak into your food. This also goes for putting warm leftovers into Tupperware. The heat from the food can also encourage toxins and chemicals to leak out of the plastic.

Watch out for polystyrene/plastic cups, plates and cutlery! Another way fake oestrogen’s find their way into your bloodstream and worsen your PCOS.

Don’t forget the water/soda bottles that you leave in your car on a hot day can also leak toxins. Drinks are delivered to stores and restaurants on the back of big trucks.. These trucks drive around in the hot sun all day! This encourages the plastic bottles to leak harmful toxins into your drinks. Therefore it is best to try opt for beverages in glass bottles.

Enviroment:

The pollution in the air also contains ‘fake oestrogens’ so breathing in petrol fumes in traffic, second hand smoke for cigarettes and your favourite scented candle or incense are all a threat to your PCOS health. Using the aircon re-circulation button in traffic can stop the fumes of the cars around you enter your vehicle.

In conclusion:

There are many instances where is is impossible to avoid the consumption of Xenoestrogens. In saying that, we must try eliminate as many situation which lead to our consumption of oestrogens. With the help of a supplement such as Life Source’s PCOS Support that assists with metabolising and excreting oestrogens , we can lessen our oestrogen dominance and start to ease and even mute the symptom of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

 

#PCOS #PCOSSupport #lifewithpcos #PCOSrelief  #hormonal#hormonalimbalance

 

5 lifestyle tips for PCOS

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Living your best life with PCOS

 

Being diagnosed with PCOS or dealing with PCOS like symptoms, can caused you to feel burdened with a battle out of your control which can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally.

PCOS does not need to feel this way. Changing up your lifestyle choices can make all the difference for a happy, healthy and productive life!
There is no cure for the syndrome but a life long commitment to healthy eating, exercise, a small mental adjustment and taking supplements will give you all the control you need to thrive!

PCOS lifestyle tip 1:

Sleep. More than 8 hours if you can! Your body needs the time in the sleep state to repair.

  • Lack of sleep increases insulin (increasing fat storage) and sugar levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, risk of heart attack and/or heart failure.
  • Adequate sleep increases your immune system, reduces stress, decreases inflammation and improves mood swings.

PCOS lifestyle tip 2:

Reduce your stress levels. Stress is a part of life and certain amounts of stress have been proven to be good for you. Although high levels of cortisol can prove to be disastrous for PCOS among other conditions, therefore its crucial to learn how to handle stress better. Meditation, yoga, keeping a journal, exercise and breathing techniques are all wonderful ways to help us get a handle on stress. When we are constantly under stress and handle it poorly, our body creates sequences of nerve cells firing and this releases chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol, known the 3 major stress hormones, into our bloodstream.

The pituitary gland is central to the stress circuit; the brain region called the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in response to stress, as a result, it stimulates the adrenals to produce cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, these are hormones that wreck havoc to an already unbalanced hormone system. ACTH also stimulates the production of the adrenal androgen hormones, and as a result, raises the male hormone levels in your body, which worsensPCOS symptoms. Keep in mind, some women can also develop “adrenal PCOS” that causes symptoms similar to ovarian cyst-driven PCOS.

PCOS lifestyle tip 3:

Avoid dairy. Milk contains an abundance of IGF-1, which is a growth hormone. Too much causes inflammation and insulin spikes, which causes the liver to produce even more growth hormone. Excess IGF-1 may lead to increased risk of diabetes and increased triglycerides. Dairy can also cause your skin to produce more sebum or excess oil leading to clogged pores and acne.

PCOS lifestyle tip 4:

Commit to a natural comprehensive supplement. Taking Life Source’s PCOS Support assists with balancing hormones naturally using powerful ingredients in therapeutic doses. Reducing the production of estrogens and androgens and improving progesterone levels as well as assisting with insulin resistance and inflammation. This helps ovulation, bringsdown the body’s acidity levels, reduces scalp hair loss, acne, unwanted hair growth (chest, back, neck, stomach) fatigue, cravings, anxiety, moodiness, water retention and body pain. https://www.lifesource.org.za/products

PCOS lifestyle tip 5:

Change your mindset. Where your mind goes, your body follows. Negative thinking and negative self talk is one of the sure ways to not only cause stress but also hinder your physical, mental and emotional path to healing. Our belief systems are ultimately our compass through life which shapes our thinking, our inner dialog and ultimately our actions. Its not the events that shape our lives, but our beliefs as to what those events mean. Most of us have never evaluated our belief systems, sorting through our reasons or challenging them. Many of our beliefs were passed down to us, either through our families, teachers, friends and society. Some are important and valuable, while others are disempowering and destructive. Its important to do some self searching and highlight the parts of your belief system that does not serve you or your healing.

Positive affirmations everyday can have a wonderful effect on your journey to balance and harmony.

‘As he thinketh in his heart, so he is’ – Proverbs 23:7

 

#pcossupport #pcos