HORMONE ISSUES SEEN IN PCOS.
Important PCOS information that you need to know!
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
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
- difficulty sleeping
- anxiety and depression
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.