Overview – PCOS

February 6th, 2007
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I am not familiar with PCOS. I only know a couple of people who have it, both of whom have fertility problems as well. I had been wondering how to find out more info when, lo and behold, my February issue of Natural Health had an article titled, “Weighty Matters” by Lisa Drayer, MA, RD on the cover. Perfect timing. The article was hefty with facts and info, especially for a newcomer like me. I wish that the article had focused more on the emotional impact of PCOS. This is another area that I am interested in and looking forward to learning more about. Here is what I learned in a nutshell.


  • The abbreviation stands for polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Around 6 million American women have the syndrome.
  • Symptoms can include: fertility issues; insulin resistance; high cholesterol; type 2 diabetes; food cravings; weight gain (especially around the middle); increased testosterone; ovaries covered in small cysts.
  • Diagnosing PCOS can be difficult and may require seeing many specialists before a diagnosis can be made.
  • Treatment plans should vary from patient to patient and not be one size fits all as the syndrome can vary greatly from woman to woman.

Treatment options

  • In obese women, losing 5% of body weight can help with the regulation of menstruation, insulin resistance and testoterone levels.
  • If seeing an RD for treatment, the diet would be high protein and low carbohydrate for the insulin resistance.
  • If seeing a trainer, a strict exercise regimine would be prescribed.
  • Women with PCOS can suffer from inflammatory disorder as well, which could be improved with an anti-inflammatory diet. This diet includes fish, produce, daily nut intake, moderate meat consumption and olive oil.
  • Sometimes omega-3 supplements will be encouraged to increase the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids to reduce cravings of carbs.
  • The article also stated that Traditional Chinese Medicine may also be helpful to PCOS sufferers, but this has not had a lot of clinical data to support it.
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Related posts:

  1. PCOS
  2. PCOS and the South Beach Diet
  3. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS
  4. The Weight Issue Affects Men Too?
  5. Vitamin D and Fertility

2 Responses to “Overview – PCOS”

  1. S Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I have been meaning to research this term after reading it on a friend’s blog.

  2. NursePeg Says:

    Don’t waste your time and money seeking a PCOS diagnosis until you’ve first lost your weight. Weight loss will improve your health over-all, increase your odds of fertilization, and enhance your life immensely in so many ways. Picture you with a kid in a jogging stroller–it can happen.

    I’m going to post a comment I made elsewhere here, about how to go from PCOS to your optimal weight. This medically-formulated plan often allows Type II diabetics to stop taking their meds, (always with their doctor’s agreement, of course). At the last training seminar I attended for the plan, I met a 60+ year-old man who’d been on insulin for 20 years for Type II diabetes. His doctor allowed him to come off of it on his 85th day on the plan. He lost 80 lbs in all. This is a powerful, effective way to improve every aspect of your health–and it’s very easy. (now here’s what I posted elsewhere)

    Comment from: NursePeg [Member]
    I’m glad you got therapy for your eating disorder, Faith, but sometimes a person is overweight simply because she’s eating more calories than she’s burning. This is easy to do in our fastfood nation, where no one has time to sit home planning and cooking healthy meals.

    There is a weight management program that works, however–and works fast. (I just lost 20 lbs proving this to myself–I’m back to my college weight!) This plan was created at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was available only by doctor’s prescription until recently. Over 1,000,000 people have used it at this point, 15,000 doctors have recommended it, and Johns Hopkins still uses it in their weight-loss clinic. It has been validated in medical studies to be effective and healthy.

    The plan requires that you eat, daily, 5 pre-packaged meal replacements + one snack + one home-cooked meal consisting of 6 ozs meat and 3 non-starchy vegetables. You have to commit to eating every 2.5-3 hours, but if you do, your hunger stays under control.

    Your hunger’s under control–but you’re eating approx 1000 calories per day, so the weight just rolls off. Women average a 3 lb weight loss per week, and sometimes more if they’re very overweight.

    Another reason it works so well is that you get your own personal health coach, who stays in touch by phone or email to coach you through your weight-loss phase. And then she stays in touch to coach you through your health maintenance phase–we don’t want you to yo-yo; this is weight-loss for life.

    You also get a support system where you can phone a doctor or nurse at headquarters, to answer health questions or give you extra support. And you can also contact an online community of others on the plan for social support.

    Best yet, the plan is cost-neutral for many people, and very low for the rest. It costs 1/4th of what Weight Watchers costs, for instance, and it costs 1/2 as much as NutriSystem.

    If anyone would like to know more, you can contact me at NicholsonRN@hotmail.com
    06/08/09 @ 14:39

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