Have you been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? If so, then you are well aware of how complex the disorder is.
It’s estimated that somewhere around 18 percent of women receive this diagnosis.
The formation of small ovarian cysts cause a plethora of health problems--from infertility and pelvic pain to missing or extremely heavy menstrual cycles.
In some cases, there is nothing that can be done to prevent PCOS. That's because one reason women are affected is simply because of genetics. One study showed that 24 percent of women with PCOS also had a mother with the condition. The same study showed that 32 percent had a sister that was diagnosed with PCOS. There are other reasons PCOS occurs, including a hormonal imbalance or improper diet.
The good news is, there are a variety of treatment options out there. The best way to treat any condition's symptoms from flaring up and causing problems in your daily life is by being proactive and preventing them from ever arising in the first place. Natural choices are abundant, so you can keep PCOS problems at bay while keeping your body healthy.
Can Chiropractic Care Help PCOS?
One option for getting relief is going to your medical doctor for PCOS treatment medication. The problem with taking medication is that there are always going to be potential side effects. You may be taking something that helps with your PCOS problem, but then you are having other kinds of symptoms from the drugs. You may have to get another medication to ward off those undesirable symptoms. It's like a stack of dominoes. Once you put that first one in your system, they just start falling and there's not much you can do to stop it. You'll be taking a handful of pills every day for what could have been cleared up easily in a more holistic way.
The amount of people that are going to see chiropractors for various health issues continues to grow. Palmer College of Chiropractic reported in July of 2015 that about half of all American adults had seen a chiropractor at some point in their lives. That's because more information continues to be discovered by the general population about the spine and nervous system and how it affects the entire body. When any part of the spinal cord is out of alignment, it can cause issues to come up in a related area of the body. These problems can be so much more than just a sore back.
Structural problems often lead to issues with a woman's menstrual cycle. Most often, these imbalances can be found in:
- Low back
- Upper neck
- Cranial area
Chiropractic Treatment for PCOS and Other Options
Chiropractic PCOS treatments are going to vary a bit depending on what kind of issues your chiropractor finds. There are several different structural aspects to look at and evaluate. Your chiropractor should explore:
- Pelvic floor - Muscles that hold up the uterus and bladder are found in the pelvic floor. Assessment and treatment in this area can help in alleviating problems with PCOS and your menstrual cycle.
- Tailbone - Coccyx and sacral releases may be necessary if there has ever been an injury to the tailbone. One way to tell if this may be causing a problem is by pressing on your tailbone, or the bone you sit on. If it is tender or painful, you should have it looked at. The front area where the pelvis meets, the pubic symphysis, should also be evaluated.
- Sacral region - Stimulation and release of the sacrotuberous ligament and the iliolumbar ligament can aid in relieving menstrual problems. There can be blockages in other areas near this region as well that could be disrupting the communication of the spine to the rest of the nervous system. Alignments may be necessary to get lymphatic congestion, spinal misalignments, and tight muscles taken care of.
Massage is another suitable natural option for treatment of PCOS. A massage in the abdominal region can improve circulation, lymphatic flow, and stimulate your reproduction system. Be sure to talk with your massage therapist about your concerns with PCOS and find out if they have the knowledge to provide you with the specialized service.
There are benefits for fertility, PCOS, and menstrual cycles with acupuncture. Hormones and metabolism can be balanced through the process. It is important to find a therapist that knows special treatment for women in order to take advantage of the benefits available.
Herbal supplements may hold benefits as well. It takes research and talking with a knowledgeable herbalist to find out which ones you need for your specific type of PCOS.
Dietary Guidelines for PCOS Treatment
One of the primary concerns with PCOS is the increased risk of type-2 diabetes. The disorder causes your body to be resistant to insulin which can alter your typical blood glucose and insulin levels. While more research is needed on the exact diet necessary, there are certain factors that should clearly be implemented into your menu. Foods that are low-glycemic-index-carbohydrates are the primary focus. The diet needs to be one that helps with:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Short-term weight management
With PCOS, just restricting your calorie count with some kind of a fad diet isn't going to help. Your weight gain isn't because you are necessarily eating too many calories. It's happening because of the poor regulation of the insulin. Explaining it that way makes it evident that cutting back on calories isn't going to do anything.
You should be staying away from processed foods and eating only whole foods that are dense in nutrients. Sugar and vegetable oils are common ingredients in processed foods, and they can cause inflammation. Considering you are already likely dealing with an inflammation problem, it's just going to make it worse. In fact, in the right PCOS diet, there should be no sugar consumed at all. Besides inflammation sugar can also cause problems with:
- Egg quality
- Reduced libido
- Increased miscarriage rates
Limit your fruit intake to one or two one cup servings per day. Don't eat the sweet fruits either as they contain too much fructose. It's better to have the ones that are tart tasting. Stay away from fruit juices or concentrates of any kind.
Every meal should have non-starchy vegetables included. Stock up on savoy cabbage, sweet corn, snow peas, green peas, asparagus, onion, leek. Shallots, garlic, and artichokes to name a few of the ones that have the prebiotics your body needs to help with PCOS.
Home Care Exercises for PCOS Treatment
Working out and staying active is recommended for everyone for overall better health and well-being. Not only does it help you physically, but it's also great for stress relief and mental health. Some options for you include:
A uterine lift can help and put a uterus that has shifted back into place. If your uterus has moved, you can feel pain during sex, have cramping, or deal with incontinence issues. By moving the abdomen over top of the pubic symphysis, you could put the uterus in alignment and relieve those issues at home.
Myofascial rolling treats the sacral region. There are a number of benefits that can be attained when women complete this movement at least three to five times a week. It's easy to do and can be done at any time in any place. Releasing fascial and muscle tension and opening up the area will lead to quick relief from a variety of undesirable symptoms.
Americans' Perceptions of Chiropractic. (2015, July). Retrieved August 8, 2018, from Palmer College of Chiropractic: https://www.palmer.edu/uploadedFiles/Pages/Alumni/gallup-report-palmer-college.pdf
Kahsar-Miller, P. M., Nixon, B. C., Boots, P. L., Go, P. R., & Azziz, M. (. (2001, January). Prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in first-degree relatives of patients with PCOS. Retrieved August 8, 2018, from Fertility and Sterility: https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(00)01662-9/fulltext
Marsh, K., & Brand-Miller, J. (2005, August). The optimal diet for women with polycystic ovary syndrome? Retrieved August 8, 2018, from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16115348
Radosh, M. L. (2009, April 15). Drug Treatments for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Retrieved August 8, 2018, from American Family Physician: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0415/p671.html