Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormone imbalances in young women. It affects approximately 1 in 10 women of reproductive age and is the most common cause of menstrual disturbances and impaired ovulation.

Now researchers have discovered a link between abnormally high levels of harmful microbes in the intestines and the condition.

The majority of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and it is well known that insulin resistance (syndrome X) is a major contributor to the condition. Even slim women with PCOS tend to be insulin resistant. New research has discovered a link between bad bugs in the intestines and insulin resistance. According to the researchers:

“This novel paradigm in PCOS aetiology suggests that disturbances in bowel bacterial flora ("Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota") brought about by a poor diet creates an increase in gut mucosal permeability, with a resultant increase in the passage of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram negative colonic bacteria into the systemic circulation. The resultant activation of the immune system interferes with insulin receptor function, driving up serum insulin levels, which in turn increases the ovaries production of androgens and interferes with normal follicle development. Thus, the Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota (DOGMA) theory of PCOS can account for all three components of the syndrome-anovulation/menstrual irregularity, hyper-androgenism (acne, hirsutism) and the development of multiple small ovarian cysts.”

We are increasingly discovering the critical role that gut microbes play in our health. An imbalance in gut bugs can create or aggravate almost any disease or symptom. If you want to optimize your gut health and improve polycystic ovarian syndrome, the following strategies may help you:

  • Try to stay away from sugar and high carbohydrate foods. It can be difficult but it’s worth it. We all know diabetics are prone to infections because their blood sugar level is too high. You don’t have to be a diabetic to be harmed by sugar though. If you eat sugar, it encourages the growth of harmful gut bugs that thrive on sugar. Bugs such as streptococcus and enterococcus. The bacteria can inflame your gut lining, giving you a leaky gut, and they produce waste products that can give you a foggy head and contribute to depression or anxiety. The net effect will be increased inflammation in your body, which aggravates insulin resistance. Glicemic Balance capsules help to stabilize your blood sugar, reducing the fluctuations that can cause intense cravings.
  • Leaky gut syndrome can be a powerful driver of inflammation in the body. Overcoming this condition can be tough. Inflammatory foods like gluten, sugar, grains and legumes will probably need to be avoided. Sometimes high FODMAP foods are a problem. Bone broth is very beneficial because the glutamine it contains helps heal the gut lining. If you don’t like bone broth or don’t have the time to make it, using a glutamine supplement is also helpful. Collagen Food powder provides the nutrients your body needs in order to repair and strengthen the gut lining.
  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome don’t produce sufficient progesterone. This hormone is made by the ovaries after ovulation, and women with PCOS do not ovulate regularly. Being low in progesterone aggravates the symptoms of PCOS, and it can cause terrible mood problems such as anxiety, depression and intense food cravings, making it impossible to stick to a healthy diet. Using a bio-identical progesterone cream in the second half of the menstrual cycle can be immensely therapeutic.
  • Insulin resistant people cannot handle common levels of carbohydrate in their diet. They oversecrete insulin in response to eating carbs and they are less likely to feel satisfied after a meal, therefore tend to over eat. That means carbohydrate needs to be restricted in the diet. It is best to get your carbohydrate from vegetables, along with small amounts of fruit, nuts and seeds. Some women with PCOS will even need to avoid fruit for a period of time. Making sure the diet contains sufficient protein and natural fats is paramount. These foods are highly satiating and make it much easier not to overeat. There is an easy to follow low carbohydrate eating plan in the book “I can’t lose weight and I don’t know why” and “Diabetes Type 2 – you can reverse it”.

Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota (DOGMA)--a novel theory for the development of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  Kelton Tremellen, Karma Pearce
Repromed, 180 Fullarton Road, Dulwich, South Australia, Australia.
Medical Hypotheses (Impact Factor: 1.05). 04/2012; 79(1):104-12. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.04.016
Source: PubMed

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.