Insulin-Resistant (Ovarian Androgen) PCOS
According to leading women’s health expert, Lara Briden, “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is actually several different conditions all given the same name. There are 5 different types: insulin-resistant, post-pill, inflammatory, and adrenal androgen, and hidden cause.”
Despite the name, ovarian cysts are not required for diagnosis, and PCOS is being considered for a name change for this reason.
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Potential Symptoms of Insulin-Resistant PCOS
⚡️Acne, oily skin
⚡️Elevated levels of LH, testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA, DHEA-S, DHT, or 17-OH Progesterone
⚡️Failure to ovulate regularly, menstrual cycle irregularity, lack of menstruation
⚡️Hair loss (androgenetic alopecia)
⚡️Inappropriate dark hair growth on a woman’s face or body (hirsutism)
⚡️Insulin resistance (worth mentioning that blood glucose can be normal but insulin can be high)
Potential Methods to Investigate Insulin Resistance:
While working with a practitioner, they may conduct several tests.
⚡️Fasting Plasma Glucose
⚡️Glucose Tolerance Test
How Does Insulin Resistance Happen?
Insulin is the key that allows glucose to get into the cells. If our blood glucose is chronically elevated, our pancreas has to release more and more insulin to allow that glucose to enter cells. Over time, insulin levels build up in the blood and lead to insulin resistance. Chronic abundance of insulin can impair our ability to ovulate and can stimulate the body to create androgens.
Improving Insulin Sensitivity & PCOS Symptoms:
⚡️Eat at regular intervals and consume well-rounded meals (protein/carb/fat + plenty of fiber)
⚡️Consider working with a coach to implement a brief period of higher/fat lower carb to improve overall levels of blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. This is one space where the ketogenic diet can have useful application! Keep in mind this will require a change in exercise intensity and frequency.
Supplements to Consider for Insulin Sensitivity:
Supplements to Consider for Insulin-Resistant PCOS:
⚡️Adrenal Support: Vitamin C, ashwaganda, rhodiola
⚡️Saw Palmetto, Nettle