In addition to weight, the Center’s findings suggest that nutritional deficiencies may also play a part in causing the syndrome. Supplemental chromium can help with glucose tolerance (Metabolism, 1992; 41: 768), so you may wish to include chromium in your general nutritional programme. Your supplemental regime should also include a high-quality multivitamin/mineral combination, plus extra zinc (a total of 30 mg/day) and essential fatty acids. Make sure you get adequate B vitamins, which help the liver in its central role of detoxifying hormones that will eventually be excreted from your body.
Exercise can also minimise body fat and raise levels of SHBG, which will counteract the effect of the high levels of testosterone. Exercise also lowers high levels of oestrogen. In one study, women who exercised for four hours a week more than halved their risk of breast cancer (J Natl Cancer Inst, 1994; 137: 18).
Besides dietary problems, constant stress could account for your condition. According to Colette Harris, author of PCOS: A Woman’s Guide to Dealing With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Thorsons, 2000), stress will trigger stress hormones, especially cortisol, which places your glucose stores on red alert for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response
When excess amounts of these stress hormones are constantly being released, you can develop Cushing’s syndrome, which causes weight gain, mood swings, excess body hair, irregular periods, acne and diabetes, many of which are the same symptoms seen in PCOS. Furthermore, the artificially high levels of insulin in most women with PCOS tend to increase cortisol levels so such women are flooded with cortisol in times of stress.
PCOS, polcystic ovarian syndrome, hormones, overweight, nutritional deficiencies, glucose tolerance, stress, Cushing’s syndrome, cortisol, insulin, menstrual disorders, hirsutism, alopecia