Is Your Acne Hormone Driven? Irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain, fertility problems, high levels of androgens, facial hair and acne can all point to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome may sound like a mouthful, but it is the most common endocrine disorder that affects women of childbearing age. And it is also a rather massive hormonal cause for acne.
So what exactly is PCOS?
“Poli” meaning many, and “cyst” meaning egg, the name of the condition translates into the production of many eggs in the ovaries. In a healthy cycle, an ovum (or follicle) will mature at ovulation and either fertilize to become pregnant or impregnate the endometrial lining without fertilization, resulting in a period. In PCOS, many immature eggs are formed that cause disruption to ovulation.
So, if you have any of these symptoms, how do you find out if you have PCOS? The first place to start is to measure your androgen / testosterone levels through salivary hormone tests. Saliva is the most accurate way to show circulating hormones available. It is always recommended to take a complete female profile that includes estrogen, progesterone and adrenal hormones to evaluate thoroughly. A pelvic ultrasound, referred to by your family doctor, can allow a good analysis of the anatomy of your reproductive system and a count of the number of follicles in each ovary.
Although it can be a serious illness, it is not as frightening as it sounds, and the good news about PCOS is that it is cyclical, which means that every month your lifestyle and your diet choices along with natural medications can have a profound impact in the improvement or investment cycle.
As insulin resistance is a common cause, proper exercise is as important as physical activity changes to the sites of insulin receptors for a healthy metabolism of blood sugar. A low GI diet, specifically low in sugar, grains and dairy products, will greatly help restore biochemical pathways in the body and help with hormone balance, slowing down the excess sebum that essentially feeds the p.acnes bacteria in the infection of acne. Genetics may play a role in the cause of this condition, but their diet and lifestyle can influence how these genes are expressed.
Commonly prescribed, the pill will temporarily disrupt the cycle as it inhibits ovulation but is not a long-term solution as it will not address the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances that caused the condition, often recurring once the pill has ceased .
There is no single prescription for all natural medicines, but some prescribed and effective treatments, along with diet and exercise, include peony, licorice, thuja, chaste tree, zinc and chrome.
As always, consult a health professional, not Dr Google, and try it, do not guess it. For a personalized skin and hormone assessment and salivary hormone test, contact me for an appointment here