Food plays a major role in how we distribute the proper nutrients to the right places for optimal function. I enjoy educating people on how to make the most of their diet to help them feel great. But there are other factors that contribute to us not feeling our best.
I believe that the Standard American Diet has contributed to many of our common ailments like insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, and IBS and especially to hormonal imbalance.
What most people don’t realize is that hormones control more than just reproductive organs. For example, Poly Cystic Ovaries (PCOS) is a syndrome that affects the endocrine system (including adrenal and thyroid function). It creates hormonal imbalances throughout the body, not just the ovaries. Often with PCOS, symptoms vary, hence it is difficult to diagnose.
Women who have PCOS grow small cysts on their ovaries. When imaged by ultrasound, it often looks like a string of pearls. There are varied opinions on what causes PCOS is, but the most common is hormone imbalance.
For most, PCOS creates excess androgens (think testosterone) which create irregular menstruation and hair/skin problems. Most women with PCOS also have weight-loss resistance.
Over 60% of women who are diagnosed with PCOS also have dysregulation of insulin production, which causes the weight loss resistance. Remember last week’s blog about Insulin Resistance? (Read more here)
But what about the other 40% of woman?
These factors may also contribute to PCOS:
- Drastic weight gain or weight loss
- Stress (who doesn’t have stress?)
- Environmental toxins (BPA, phytoestrogens, xenoestogens).
So, how do cosmetics fit into these hormonal imbalances?
Did you know that there are over 500 chemicals in beauty care products that are affecting your hormones on a daily basis?
Being a holistic nutritionist allows me to assess all aspects of your lifestyle; what you are eating, your stress levels, and toxic load. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a clean liver. Not only does your liver filter all of the toxins, it also helps to synthesize hormones to keep them in proper balance.
Here are a few things that I recommend to clients with PCOS:
1) Limit your carbohydrates. This means all simple carbs and some complex carbs depending on their glycemic load. If you are trying to get your PCOS under control, the best way to do that is with a low carb diet.
2) Eat healthy fats. Fat has zero impact on your glucose, therefore is ideal for someone who is dealing with insulin resistance.
3) Avoid soy. Yes, phytoestrogens are found in all plant-based foods. Things like soy and legumes act as phytoestrogens w