Millions of women worldwide suffer with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Are you one of them? Before you turn to medication (which doesn’t cure, only helps “manage” the symptoms), stop. What if you could rebalance your hormones and feel better naturally? Good news: You can.
I went to the doctor because, 14 months after deciding to stop taking the pill, I still hadn’t had a period. I was concerned about other things as well, like my finger joints swelling up and losing my hair. But I wasn’t expecting that diagnosis. According to the medical stats, PCOS is usually associated with obesity, facial hair, and spotty skin – none of which I was struggling with. None the less, the sentence had been pronounced: poly-cystic ovaries. I was devastated. And confused. Why had this happened?
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome happens when your reproductive hormone levels are out of balance. Your ovaries don’t receive the signals they need to release the egg out to be fertilized, and stays stuck, in a sense. This results in the formation of little follicles (or cysts) on your ovaries. The other symptoms, like facial hair and spots, are also due to unbalanced hormone levels.
5 Healing Protocols to Cope with PCOS
There is no cure for PCOS. You can take medication (the contraceptive pill is commonly prescribed for this, as well as a number of other pharmaceuticals) to reduce the symptoms, but I really didn’t want to go down that road. It seemed obvious to me that to manage PCOS, I was going to have to rebalance my hormones. I did what I always do when confronted with signals my body is sending: research. I dived head-first into nutrition books and spoke to a functional therapist. After three months, not only were my oestrogen levels back to normal, but I had my first moon-time in over a year (i’ve never been so happy to have my period!).
So if you’re struggling with out-of-whack hormones, know that there are steps you can take to rebalance them naturally. I’m going to share my healing protocols for coping with PCOS with you.
1. Say Good-Bye to Stress
Body and mind are intrinsically connected—one affects and influences the other. Stress has a direct effect on your physical health: it worsens existing conditions, and puts an extra strain on your immune system by taking cells away from their primary healing functions. The first thing I did when I got my diagnosis was to decide stress was not going to feature in my life any more. I made a conscious choice not to react in stress-mode to normal every-day happenings. Does this mean I’m in a permanent state of zen? No, I’m human after all, but it does mean that when I catch myself spiraling down into worry, anxiety or anger, I’m able to pull myself back into a more peaceful state.
Banishing stress isn’t just good for PCOS, it’s good for your entire body and soul, your emotional wellbeing, your inner ecosystem. It releases your cells from fight-or-flight mode and frees them up to do what they naturally want to do: bring your body back into balance.
Take steps to reduce your stress levels: practice regular meditation, move your body, and replace negative emotions with positive thoughts and gratitude.
2. No More Coffee (or at least not as much)
Coffee and stress go hand in hand—for me, anyway. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine and I’m certainly one of them. Savoured once every few weeks, that one-shot almond latte powers me through eight hours of inspired, focused work. But indulged in every day, coffee gives me the shakes, my mind is about as clear as mud, and my anxiety levels hit the roof. Too much caffeine also stresses the adrenals, which leads to fatigue—not exactly what one looks for in an espresso.
So I quit the daily coffee, and now just treat myself every few weeks to coffee with a friend or a coffee-powered work session. Did I notice a difference in my anxiety levels? Absolutely. And as we know, stress and anxiety will send your hormones into a tailspin, so anything you can do to keep yourself chilled is a good thing. If you’re a big fan of coffee, consider giving up the black gold (and energy drinks). It’s tough, but you will feel better, honest (and there are plenty of delicious caffeine free options out there—my favourite is cacao!).
3. Diet: You’re Sweet Enough
I had to honestly look at my diet. Yes, it was pretty healthy—lots of salads and wholegrains and healthy fats. BUT my sweet tooth was out of control, and while refined sugar didn’t feature on my plate, a big bag of dates wouldn’t last me more than a couple of days and I thought nothing of adding heaped tablespoons of honey in literally anything. Because I was traveling, and stressed, my eating patterns were chaotic and I was craving the comfort of sweetness. But high levels of insulin can impact hormone levels and PCOS – and because insulin is released by the pancreas as a direct result of how much sugar you eat, I knew it was time to rethink my love of dates and honey.
If you’re struggling with PCOS, one of the best things you can do is clean up your diet. Replace the processed high-sugar high-fat foods with plant-based whole foods, limit sweet foods, and pair fruit with protein to slow the release of sugar in your bloodstream (my favourite on-the-go snack is an apple with a handful of roasted almonds).
4. Supplements and Superfoods
Even with a varied and organic diet, it’s hard to get all the nutrients your body needs for optimum health (modern farming practices have depleted soils, and our modern lifestyles place a higher toxic burden on our body). I take a good quality multivitamin, as well as 3g vitamin C every day. In order to help my hormones return to balance, I added:
- Vitamin D3 – the sunshine vitamin is known to help relieve the symptoms of unbalanced oestrogen.
- Omega 3 – I tackled the inflammation that was making my joints swell, and the stress that was causing me sleepless nights with a high dose of Omega 3 oil. Omega 3 is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and anti-depressant effects.
- Maca powder – known as the great hormone balancer maca is an adaptogen: it adapts to your body’s unique needs and helps it return to a state of balance. And it tastes lovely in a smoothie!
5. Smile to Your Ovaries
When I first got diagnosed, I couldn’t help picturing my ovaries covered in cysts and suffering inside me. I was devastated that this had happened—why had it happened to me? Had I done something wrong? But as manifestations go, I quickly realised this was NOT the kind of thing I wanted to keep putting out there! In order to heal, I knew my body needed a totally different approach. It needed love.
So once a day at least, during morning meditation, or anytime PCOS pops into my head, I close my eyes and visualize my ovaries, and smile down at them. I send love and gratitude to them. Gratitude, you ask? Hell yes! Because if it wasn’t for PCOS, I might not have seen the signals my body was sending me. This has been an opportunity to learn more about my health, my body, my cycle, and new methods of healing. When you can find the silver lining in your situation, you’ve made it—you’re radiating the vibrations that will attract love, joy and health into your life.
You Can Manage PCOS with LOVE
If you’re sick of trying to cope with the symptoms of PCOS, give these strategies a go. Do it with love. Do it not because your body is malfunctioning and you need to “fix” it, but because your body is telling you something and you want to help it heal. By far the most important aspect of any healing journey is LOVE.
So to recap, here are my five protocols for coping with PCOS naturally:
- Banish stress from your life (love yourself enough to quit the spirals of negative thoughts)
- Avoid coffee or caffeinated drinks (love yourself enough to give your adrenals a break)
- Clean up your diet and say no to refined sugar (love yourself enough to eat mindfully)
- Supplement with vitamins and superfoods (love yourself enough to support your body with extra nourishment)
- Radiate gratitude (love your ovaries, love your body, love who you are right now)
Since putting these protocols into place, my finger joints have returned to normal, my hair has stopped falling out, and I’ve had two moon-times in three months (after nothing for over a year!). My mind feels calmer and clearer than ever, and my body has responded to this gentle, loving approach. It worked for me—it can work for you.
Do you suffer from PCOS? How do you cope? I’d love to hear your experience!
If you’re tired of feeling like a victim to your hormones and want to take control of your health, book your free 30 minute discovery call to take the first step on your journey to vibrant, abundant wellness.