Hello, fellow PCOS'ers!
I hope you don't think that I have forgotten or abandoned you in light of my current pregnancy! In fact, it makes me even more eager than ever to continue to talk through the issues surrounding PCOS. I hope that I can offer encouragement, as I keep sharing about the lifestyle changes that I have made and the natural ways that I have been able to address PCOS, as I really believe that God has used these changes to bring healing and allow me to conceive and carry these precious babies.
To get back into this series, I thought I would answer some questions that landed in my email a while back, since I think that they are relevant to many of you:
1) Do you take anything for your PCOS?
I have never been on Metformin or any other specific PCOS medication, although I did do a brief stint on birth control pills at the beginning of my diagnosis, before I began to learn more about the natural options available to me.
Here is a brief list of some of the natural remedies/supplements I have taken over the years. At some point, I will post about these things in more detail, but for now I will list some of the things that I have taken:
- Natural Progesterone Cream- This was one of the earlier supplements I took- I think it helped somewhat, though I'm not sure that I would go this route again
- Seed Cycling- This is a method of using ground seeds (like sunflower, sesame and flax) along with healthy oils (flax and evening primrose oil), during the two different parts of the cycle (Days 1-14 and Days 15-28). This was recommended by my previous Naturopath and I think that it did help to promote regulation of my cycle. Here is an article on what seed cycling is all about.
- B vitamins, especially B6- The B vitamins are important for hormone balancing, especially B6. This is a good supplement for anyone with hormonal imbalance, and also helps in early pregnancy as well.
- Essential Fatty Acids- At first, I took Flax Oil, because that is what I had heard and read the most about. Over the years, I have come to believe that Cod Liver Oil can be an even better choice, although I think that both are beneficial for their Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for hormone balance and which most of us are lacking in.
- Vitex or Chasteberry (same herb, different names)- This is a herb which can be taken as a capsule, a tincture or a tea. I have taken it in capsules to be cheaper at times, and also in tincture form, which is more expensive but also more effective. This herb is commonly used to support hormone balance and regular cycles. It takes about 1-3 months to begin to be effective, but after that time, I found it to be one of the most helpful things that I took, as far as seeing obvious effects in a more regular cycle and ovulation.
- Homeopathics- I will have to try to research exactly what these were, but my Naturopath had me on a series of homeopathics, which I took on Days 1, 7, 14 and 21 (each one was different).
- Rhea's Herbs Female Correction- I didn't actually get to take this, as I had bought it to begin right before I found out I was pregnant. Obviously, I can't vouch for it's effectiveness, but it is a high quality herbal tincture, using herbs that have traditionally been used for female hormone balancing.
2) If not, do you just follow the Nourishing Traditions book?
Although I've tried the above-listed things, the most important thing that I have done (in my opinion) is to make huge dietary changes. I have spent the past 6-7 years slowly making these changes, such as decreasing and cutting out refined sugars and grains, increasing my fruit and vegetable intake (and moving towards organic to avoid pesticides), dropping all conventional meat, dairy, and eggs (replacing them with grass-fed, free range and organic), and moving to completely un-processed and un-packaged foods.
Though I have only been using Nourishing Traditions for the last couple of years, I have seen the most change during this time. I really believe that my body especially needed the high-quality proteins and fats that this book encouraged me to make a bigger part of my diet (through grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, wild fish and fish oil, grass-fed and raw dairy, coconut oil, etc.), and that they have played a role in improving my hormone balance.
There were two more questions asked, which I will answer later this week. I'm sure these topics bring up some questions, so please, fire away!
And for any others who have been dealing with PCOS naturally, I'd love to hear some of the natural things that you have tried and the dietary changes that you have made!