PCOS is not one disease but a set of symptoms that vary among women. There is not one single test that would confirm that you have it or not. A diagnosis is usually proceeded by a blood test, that checks the balance of female and male hormones in your body, and ultrasound. Depending on the obtained results Lara Briden, a naturopathic doctor, has distinguished 4 types of PCOS – which type are you?
Type 1: Insulin – Resistant PCOS
It is the most common type of PCOS. Insulin resistance is a pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome caused by a high consumption of sugar, trans fat, smoking and environmental toxins.
The body produces insulin when glucose starts to be released into the bloodstream from the digestion of carbohydrates in the diet. Normally this insulin response triggers glucose being taken into body cells, to be used for energy, and inhibits the body from using fat for energy. The concentration of glucose in the blood decreases as a result, staying within the normal range even when a large amount of carbohydrates is consumed.
When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar and fat storage. Moreover, high insulin and leptin in your bloodstream impede ovulation. They also stimulate ovaries to produce testosterone (yes, that is also the cause of our ‘hair problem’).
Type 2: Pill-Induced or post-pill PCOS
If you have been on a contraception pill for a while your ovulation was suppressed by hormonal birth control. Usually your ovulation is back relatively shortly after you stop taking the pills. However, for some women it might take months or even years to ovulate again. We do not know exactly why or when this happens and we definitely need some more research to investigate the potential impact of oral contraception on PCOS.
Type 3: Inflammatory PCOS
Stress, environmental toxins or such inflammatory food like wheat, gluten or A1 casein which we can find in cow milk might impede ovulation. Wheat, dairy and sugar should be eliminated form your diet plan.
Type 4: Hidden-cause PCOS
If you do not meet any of the criteria above but you still do not ovulate? These might be the potential causes according to Laura:
- You eat too much soy which is an anti-estrogen and can block ovulation
- Thyroid disease
- Not enough zink because of, for instant, vegetarian diet low in zink
- Iodine deficiency
- Too much sugar and using artificial sweeteners
- Too little starch in you diet