PCOS| A Different Approach Part II
Hi, Dr. Hagmeyer here and in the last video, I spoke about the many causes behind PCOS, which include autoimmunity, diet, stress, hormones, inflammation, gastrointestinal disturbances and really, what we call ‘multi-system dysregulation’ – which is essentially when multiple systems begin to fail and shut down and one system’s failure feeds another system that causes that system of the body to shut down as well.
Women with PCOS are typically dealing with several hormones that have become part of this multisystem dysregulation. Some of the things that we see are typically fluctuating thyroid levels, meaning that the TSH, T3, T4 levels are going up than they’re going down. Women experience bouts of fatigue; one month it’s weight gain, the next month is they’re losing weight. We see heavy painful periods, we see heavy blood clots, we see cramping. We see trouble with sleeping, we see anxiety, we see a lot of the emotional neurological things that also show up. These are all too common concerns that I hear from women all around the world. And the thing here is if their doctor tested their thyroid against the antibodies, specifically thyroid peroxidase enzyme as well as thyroglobulin antibody, I think very often the doctors would often see that these two are also elevated.
I just started working with a young girl, she’s 15 years old, PCOS. She has acne, crippling fatigue, she has weight gain, she has weight loss, she has heart palpitations, she has chronic pain throughout her body and her mom and dad really just reached out to me, just out of pure frustration. One of the things that we did is we tested her for antibodies, not only against her thyroid but against other tissues of her body. And the thyroid being one of them, of course, that actually wound up showing elevated, so my suspicion was correct in that situation. She had antibodies against what are called the ‘islet cells of the pancreas’, so she’s dealing with an autoimmune disease, which is basically attacking her pancreas. And again, as you can see here, taking more and more thyroid medication for these unmanaged symptoms really is not going to fix the problem. More metformin will never correct the problem.
Some things I want women to be aware of when it comes to PCOS, is outside of the thyroid connection. We also see high amounts of androgens, DHT, Androstenediol, testosterone. We see insulin resistance; maybe you had your insulin levels tested and you were over six, that’s not good, that’s a problem with insulin resistance; maybe you had a hemoglobin A1C that was over 5.6 or a regular fasting glucose that was over 100. Again, these are not good signs, these are all signs of insulin resistance but more specifically, what that means is you’re walking down that path of pre-diabetes.
Now, a very easy way to check for insulin resistance is go out to the local Walmart or a local drugstore, purchase a glucometer and start testing your morning blood glucose levels. First thing you do when you wake up in the morning is you prick your finger and if that number is over 100 on any regular basis, you most likely have insulin resistance and that’s something that really can be dealt with using natural approaches. Again, what you want to see your fasting blood glucose levels fall between is anywhere between 85 and 100. Now, I would also test what’s called the post prandial blood sugar levels. These are your sugar levels at one hour post the ingestion of 75 milligrams of carbohydrates and then, retesting two hours after that. So, one hour after you eat, you want to test your blood sugar and that should be really less than 140. Two hours later, when you go back you want to retest it, you want it to be less than 120. Okay, so if you’re not around these numbers, here again you’re dealing with a blood sugar problem that is in part of your PCOS.
Some of the other factors that can influence these different hormonal shifts are things like genetics, as in the case of an autoimmune disease, enzymes that are part of the hormone conversion of estrogen into testosterone. There’s also all sorts of environmental stressors that we’re hearing and learning more about every day; things like plastics and bisphenol A, chemicals found in the environment like atrazine, chemicals found in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, things found in our drinking water like fluoride, all of these things are basically environmental disruptors, they’re what we call endocrine disruptors or xenobiotics.
So, these are just some of the causes behind PCOS and as you can see, simply taking metformin or some other form of medication aimed at just lowering your blood sugar, that fails to address 95% of the underlying mechanism that’s really part of and really behind your suffering.
Now, in my next video, what I want to do is I want to spend some time talking about some of these additional players in PCOS and really, what you need to do to get these under control. In the meantime, if you’re suffering with PCOS or any other hormonal imbalance and you really want help using natural medicine, shoot us a quick email, contact our office, let’s figure out what’s causing your problem and let’s get you back to feeling good again.
Alright, so till next time, take care. I’m Dr. Hagmeyer