PCOS and Acupuncture

What is PCOS?
Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition in women that can have multiple symptoms and be a major factor causing infertility. This disorder of the endocrine system is one of the most common hormonal problems that women can have, but it's still not that widely talked about or discussed.
Some of the signs and symptoms of PCOS are:
  • Irregular menstruation (infrequent, prolonged or absent periods. Periods are often very painful when they do come)
  • Infertility
  • Weight Gain (very common in the belly area)
  • Obesity
  • Excessive hair growth on face and body
  • Thinning of hair on the scalp
  • Acne
  • Multiple cysts on the ovaries. (this is how it got the name Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome)
How Can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help PCOS?
Diagnosis of PCOS can be divided into 3 different categories under Chinese medicine.
  1. Kidney Yang Deficiency
  2. Blood and/or Qi Stagnation
  3. Damp and/or Phlegm Accumulation
It's important to realize, that a patient may have one of these conditions or all of these conditions. A proper Chinese medical diagnosis should be made, so the correct acupuncture treatment and herbal formula can be prescribed.
The use of electro-acupuncture has been shown to be effective for inducing ovulation in women with PCOS as well as reducing sympathetic nerve activity (women with PCOS often have elevated sympathetic nerve activity). Electro-acupuncture has also been shown to reduce elevated testosterone levels in patients with PCOS.
Dietary Recommendations for patients with PCOS
While acupuncture and exercise are great tools to get you the relief you need, it's important to follow some basic dietary guidelines. I understand it's hard to be really strict in your diet, but follow these suggestions the best you can for optimal health.
  1. DRINK WATER. To determine how much water you should be drinking, a simple formula can be followed. Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2. Whatever that number is, you should have that many ounces of water daily. Example: If you weigh 140 lbs, you should be drinking 70 ounces of water a day.
  2. AVOID ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED DRINKS including, soda and highly processed juices.
  3. REDUCE OR AVOID DAIRY PRODUCTS. They stimulate insulin production, therefore more testosterone is produced.
  4. EAT NATURAL FOODS. Processed foods are low in enzymes and nutrients. Your body has to expend extra energy to process and itself of all the artificial additives.
  5. EAT FOODS THAT ARE LOW ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX. Highly processed breads and cereals are high glycemic index items. Multi-grain and whole grain bread are lower. Processed carbs will also be high on the index.
  6. EAT PLENTY OF PROTEIN. Protein is essential for building new cells in the body and helps you to maintain muscle mass.
  7. EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES. Veggies are filled with important nutrients and antioxidants, plus the fiber in vegetables are great for gastro-intestinal health.
  8. EAT GOOD FATS. Since PCOS is associated with inflammation, it's essential to intake healthy fats in your diet. Fish, avocados, raw seeds and nuts all are high in good oils and have anti-inflammatory effects.
  9. AVOID UNHEALTHY FATS. Avoid saturated fats such as meats and dairy. Also avoid trans-fats which can be found in processed foods such as cakes and cookies.


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