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TYPES OF PCOS

TYPES OF PCOS

by Chic Nutrix

Hello, cysters! We have already discussed the broad topic about the basic information for PCOS we need to know about in understanding the PCOS 101. Today, we will cover in depth the different types of PCOS. Understanding what kind of PCOS you have will help you manage and deal with it better. After all, the point of this Cysterhood is to be #StrongerThanPCOS. 

TYPES OF PCOS (POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME)

There are four types of PCOS, that is,  Insulin-resistant PCOS, Inflammatory PCOS, Adrenal PCOS, and Pill-induced PCOS.

Lets begin with the first one:

1. Insulin-resistant PCOS

The most common type of PCOS and as the name suggests it causes insulin resistance in your body. Generally insulin lowers your blood sugar by storing the glucose in cells. When the cells become resistant to the constant insulin and send out a signal for more insulin to lower the blood sugar, then your pancreas starts to pump out more and more insulin in response to high blood sugar levels. When this resistance goes on for a while, you have high insulin and high blood sugar.

The higher than normal amounts of insulin in the body, prevents ovulation and triggers the ovaries to create too much testosterone. It also lowers the proteins that binds with the free testosterone leading upto higher than normal amounts of male hormones - testosterone.  Insulin-resistant  PCOS is caused by sugar,  smoking, pollution and trans fat.

How to recognise if you are a cyster with insulin-resistant PCOS?

  • If you have been told by your doctor your glucose tolerance test was not normal, that you are a diabetic on borderline.
  • If you have increased levels of insulin and you are overweight, then you might be one having insulin resistance PCOS

What can you do to make it better?

  1. Say “NO” to SUGAR! A little amount of sugar is healthy but by taking it in large quantities you are contributing to insulin resistance. Quitting simple sugars and minimizing carbs in your diet or even trying intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet if it is appropriate for you, are some of the most powerful ways to lower your blood sugar and insulin.
  2. Stay ACTIVE! Exercising and moving throughout the day allows your body to burn sugar and build muscle
  3. Get enough SLEEP! Be sure to prioritize sleep (at least 6-7 hours) and stress management. A lack of sleep and excess stress that isn’t managed are both contributing factors that  lead to increased blood sugar.
  4. Supplements with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) like Sisterhood can be very helpful as it can significantly reduce fasting glucose levels in women with PCOS.

2. Pill-induced PCOS

The second most common type of PCOS. Pill induced PCOS develops due to the birth control pills that suppress ovulation. The effects of these for most of the women do not last long and they eventually resume ovulating, once the effect of the pill is over. But for some of the unlucky ones,  they do not resume ovulating for months and years despite getting over the effects of pills. If it so happens, it's better to consult the doctor at the earliest.

How to recognise if you are a cyster with Pill-induced PCOS?

  • If you used to experience regular and normal periods before starting with the pills then this might be a sign of Pill-induced PCOS.
  • If your levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) are increased in the blood test then this could be considered as another sign.
  • Post-pill PCOS only starts after taking any form of hormonal birth control. The symptoms were not present prior to being on these medications.
  • If you went on Hormonal Birth Control because of symptoms and irregularities and started experiencing above issues after coming off, then cyster, you may want to look into the other types of PCOS.

What can you do to make it better?

  • Prioritize sleep and manage stress. Lack of sleep and excess of stress can both negatively mess up our hormones. So rest well and stress free
  • Consider NAC supplements as they can significantly reduce total testosterone level and help lower androgens.
  • Be patient and let your body heal.

3. INFLAMMATORY PCOS

As the name suggests, it is the PCOS caused due to inflammation. Increased inflammation prevents ovulation which leads to imbalance in hormones and higher androgens (male hormones) are produced. Inflammation is caused due to free radicals, stress, toxins of the environment and inflammatory diets containing fried foods, gluten, etc.

How to recognise if you are a cyster with Inflammatory PCOS?

  • If you have symptoms such as headaches, infections or skin allergies, acne.
  • If your blood tests show that you are deficient in vitamin D, increased levels of thyroid, your blood count is not normal, then you might be one having inflammatory PCOS.

What can you do to make it better?

  • DON’T TAKE STRESS! The root cause of all evil. MAnage your stress and get adequate sleep.
  • Stop consuming inflammatory foods, that includes dairy products, sugar or wheat, gluten.
  • Start taking supplements of Omega-3 and NAC as it has anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Adrenal PCOS

With adrenal PCOS type may display similar symptoms to that of insulin resistant, inflammatory, and post-pill PCOS. But the root cause of these symptoms are not  insulin resistance or inflammation issues, or hormonal birth control. The credit goes to the  adrenal organs responsible for controlling the stress response. When the stress response is not balanced, hormones are not balanced, which leads to all the symptoms of PCOS.

How to recognise if you are a cyster with Adrenal PCOS?

  • If all your testings are essentially normal, other than DHEA-S which is the androgen produced in the adrenal glands, then Cyster, you have Adrenal PCOS

What can you do to make it better?

  • Manage your STRESS! It might sound repetitive but it is the root cause of the evil PCOS. Prioritize stress management by focusing on meditation, mindfulness, journaling, guided imagery or other stress management practices daily
  • Prioritizing sleep, again we sound like a broken record, but the right amount of sleep is not just needed for beauty but also for healthy you!
  • Supplements can be very helpful to help support the adrenal system, balance hormones and sleep

Other Causes of PCOS

Yes, there are few other causes of PCOS that do not fit into the first four but don't fret! The good news is that it is a simpler form of PCOS. What I mean by that is that once the cause is addressed, then it takes upto 3-4 months to resolve the problem. 

If you are someone who meets the diagnostic criteria for PCOS, but you don't have inflammation, adrenal issues, post pills issues or insulin resistance, then the most likely cause for the PCOS symptoms fall into this category.

Other causes of PCOS are thyroid disease, deficiency of iodine (cuz your ovaries need some), artificial sweeteners, and food intolerances. There are also certain women for whom the triggers are never found, but the treatments, especially lifestyle modifications like healthy diet, exercise, supplements are still very powerful at controlling symptoms.

The most important aspect to remember is, You are not alone.

PCOS is a common hormonal disorder. The most powerful recommended treatments for all types of PCOS are lifestyle modifications. The right diet, exercise, good sleep and supplements can work wonders. The above classification will help you manage the root cause. You are not alone in the fight against PCOS, you have your fellow cysters and together we can ensure that we are #StrongerThanPCOS.