How To Treat Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Naturally

How To Treat Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Naturally

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), one of the most common endocrine (hormone) disorders, affects approximately 10 million women of all races and ethnic groups worldwide. It’s the leading cause of infertility in women and can present at any life stage – from puberty through post-menopause. Most women with PCOS will have cysts on the ovaries, but as many as 30% of women will not have cysts. Women with PCOS experience an array of symptoms, including:

  • irregular menstrual cycles
  • Obesity
  • Infertility
  • pelvic pain with or without periods
  • mood swings, depression or anxiety
  • thinning hair on the head
  • excessive body hair (hirsutism)
  • fatigue and sleep problems

Because of the wide range of PCOS symptoms, fewer than 50% of women are properly diagnosed. Too often women simply accept the discomfort and don’t inform their doctors until symptoms are at their worst. Even then, they are often misdiagnosed because so many of the symptoms can be attributed to other causes. Another reason for missed diagnosis is that PCOS has long been believed to be present only in obese women; we now know that it can affect women of any body weight including those who are normal or even underweight. Additionally, PCOS can present differently based on life stage, genetics, ethnicity, age and environmental and lifestyle factors such as self-care, exercise, and eating habits.

What Causes PCOS?

The exact cause is still unknown, but we know that there is a metabolic basis to the PCOS picture. Genetics and environmental factors play a huge role. Insulin resistance also plays a critical role in the development of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in women. This condition, where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, can lead to elevated insulin levels, promoting androgen production and contributing to the hormonal imbalances and symptoms associated with PCOS, such as irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.

Natural Treatments For PCOS

Dr. Samuel Thatcher, an early pioneer in PCOS research and treatment, was among the first clinicians to advocate for a holistic approach to PCOS treatment. With the goal of enhancing a woman’s quality of life, holistic health practitioners perform a thorough lifestyle assessment, blood tests, and dietary analysis. They then educate and guide women in using natural approaches to manage and heal from PCOS. We’ve included various treatment options below, and if you would like to schedule a consultation with a functional medicine specialist in Singapore, get in touch. Please note that approaches will differ based on a woman’s stage of life and complexity of symptoms.

Dietary Changes Can Help With PCOS

Adopting a whole foods diet can help manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) by promoting hormonal balance and reducing insulin resistance. We recommend the consumption of unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This naturally reduces the intake of added sugars and refined carbohydrates, which can spike insulin levels. As a result, a whole foods diet can aid in weight management, improve metabolic health, and alleviate symptoms associated with PCOS.

Does Exercise Help With PCOS?

Yes, exercise plays a pivotal role in managing PCOS. Regular physical activity helps improve insulin sensitivity, and it also aids in weight loss; this reduces the severity of PCOS symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles and fertility issues. Exercise can also alleviate depression and anxiety, improving overall quality of life for those affected by this condition.

Stress Management and Rest

Chronic stress can exacerbate PCOS symptoms by increasing cortisol levels, which in turn can worsen insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances. Adequate rest and effective stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises, can help lower cortisol levels, thereby improving insulin sensitivity and hormonal regulation. Overall, PCOS patients benefit from a more balanced endocrine system, and this helps to mitigate symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, and acne, and support overall health and well-being.

All things considered, we want to support the breakdown of androgens to ensure that your system can stabilise its hormonal levels. This will generally result in improvement in skin and energy, but it depends on the genetics of each person. If you are eating omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber, getting exercise and rest, and managing stress, you will put yourself in a good position to improve.

Natural Supplements That Can Helps WIth PCOS

Some of the herbs and nutrition supplements that have been shown to be helpful in managing PCOS symptoms are berberine, Inositol, n-acetyl-cysteine etc. There are many herbs that aim to balance blood sugar level as well as hormones. Some examples include Nettle Root, Green Tea, Flax Seeds, Saw Palmetto, Licorice Root, Chaste Tree Extract including Trace Minerals, Vitamin D3, and Chromium.

Metformin may be a good addition if you are planning to conceive – Dr. Kamat also supports this supplement. It is recommended that you consult with a naturopathic doctor before starting on supplements and herbal remedies.

PCOS Requires Testing and Personalized Treatment

PCOS is not a ” take this one thing because we know it will help” approach. PCOS has many different factors and can show differently in women. Hence, testing and applying research to your specific needs is important.

For more information on the approach to PCOS, feel free to reach out or find a qualified Naturopathic Doctor.

Resources For Further Reading

PCOS Awareness Association. Accessed 15 Jan 2018:

Hudson, T. N.D., Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. (2007) pp23-24; 28-30. McGraw/Hill publishing. Accessed 15 January 2018:

Thatcher, Samuel S., “PCOS: The Hidden Epidemic.” (2000) Indianapolis, IN: Perspectives Press.

Harris, C. PCOS, A Woman’s Guide to Dealing with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. (2000) Thorson’s publishing. Located on

Lydic M, McNurlan M, et al., “Chromium picolinate improves insulin sensitivity in obese subjects with polycystic ovary syndrome.” Fertil Steril (2006) 86:243-246.

Lydic L, McNurlan M, Komaroff E, et al. “Effects of chromium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and reproductive function in polycystic ovarian syndrome: a pilot study.” Fertil Steril (2003) 80 (Suppl 3): S45-S46.

Inositol as putative integrative treatment for PCOS, PMID: 27717596

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