The Silent Disorder by Dr. Michael A. Lonardo, PScD, TND O

ne of the most common hormonal disorders in women is oſten referred to as a “silent disorder.” I am talking about polycystic

ovarian syndrome also known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which according to the Mayo Clinic affects anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, few women are aware of the symptoms or even aware of the disorder at all. It is believed to be responsible for up to 70% of infertility issues in women! It is also associated with an increased risk for insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholester- ol, high blood pressure and heart disease. PCOS affects the endocrine system

(the hormones and glands associated with them). Symptoms may include changes in mood, irregular periods, acne, PMS, weight gain (particularly around the midsection), low libido, hair loss, hair growth in odd places (chin, upper lip, or sideburns), string of pearl type cysts on the ovaries, extreme PMS symptoms and cramping, and infertility. Important to mention is that PCOS presents itself differently in every woman. Some don’t have cysts while others do and some with PCOS never experience any symptoms, while others have them all. Te most important things to remem-

ber are to work with a knowledgeable, thoughtful doctor and that each situation is unique. While there is no cure, natu- ropaths are oſten able to reverse PCOS without relying on harmful and controver- sial medications such as birth control pills, Metformin, Clomid or Spironolactone. It is not all doom and gloom. Tere

16 NA Triangle

is some light in this tunnel! Tere are many natural ways to treat the symptoms of PCOS. As a Naturopath, I focus help- ing you achieve total body wellness. Tis includes mind, body and spirit and I utilize many modalities to achieve that. When I work with a client that has been diag- nosed with PCOS, I generally start with a complete hormone panel. Tis is essential to understanding what type of PCOS you have and what hormones need balancing. Some women even have excess andro- gens (male hormones). Our panel would include estrogen, progesterone, testoster- one, AMHA and DHEA. Additionally, I will order labs for thyroid and insulin, as women with PCOS oſten have hypothy- roidism and insulin resistance. Aſter we receive the results of your labs we then are able to determine which supplements to use. A few examples of the supplements we use are Inositol, Vitex (also referred to as Chasteberry), DIM, Evening Primrose Oil, Magnesium and Maca. We may suggest a combination of these, and there are many other supplements that may be used as well. Te next thing we work on with you

is your diet, which, in most cases, means your lack of a proper diet. Unfortunately most people are on the SAD diet—SAD meaning Standard American Diet. Te SAD Diet is a diet rich in processed foods, red meat, dairy products, artificially sweetened foods, and salt, with minimal intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and whole grains. Our Certified Holistic Nutritionist will work with you to improve your diet. She will also help you with a corrective exercise plan and schedule.

Proper rest is imperative to good

health. In fact, rest is crucial for cell regeneration, hormone production, stress control and even weight management. Sleep deprivation can have the same negative effects on health and hormones as a lack of activity and a poor diet can. If you consistently go without enough sleep you are increasing your stress hormones in the body, including Cortisol and changes to the level of hormones that control your weight and appetite. One of the keys to solving any hormon-

al problem is to take a close look at the “mind-body connection.” Tat’s because stress can have a drastic impact on the en- docrine system and hormone production. Again, no one’s situation is the same

as anyone else’s. Tactics that work for one person may not work for another. Some ways of combating chronic stress are spending more time in nature, yoga, med- itation, prayer, therapy or even journaling. Tere are many others. Te key is to try and address those areas of your life cause the most stress and learning how you can handle them appropriately. In short, while there is no cure for

PCOS, you may be able to lead a symp- tom-free life if you maintain a proper diet, exercise and balance mind, body and spirit. Working with a Traditional Naturopath is a great way to achieve this goal. Dr. Michael Lonardo, PscD, TND, can

be reached at Renovo Natural Health LLC, 6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 404A (1st Floor), Raleigh, NC 27615. Phone 919-986-9940 or visit See ad on page 15.

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