There is no cure for PCOS. We can only treat the symptoms of the disease with lifestyle changes, medication, and supplements. I know it’s hard. Weaning myself off of sugar was hard; I was used to dumping three spoonful’s of sugar in my tea and coffee. I didn’t like to exercise and I loved junk food. But that all had to change if I was going to improve my health. I knew I had to do it because I was miserable where I was.
If you suspect you have PCOS, see an endocrinologist. They will do a test for your thyroid levels but I also suggest you push for tests for your vitamin levels too. You are most likely deficient. Another underlying symptom of PCOS it the body’s inability to absorb or produce that right amount of vitamins, hormones, and other things that keep your body running. They will most likely put you on synthroid for low thyroid, metformin for blood sugar control, and spironolactone for high blood pressure and to help with over production of hormones. (Spironolactone is a diuretic. It will make you pee.) A doctor might give you other medications or drop one of the ones I’ve listed based on your test results. Each person is different. These are what my doctor put me on.
Now we come to supplements. I want to point out that I am not a doctor. I am just a person who has been dealing with PCOS for the last two decades and this is what works for me. I’ve done research online, just like you are doing, and I’m passing on my accumulated knowledge. Talk with your doctor about the supplements you wish to take. (If they says you don’t need to take supplements, find a new doctor. If they say this particular supplement might be a bad idea or not be beneficial to you, listen to them.)
One of the symptoms of PCOS is that your body is either not producing or absorbing certain nutrients in the correct amount. Thus, even with a healthy diet, you probably need to take supplements. Again, we are treating the symptoms of PCOS. Different supplements are going to treat certain symptoms. If something upsets your stomach, lower your dosage and see if that helps. If it continues to upset your stomach after a couple weeks or so (I know, but you gotta stick with it.), then discontinue and bring it up with your doctor the next visit. They may have some suggestions.
- Saw Palmetto. Taken to treat the hair loss associated with PCOS.
- Spearmint tea. Taken to treat the hair loss associated with PCOS. 2 cups per a day.
High levels of testosterone in the female body due to PCOS is converted by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is more powerful than testosterone. It attaches to the same sites as testosterone, but more easily. Once there, it remains bound for longer. It is this DHT that is attaching to hair follicles , weakening them and causing them to fall out, and causing growth to slow down.
Testosterone and DHT are both androgens, most commonly called ‘male hormones’, although women normally do produce them in smaller amounts. In women, androgens are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells. Women may produce too much or too little of these hormones––disorders of androgen excess and deficiency are among the more common hormonal disorders in women. Androgen excess is PCOS.
Saw Palmetto and spearmint tea hinder testosterone from being converted into DHT.
- DHT Blocking Shampoo.
- Minoxidil. Stimulates hair growth.
Of course, the shampoo and minoxidil are not a supplements. Do not ingest these. The shampoo will help block DHT and remove build up from the hair follicles. I like Nizoral Shampoo or Pura d’or. They can be found at Walgreens and Target, respectively, or Amazon. Minoxidil is to stimulate hair growth and is found in such hair growth products as Rogaine. Make sure to use it morning and night. Walmart sells their version of minoxidil for about $20. I suggest using the 5% male version.
- Hair, Skin, & Nails.
This is a multivitamin and usually I would be apposed to a multivitamin. It’s much better to target symptoms with a specific vitamin then scatter across a broad spectrum, in my opinion. But with a Hair, Nails, & Skin vitamin everything in there is targeted to help with hair loss and other complaints PCOS sufferers have. It has a host of vitamins and minerals that women lack because of PCOS. Including vitamin D, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, and a range of vitamin B. I prefer Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, & Nails multivitamin.
That being said, I still take individual vitamins that are in the hair, skin, & nails multivitamin. At first this was just to use up the supply I had when I first purchased the hair, skin, & nails multivitamin but then I continued to take them because of my body’s positive reaction. This may vary for you. Maybe that will be too much and your body won’t react positively. If you aren’t getting the results you are looking for after a couple months, adjust. I also take as an individual vitamin Vitamin D, Selenium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin B Complex.
- Cinnamon. Increases insulin sensitivity and boost calorie burning.
- Chromium. Increases insulin sensitivity.
I want to point out again, that the only surefire way to help insulin resistance is to limit your intake of sugar. But there are supplements that will help your body better process the sugar is does take in. You’d be hard pressed to eat the amount of cinnamon you would need to get any benefits, so I suggest taking cinnamon caplets. Chromium is also another supplement that will help your body better process sugar.
- Turmeric Helps with body and muscle aches.
Almost everyone I’ve spoken with that has PCOS complains of body and muscle aches. You are just sore. If you happen to ingest gluten, the joint pain and aches are even worse. I find that a turmeric supplement helps with that body pain. Like cinnamon, you’d be hard pressed to eat enough turmeric to get any benefits, so I suggest taking turmeric caplets. They can be found at any store that sells supplements, such at Walgreens or Target.
All of these supplements can be found at common stores. I buy all my supplements either from Walgreens or Target. There is no need to make a special trip to a health store or buy them online.
I hope this helps with treating your PCOS. These are just suggestions but they are what works for me.
For further reading:
How I Hacked PCOS! This video gives a good overview of the symptoms of PCOS and how to treat it.