If you are struggling with chronic acne, then you may have PCOS syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome.
PCOS is a very common hormone syndrome that is said to affect 5 to 10% of women. One common symptom is acne.
So what the hell is PCOS and why does it cause acne? And more importantly, what are you doing about it so that you can stop fighting your skin?
PCOS What causes your acne?
Thus, despite the fact that it’s directly in the name – that is, “polycystic ovaries”, the presence of cystic ovaries is not really a defining feature of the syndrome, nor do you need to have ovarian cysts to have PCOS.
Yes, this is really stupid. Currently, there is an impetus for changing the name so that it can not confuse everyone in what it really is.
Thus, there are only two things that are necessary for you to have PCOS. These two things:
- A high level of androgens (aka male hormones). For instance. testosterone, DHEA-S, or adrostenedione. Diagnosed with a blood or saliva test.
- You do not ovulate due to high androgens. So you have irregular periods.
Possible side effects of high levels of androgens include oily skin and acne, hirsutism (excess hair in places such as the beard or chest area), hair loss, mood swings, and weight gain.
Possible side effects of the lack of ovulation are infertility, low progesterone (causing many symptoms, including poor PMS) and ovarian cysts.
So, yes … – cysts on the ovaries … Sometimes, when you do not ovulate, the eggs that were about to leave the ovaries begin to swell and turn into cysts. Despite popular belief, cysts do not cause high levels of androgens or lack of ovulation. This is just another symptom.
Not everyone with PCOS has all the classic symptoms. Remember that the only defining signs are a high level of androgens and a lack of ovulation. How it actually turns into symptoms will be different for everyone.
The good news is that despite popular belief, you Can definitely change your PCOS and related acne. All this is a set of symptoms. This is not a permanent condition.
So what causes high levels of androgens in PCOS?
What causes your PCOS and acne?
Well, that’s very important to understand. Knowing that you have PCOS doesn't tell you much about how to actually treat it, because there are many possible reasons for this.
If you want to successfully put your PCOS in remission (and your acne), you will need to bark the right tree with your unique reason.
Five different PCOS blackhead profiles
Thanks to my girlfriend Lara Bryden, she identified five different PCOS profiles.
Please note that if you have acne and you have shown high levels of androgens in the blood or saliva, but you have regular menstruation and ovulation, read on. The following guide is still very useful for finding out why your body can produce too many of these androgens.
PCOS insulin-resistant acne profile
PCOS, mainly caused by insulin resistance, is the most common type of PCOS, and usually only doctors know about it. It accounts for about 80% of those with PCOS.
Insulin resistance is when your body simply does not respond very well to insulin. This leads to the fact that your body pumps out a ton of insulin during meals, which causes the ovaries to overproduce androgens, in particular testosterone and androstenedione. This leads to cessation of ovulation.
This person, as a rule, experiences weight problems and easily gets rid of simple carbohydrates and sugar (which increase insulin levels compared to other products). Please note that you Can also have normal weight and insulin resistance, especially if you have had a diet or an eating disorder.
Your doctor can confirm your insulin resistance with a glucose tolerance test. Although his likely solution, if you want, is to put you under birth control, take Metformin and tell you to lose weight.
Treating this type of PCOS is usually a healthy, low-carbohydrate diet (in particular, avoiding sugar), strength training, supplements such as inositol, to maintain blood sugar levels, and, yes, losing some excess weight. Sleep, stress relief and all the basics will help.
There is also some evidence that chronic inflammation is the main cause of insulin resistance, so inflammation also needs to be eliminated if you have this type of acne. See Inflammatory PCOS below.
Adrenal PCOS Acne Profile
Androgens are not all produced in the ovaries. A significant part of androgens is produced in the adrenal glands (the so-called stress glands!)
Stressed out? Stress stimulates the adrenal glands to produce androgen DHEA-S, so a high level of this hormone is something to look for with saliva or a blood test.
This stress is most often a mental / emotional stress (for example, due to hard work or constant resentment of self-criticism), but it can also be excessive physical stress, such as excessive physical activity, malnutrition or lack of sleep.
Signs that the adrenal glands are burnt out, and this may be the reason PCOS constantly feels tired (except maybe at night), does not tolerate stress, disrupts sleep and feels worse after exercise. Not to mention chronic anxiety or a feeling of mental burnout.
Treatment? Work on this stress. Learn to be kinder to yourself, overestimate the stressful factors of your life, sleep a little, give up training if you suffer from chronic overstrain, and make sure that you consume enough calories.
Adrenal and axial support supplements for HPA include adaptogens such as rhodiola and nutrients such as magnesium.
PCOS Acne Inflammatory Profile
A chronically activated immune system creates inflammation in the body. If you have PCOS, but without insulin resistance, you may be of the inflammatory type.
Mental and physical stress can increase inflammation, as well as impair intestinal health. You may also suffer from environmental toxins or food intolerances.
The reasons why you have chronic inflammation include persistent illness or chronic infections. Also look for things like chronic digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea or constipation, autoimmune disorders, eczema, joint pain, or asthma.
You can also show inflammation markers in a blood test, such as vitamin D deficiency, abnormal blood counts, elevated levels of C-RP, thyroid, autoimmune or gluten antibodies. High levels of DHEA and / or androstenedione may have been detected in your tests.
Treatment is work to fix the intestines. Use probiotics and treat any possible infections, such as parasites, bacteria or fungi. Reduce exposure to chemicals and plastics. Avoid inflammatory foods like A1 dairy, gluten and sugar. Work to reduce mental stress.
Postpill PCOS Acne Profile
Lara Briden says it's actually the second most common type of PCOS. This is because pills, by definition, disrupt hormonal signaling from the brain to the ovaries, saying that they block ovulation so you don't give birth to children when you don't want to.
Usually, when you stop the pill, it returns to normal. In some cases, this does not happen, because the ratio of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) remains out of order. These are the hormones that are responsible for the fact that it is time for your body to ovulate. So you don't
This is probably you, if you had normal periods before the pill, and now, when you stop it, you no longer take it. You also have high levels of LH in a blood test or normal levels of LH and high levels of prolactin.
Lara recommends herbal treatment with Poeny & Licorice. However, if you have high prolactin but LH is normal, use Vitex instead. Wait three to four months after you stop taking the tablets and do not use them for more than 10 months in a row. After three to four months of use, it should begin your period and should remain regular.
The Hidden Cause of PCOS Acne Profile
If you do not fit into any of the above categories, there may be one simple thing that prevents you from ovulating.
Lara includes this list:
- Too much soy because it is anti-estrogen and can block ovulation for some people. A small amount is in order.
- Thyroid disease because your ovaries need the hormone T3
- A vegetarian diet because it causes zinc deficiency and your ovaries need zinc
- Iodine deficiency because your ovaries need iodine
- Artificial sweeteners because they impair insulin and leptin secretion
- Too little starch in your diet because your hormonal system needs tender carbohydrates (in other words, we should not go also low carbohydrate)
Overlapping PCOS Types
Unfortunately, our bodies do not fit into neat little boxes. Often there is much in common between types.
For example, mental / emotional stress may be one of the main causes of adrenal type PCOS, but mental / emotional stress is also the main cause of both insulin resistance and inflammation.
It is for this reason that focusing on basic health principles frequently will solve many of the health problems you may encounter, including PCOS and acne. It takes into account all these factors at the same time.
The basics include:
- Eating healthy, low-sugar, processed, and inflammatory foods
- Reducing mental and physical stress, where possible, and training in a healthy response to unchanging stressors.
- Get a good sleep
- Get regular exercise but don't overdo it
- Eat enough calories but don't overdo it.
- Reducing the effects of environmental toxins where possible (e.g. pesticides, hygiene products, plastics and household cleaning products).
After they are completed, some fine-tuning may be required, but most of the time covering these basics will do all the hard work.
Have you been diagnosed with PCOS or do you suspect it? Do you see yourself in one of these categories?