Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) causes a hormonal imbalance in a woman's body leading to a host of visible symptoms and more serious complications with major organ systems. Traditional medicine offers birth control pills and a few other medications that mask the outward symptoms of the disorder, but these medications do not correct the underlying problem that causes the imbalance.
Many doctors offer no support to a woman suffering with PCOS, and instead only suggest that she lose weight. While it is true that a body weight reduction of as little as five percent can reduce PCOS symptoms, this weight loss is no easy task when your body does not work as efficiently as it should. Diet and exercise alone are often not enough.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can help to correct the deficiencies that result in PCOS symptoms. These supplements address the underlying problems of the disorder instead of only attacking the symptoms. With the proper PCOS supplements, your diet and exercise regimen will begin to work to reduce your body fat. Once the weight is gone, most women experience a reduction in all their PCOS symptoms including facial hair, hair loss, irregular menstruation, mood swings and acne. Stop fighting a loosing battle with your weight and give your body what it needs to successfully shed those pounds.
Vitamins & Supplements for PCOS
When a woman has PCOS, her body does not use carbohydrates for energy. Her body converts carbohydrates directly into fat instead. This makes weight loss particularly challenging. The excess weight exacerbates insulin resistance, which feeds androgen production. The excess androgen, which includes the hormone testosterone, is responsible for most of the outward PCOS symptoms. To correct the problem, you must address the insulin resistance and excess androgen levels. These PCOS supplements help your body to process food as energy more efficiently. When used in conjunction with a diet and exercise plan, you will lose weight and stop the vicious cycle. It won't be easy, but you can do it.
All doses specified are minimum daily values. Begin with these doses after discussing the supplements with your doctor. Vitamin and mineral supplements may negatively interact with other medications, so do not take anything without first discussing the supplement and the dosage with your doctor. You may need significantly more or less depending on your body chemistry and your diet. If you do not see any improvement in the first one to two months, gradually increase the doses until you find what works for you. If these doses cause discomfort, reduce the dose.
- D-chiro-inositol 600 to 1200 mg. Inositol is necessary to convert food into energy. D-chiro-inositol helps increase insulin sensitivity, making the insulin more useful in glucose metabolism. If you choose to take just one supplement, take d-chiro-inositol for PCOS.
- Chromium 200 mg. Supports glucose metabolism and helps to reduce hunger and sugar cravings. Chromium helps reverse insulin resistance and reduces triglycerides. Chromium supplementation alone will not produce weight loss, but it helps to correct the problem that leads to easy weight gain. Side effects of chromium include headaches, dizziness and nausea.
- Zinc 25 mg. Helps to balance blood sugar levels, minimizing the effects of sugar spikes. This mineral helps control appetite, supports the action of insulin, boosts the immune system and helps heal acne. Zinc deficiency has been linked to depression and irritability. Take zinc in small amounts throughout the day, never exceeding 40 mg. High doses of zinc is unsafe and can cause stomach pain, fatigue, or fever. Consider taking a multivitamin that contains zinc instead of taking a separate zinc supplement to avoid taking too much in a single day.
- Magnesium 500 mg. Essential in the treatment of insulin resistance. Magnesium helps with PMS symptoms, anxiety, muscles cramps and chronic fatigue. This mineral also lowers bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels. Magnesium side effects of too much magnesium include diarrhea, nausea, muscle weakness and low blood pressure.
- Coenzyme Q10 100 mg. Helps with carbohydrate metabolism, energy production and controlling blood sugar levels. Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is useful in cellular repair, which helps the body recover more quickly from exercise. Side effects of Coenzyme Q10 include headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and heartburn.
- Vitamin B Complex 50 mg. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins has a negative effect on thyroid hormones and on metabolism. These vitamins help balance hormones, control sugar spikes and aid in converting food into energy. Side effects include black stools, constipation and abdominal pain.
- Fish oil 1200 mg. Oral fish oil supplements help to lower blood pressure and balance triglyceride levels. Fish oil can also reduce the pain of PMS and helps with depression. Side effects of fish oil include bad breath, belching, nausea and nosebleeds. High doses can cause decrease the blood's ability to clot, which increases bleeding.
- Cinnamon 500 to 1000 mg. May help to lower blood sugar levels, particularly cassia cinnamon, in people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, but the research is still inconclusive. Do not take cinnamon supplements before any surgery. Discuss cinnamon supplementation with your doctor because this supplement can cause low blood sugar problems in diabetics. Never take a cinnamon supplement when pregnant or trying to get pregnant because it may cause a spontaneous abortion. Not enough evidence is currently available to say that the danger is definitive, but stay on the safe side and avoid the supplement when trying to become pregnant.