Understanding the 4 Different Types of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
In this blog, we will explore each different types of PCOS, shedding light on their unique characteristics and offering insights into effective East Asian Medicine treatment approaches.
PCOS is a complex hormonal disorder that affects many women worldwide, and understanding its distinct variations and personalized treatment options is crucial for those navigating this condition.
1) Insulin-resistant PCOS: This is the most common type of PCOS, often linked to weight gain. When your body becomes resistant to insulin, your pancreas overworks, producing more insulin. This leads to an overproduction of testosterone, causing PCOS symptoms
2) Post-Pill PCOS: This type of PCOS is temporary and is typically seen after the discontinuation of hormonal birth control. The pill suppresses ovulation, and sometimes, the body takes a while to start it again, leading to PCOS symptoms.
3) Inflammatory PCOS: Chronic inflammation in the body can interrupt ovulation and lead to this type of PCOS. It’s often linked with other signs of inflammation such as skin conditions or joint pain.
4) Adrenal PCOS: This type of PCOS is less common and results from an overproduction of DHEA, a male hormone, by the adrenal glands instead of the ovaries which produces symptoms like acne, hair loss, or irregular periods.
Understanding the type of PCOS is instrumental in formulating an effective and targeted treatment strategy.
PCOS is not a one-size-fits-all condition, as it manifests in various ways and presents with different underlying factors.
Insulin-resistant PCOS often occurs in women with a higher body fat percentage.
This type may cause weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area, due to the body’s inability to properly utilize insulin. This leads to higher glucose levels and increased fat storage.
Post-Pill PCOS can affect any body type, as it is more directly linked to the cessation of hormonal birth control rather than physical attributes.
Symptoms may persist for several months, but they usually resolve once the body regulates its hormone production.
Women with an inflammatory body type, who might already have body composition predisposed to inflammation, are more likely to develop Inflammatory PCOS. They might also struggle with other inflammatory conditions such as skin issues or joint pain.
Finally, Adrenal PCOS is more common in women with a lean body composition. Despite having a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), these women might experience symptoms like acne, hair loss, or irregular periods due to an overproduction of DHEA, a male hormone, by the adrenal glands.
Identifying Your Type of PCOS
By identifying the specific type of PCOS a person has, healthcare professionals can tailor interventions to address the root causes and alleviate symptoms more efficiently. For example, some individuals may experience PCOS primarily due to insulin resistance, while others may have elevated levels of androgens contributing to their symptoms.
Knowing these distinctions enables healthcare providers to recommend appropriate dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and medications that specifically target the underlying hormonal imbalances or metabolic dysfunctions associated with each type of PCOS.
This personalized approach significantly enhances the likelihood of successful treatment outcomes and improved quality of life for individuals affected by PCOS.
East Asian Medicine and Acupuncture offer a holistic and integrative approach to managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). These traditional methods work on the principle of balancing energy or ‘qi’ within the body, thus promoting overall wellness rather than focusing solely on treating specific symptoms.
In this context, acupuncture, a key element of East Asian medicine, is used to stimulate specific points on the body. This stimulation can help regulate the endocrine system and improve blood flow to the ovaries, which in turn can balance hormone levels and promote regular ovulation. It’s believed that acupuncture may reduce insulin resistance, a key factor in Insulin-resistant PCOS, and lower inflammation levels associated with Inflammatory PCOS.
Furthermore, East Asian medicine also emphasizes the importance of lifestyle modifications.
Dietary changes, stress management, and regular physical activity are all integral parts of the treatment approach. These interventions aim to restore balance in the body and can be particularly effective in managing the weight gain often associated with PCOS and reducing the chronic inflammation that leads to Inflammatory PCOS.
Herbal medicine, another component of East Asian Medicine, often complements acupuncture in the treatment of PCOS. Various herbs are used to balance hormone levels, reduce inflammation, and address specific symptoms such as acne or menstrual irregularities.
At Lokahi, we understand the challenges that come with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of this condition and is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to our patients. If additional testing or a formal diagnosis is required, rest assured that we will guide you to the right professionals who can offer the necessary expertise.
We are committed to empowering our patients with the knowledge and resources they need to navigate their PCOS journey with confidence and take steps towards improved health and well-being.
In conclusion, East Asian Medicine and Acupuncture offer a different, complementary approach to PCOS treatment. They focus on restoring balance in the body’s systems, improving overall well-being, and addressing individual symptoms, based on the personal body composition and type of PCOS.
Resource: one of our favorite writers on women’s health: https://www.larabriden.com/4-types-of-pcos-a-flowchart/