This is a guide based on the Podcast we posted on 7/16/2020, and all the supplements and herbs we talked about.
A very common topic we see is PCOS patients wondering what supplements they should be taking for their PCOS. In this episode we talked about all the different supplements that can be taken to help with PCOS symptoms.
So before you get your pen out and start writing all these down thinking "oh good I'm going to start taking everything they say" FULL FUCKING STOP!
Although these are over the counter supplements, they can alter your metabolic functions so please consult your doctor, nutritionist or health provider before starting any of these. We highly recommend you have all your lab work done prior to starting any of these supplements to know where you are at and what would be needed to take (DO NOT ASSUME IN WHAT YOU NEED!) Also checking to ensure that any supplement does not interfere with any prescription you are on.
We recommend a high quality multivitamin to all people, regardless of PCOS or not. We recommend Theralogix.com, who offers a variety of multivitamins depending on your needs. Use PRC Code 260435 to save 15% at checkout.
AMINO ACID COMPLEX
There are 9 essential amino acids that preform a number of important jobs in a body which may be helpful for a PCOS Patient's general health. If you are looking to supplement amino acids, look into a complex that includes Phenylalanine, Valine, heronine, Tryptophan, Methopnine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Lysine and Histindine. These do things like stimulate muscle growth, help with energy production, play a role in immune function & fat metabolism, helps sleep and mood, can assist in regulation of blood sugar & absorption of zinc among many other vital functions.
B VITAMIN COMPLEX - (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12)
B vitamins play many important roles, including:
Converting nutrients into energy
Acting as an antioxidant
Red & White Blood Cell formation & production
Carbohydrate & fat metabolism
DNA Production & Repair
Creation of Neurotransmitters
Amino Acid metabolism
Berberine is a supplement that may help with Insulin Resistance. We do NOT recommend taking this medication if you are not IR, as it may have negative side effects. Please talk to your health professional before adding this supplement to your regimen.
Berberine has been shown to have similar effects as some pharmaceutical drugs for Type 2 Diabetes (like Metformin) in doing the following:
Lowering blood sugar levels
Increasing glucolysis (helping the body break down sugars inside the cells)
Decrease sugar production in the liver
Slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut
Increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut
Biotin is usually thrown out there for hair loss with PCOS Patients, but there is much more that it may be used for:
Brittle nails, diabetes, and mild depression with PCOS. It may help your liver and pancreas gland to better metabolize blood sugar. Biotin may also reduce insulin resistance in muscle tissues. There have been studies that have also shown that biotin is effective for helping to reduce triglycerides and promote good cardiovascular health.
Helps rid the body of Endocrine disrupting chemicals and Xenoestrogens It also helps your body eliminate cortisol, testosterone/androgens and bile acids. Both vitamin D and calcium are given to decrease insulin resistance and decrease some PCOS symptoms.
Also called vitex, is a herb usually for treating infertility due to a hormonal imbalance. This is a powerful supplement and should be taken carefully.
Chromium is a supplement that may help with Insulin Resistance. We do NOT recommend taking this medication if you are not IR, as it may have negative side effects.
Chromium may help to control fat and cholesterol in the blood. It has so many vital benefits like decreasing insulin resistance and plays an important role in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Please talk to your health professional before adding this supplement to your regimen.
Helps stabilize blood sugar and restore hormone balance. It can help normalize the monthly menstrual cycle. In studies cinnamon even showed to reduce insulin resistance.
Co Enzyme Q10 is a substance that your body produces in nearly every cell. It is important for breaking down carbohydrates and turning them into energy. It is an antioxidant that helps to balance your blood sugar, and is essential for energy production and normal carbohydrate metabolism. It has also been shown to improve egg quality and ovulation. Please talk to your health professional before starting as this supplement may also lower blood pressure and blood sugars and interfere with people taking blood thinners.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL
Evening primrose oil is an omega-6 fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). It may be helpful if you have low progesterone. It also can support overall hormonal function and minimizes PMS symptoms, such as breast tenderness, bloating, water retention, acne, depression, irritability, foggy thinking, cramps and headaches.
Being loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil helps reduce androgens and improve insulin sensitivity.
Faxseed may help decrease androgen levels. It contains lignans that increase the production of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) that binds testosterone in the blood, helping balance excess androgens. Studies have shown that Flax seed supplementation caused reduction in ovarian volume and number of follicles in polycystic ovaries, as well as improved the menstrual cycles.
Myo & D-Chryo, we have dedicated an entire episode on this before, and talk about it to death. This is something we know all PCOS Patients should be on if possible. Go to Theralogix.com Use PRC Code 260435, The End
Maca supports healthy progesterone levels in the body. Maca is an adaptogen and great for fertility. It also helps balance the hormones and can help with low libido.
Before taking this supplement, speak to your health professional, this supplement may effect things such as blood pressure. Magnesium supplements may interact with certain medicines, it is imperative to check with your dr before taking.
Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels of magnesium are linked to an increased risk of depression. taking magnesium may help with these.
In one study, people who took 450 mg per day experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure
Magnesium supplements may reduce inflammatory marker CRP and other markers of inflammation in older adults, overweight people and those with pre-diabetes
Some researchers believe that people who suffer from migraines are more likely than others to be magnesium deficient. In fact, a few encouraging studies suggest that magnesium can prevent and even help treat migraines.
Magnesium may assist in Insulin resistance, helping the muscle and liver cells to properly absorb sugar from your bloodstream.
Interestingly, magnesium has been shown to improve mood, reduce water retention and other symptoms in women with PMS
N-acetylcystine (NAC) is helpful for improving fertility and many of the metabolic aspects related to PCOS such as fatty liver, high cholesterol and insulin resistance. NAC is also great for keeping the immune system healthy.
NAC is an antioxidant and amino acid. Specifically, it’s a derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine, an essential precursor used by the body to produce glutathione, an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and oxidative stress and is a critical factor in supporting a healthy immune system.
A study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology compared the effects of NAC and metformin in women with PCOS. In this prospective trial, 100 women were divided to receive either metformin (500 mg three times daily) or NAC (600 mg three times daily) for 24 weeks. Both treatments resulted in significant and equal decreases in BMI, hirsutism, fasting insulin, free testosterone, and menstrual irregularity
Three randomized studies compared NAC or metformin with Clomid in women with PCOS. In two of the studies, Clomid plus NAC resulted in improved ovulation and pregnancy rates compared with placebo.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Helps your body become more sensitive to insulin and has been found to reduce testosterone levels associated with androgen excess. Its properties can also reduce inflammation, high blood pressure and irritation of the digestive tract.
as well as reduces insulin resistance, leptin levels and systemic inflammation
They can normalize the heartbeat and when combined with the right amino acids, they can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and prevent clogging of the arteries. It also improved mental acuity and helps with symptoms of anxiety.
May help hirsutism or excessive hairiness in women with PCOS. It may also help thinning hair grow back.
May help reduce hirsutism, or excess body hair, by reducing testosterone levels(Commonly high with PCOS) and increasing luteinizing hormone LH (commonly low with PCOS).
Be sure to see your doctor to have your vitamin D checked before starting supplementation.
Studies show an inverse relationship between vitamin D and metabolic risk factors. Overweight patients with PCOS who were vitamin D deficient and took vitamin D supplementation for eight weeks saw improvements in insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.
Vitamin D status has also been shown to improve fertility and pregnancy rates during assisted reproduction therapy. In one study, infertile patients with PCOS who underwent Clomid stimulation had more mature follicles and were more likely to get pregnant when they had had higher vitamin D levels.
Zinc helps with the production of insulin, so it is extremely important in balancing blood sugar. If you are zinc deficient you may notice cravings for salt and sugar foods, a sign of insulin resistance. It also helps your body balance androgen excess especially testosterone which could be high or low with PCOS. You should take Omega 3’s when taking zinc supplements to help it get properly absorbed!
PLEASE NOTE I am not a doctor, nurse or healthcare worker. These are just possibilities. Not every patient will have these issues, we are going over general possibilities that may or may not happen. We are not trying to scare, confuse, or make anyone use PCOS as an excuse to be a shitty person and do shitty things like hoarding toilet paper from the elderly. Use common sense please, and if you have questions about what you read here: TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR!
Some of the things to consider with PCOS, are there may be factors that put PCOS patients more at risk than the general public. As a result, I wanted to discuss some things that may effect a PCOS patient, and ways to be safe. NOTE: This is an opinion piece, written by a patient and advocate.
1. There is a possibility that there could be a correlation between PCOS and compromised immune system. What may this mean? Well you may have a greater chance of getting sick than someone of equal health and ago, who doesn't have PCOS. By getting sick, it means from a cold, to anything more sever.
Ways to be safe: You have read and heard it. You have seen memes of it. Wash your hands, don't touch your face, use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing and if required, self isolation/quarantine.
2. It is commonly known of the relation between Anxiety and Mood Disorders correlate with PCOS. What may this mean? Patients that experience anxiety disorder, or any mood disorder, may be having a hard time with everything that is going on with the current events. It may be difficult to concentrate or you may be lashing out or other behavior not indicative of your typical personality.
Ways to be safe: Talk it out. Talk to your therapist, if you don't have one, use support groups. Talk to your friends, open up to someone trusted that you feel safe to talk to. Don't bottle it up, that may make it worse.
3. Feeling stressed during the confusion and changes. Kids home from school, working from home or being out of work? Why may this relate to PCOS? Stress is known to exacerbate PCOS symptoms in patients. For example, if one of the symptoms you get is acne; you may see a flair of acne pop up suddenly.
Ways to be safe: There's the saying "No one ever told to calmed down, has ever calmed down". That being said, there are things you can do to help reduce stress, such as keeping routines. Another option would be exercising or yoga.
- Jeni Gutke not a doctor
Something not a lot of people realize about PCOS is the necessity of fiber! As you know, PCOS patients have a higher likelihood to develop diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, among other serious health conditions. You can in part help to manage these health conditions with fiber! Yes, fiber! It can help by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of blood sugar on the blood. Fiber also make you feel full faster, which helps with potentially overeating. You can also potentially lower high cholesterol levels by eating more dietary fiber, as it binds to excess cholesterol.
So now that you know this, what next? Well, get more fiber into your bodies guys! But how? Well, by dietary foods or with supplements. You can obtain fiber from complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, beans, bran, oat bran, barley, whole-wheat pasta, lentils, peas, fruits and vegetables. With any dietary changes, make sure that adding or subtracting any items work with your nutritional regime. If you are seeing a nutritionist, definitely discuss this with them before making any changes. If, for any reason you are on a restricted diet, consult your doctor before integrating high-fiber foods into your diet. Be sure to drink ALL THE WATER to aid the passage of fiber in your digestive system. We recommend half your body weight in ounces per day. E.g. if you weigh 200lbs, drink 100 oz of water per day. Also, add fiber gradually to prevent excess gas and flatulence. As good as it is for you, the embarrassment factor is still there with that!
If for any reason, you can't get in the fiber through dietary forms, there are supplements you can take. Consult your doctor & nutritionist before taking over the counter fiber supplements, as it could interfere with other medications you are taking or your dietary needs. Be sure to drink a lot of water with OTC supplements to aid in the proper passage through the esophagus.
So the takeaway, fiber is essential (if you are able!) for PCOS Patients! There are so many benefits to start adding high fiber foods to your diet, or a supplement if your dr approves. So talk to your dr & nutritionist about adding fiber into your routine. Start the new year on the right foot!
Happy New Year Friends! Whew, what a year 2019 was! Calling it a roller-coaster is an understatement, it totally kicked my ass. So instead of focusing on what kicked my ass (that will be a totally different blog post entirely one day.) I want to focus on the amazing things that happened in 2019! And what I'm looking forward to in 2020!
In 2019, I found out that I am, again, No Evidence Of Disease for my endometrial cancer!
In 2019, I had an idea I had been thinking about for a number of years, and finally put everyPCOSbody into reality! I created the FB page, support groups, website and more:
In 2019, You Guys, I created an APP! And nearly 1,200 people have downloaded it! I am continuously working on it and trying to make it the best it can be, and be FREE for users.
In 2019, I've created a successful podcast with my amazing co-host Shelby "PCOS Support Girl". We have so much fun, we spread accurate information, we have had some of the most amazing guests and have lined up even more for season two starting in 2020!
In 2019, I found so much strength through my husband and our relationship, my friends, and learned how loved I truly am!
So although 2019 was pretty difficult in many ways, the good outweighed the difficult. I will discuss the difficult, to be transparent, it's important, especially when dealing with a chronic illness like PCOS and mental illnesses like bipolar, but for now, we focus on the so many positives that happened!
So here is to 2020, the additional positives that are sure to happen, the love to be shared, the warmth, the health, and the knowledge that Although PCOS Sucks, We don't have to, and neither does our lives. We CAN make the very best of the world around us, and having gratitude and positivity truly does change our brains in a way that makes our lives better!
May your 2020 be the best year yet! ~ Jeni
What an odd thing to think, let alone to type... But as I sit here, reflecting on our celebration of FriendsGiving, all the things I am thankful for. I am thank for PCOS. While I may not be thankful for the symptoms that I experience, or the cancer it caused. I am yet still, thankful for PCOS.
PCOS gave me friendships that I will have for the rest of my life, even if the people may not remain, the friendships will remain in my heart forever.
PCOS has given me a voice I never knew I had. I’ve stood up and screamed words of advocacy. I’ve told my story so others may not need to experience what I’ve gone through.
Although PCOS has taken my ability to be a natural mother, I’m a mother to PCOS patients everywhere, passing down my experiences and knowledge. My kindness and love through my page. Helping others learn, grow and share.
PCOS has allowed me to reach potentials I didn’t know I had. Creating a Mobile App, creating a successful Podcast, being part of a positive and resourceful community that helps people without drama or sales promotion. Where we focus on complete inclusion within the PCOS community.
PCOS has taken so much, but what I have gained from having it, can not be measured by a scale, in weight, by sight or in monetary value. The friendships, the humbleness, the helping of others is what I am truly grateful for. The letters I’ve received of gratitude for what I have created, brings tears to my eyes. To know I have made an impact on someone’s life, that helps them the way I needed help when I was younger makes every moment of this worth it.
So, Thank You PCOS, for allowing me to help others find their way.
I was in a discussion today with someone about the very serious subject of just how widespread the topic of weight - and specifically the loss of it - as the end all be all solution for PCOS and other chronic or autoimmune issues.
Listen, I’m going to say something that may shock you, yes, I DO believe that losing weight MAY help SOME of MY symptoms that I live with daily due to PCOS and MCTD (a cluster autoimmune condition that presents with varying symptoms but for me mostly fatigue, joint pain and swelling, rashes and fever).
But I need you to listen to what I’m going to say next:
I also believe that dieting is NOT the solution for my PCOS or my autoimmune condition because, I, as the longest running expert on my body having lived in it and with it for almost 35 years - have tried every diet there is and NOT.A.SINGLE.ONE.CURED.OR.FIXED.IT.
I’m not saying there’s nothing to be said about making food and exercise choices that are more conducive for the body and conditions you live in. Absolutely, eating certain foods make my body run better and moving more helps me feel more confident and stronger. I’m not denying that.
But we make this such a black and white topic. You hear all the time,
“Eat less. Move more.”
“If you lost X amount of pounds than XYZ will be SO much better.”
But we don’t live in a black and white world.
We live in a world where doctors push us aside and out the door if we don’t fit certain parameters￼ and we get ignored by health care professionals if we don’t fit in their not very thoroughly or compassionately thought out box of what chronic illness or pcos should look like.
We live in a world where far too many people are facing serious and very real repercussions of living in a world saturated with diet culture.
Over the past 5 years of being online, I’ve been every spectrum on the BMI scale- from obese, to underweight to right where I was “supposed to be” and guess what? I’ve felt like shit at every damn spot along that BMI plot line.
I have spent the better part of my young adult life trying to manipulate my body, believing that if it shrunk, changed or weighed a different way than it does at this exact moment somehow my life would be better. I would be better.
But I won’t do that anymore.
It is utterly exhausting and a waste of what precious time I’ve been given on this earth.
I’ve made a promise to myself that the best way to take care of my body, is to appreciate it how it is now- and treat it in a way that isn’t punishing it for what it’s been through, been burdened with or the size of it.
Today, I live in a body that’s larger than I used to think was acceptable. I have issues with my pcos and my MCTD, And I manage how is best for me- mentally, emotionally and physically. I fight the urge to try to change it and fight back the inner shame that’s been ingrained in me to feel if it doesn’t look like what everyone else’s does. I refuse to follow another diet, plan or any other persons path, confused into believing it would give me their health, body or experience because I am uniquely myself.
I now only invest in things that make me feel more whole.
For me physically, that’s a gym membership, good running shoes, Spotify subscription and sunshine (which is free and so much more valuable than you think)
For me nutritionally, it’s in foods that make me happy while nourishing me and fulfilling me.
For me mentally, it’s in therapy and long walks and music and good friends.
And emotionally? It’s sharing all of this with you. Not everyone will agree. Not everyone will appreciate it.
But it’s where I stand.
I stand in the belief that I can live a happy life DESPITE the size of my body or the diet I subscribe to or the bs I’m not going to fall for anymore because we are so much more than diet culture and the incorrect belief that in order to be healthy you have to be a perfect 25 on the BMI scale.
You don’t have to stand where I stand, because you have your own light to shine from right where YOU are.
But if you’re with me, feel free to share this. Because there’s enough BS out there telling you to SHRINK, CHANGE or be anyone than who you are now.
And I love you just the way you are. You should try it, too. 💕
A former yoyo dieter, fall for any quick fix, ex believer in shrinking to be a better person
When you don't recognize yourself, and it's a good thing. The truth is, because the hormone treatment from the cancer, in the last 7 months, I've gained almost 40 lbs. This is after having a weight loss surgery and still in the prime weight loss time frame.
It's taken quite the toll on my mentality of myself esteem. I know looks and weight aren't everything, but the cancer coming back was hard enough. I had the weight loss surgery to help my chances for IVF. But literally 2 months after the surgery, I knew that the cancer had returned, and 3 months later it was confirmed. I have been fighting to not gain weight, but other things happened where I that was the least of my worries, so the weight piled on.
Then, in October Brian and I went on vacation. We went and did touristy things, and had all the adventures. He posted a picture of me from behind, and for a split moment, I thought to myself "who is that?" before realizing, it was me!
Now before you start worrying, it was because I am apparently still a lot thinner than I realized. I see definition in my waist, a perky booty, heck even my legs look skinnier! Keep in mind, I was once 400lbs, so I realize I am not thin by any means, I am, however, learning to love my body, no matter what shape.
And learning to love my body despite the fact that I have severe chronic illnesses and limitations. I'm proud that I can see beauty in myself, its few and far between when that happens, especially dealing with cancer and chronic illness that beats you down daily.
Despite it all, my body holds me, my soul, and THAT is who I am, and I am beautiful, inside and out!
I know I know, another lame unpopular post. But again, hear me out, I actually kinda like facebook. I really realized that today, when I opened it up to check on some ePCOSb stuff, and the first thing I saw on my wall was a "Friend Day' video, showing I've been friends with someone for x amount of years.
This friend, is someone I've actually been friends with since I was 16. And I was like WOAH, 25 flipping years buddy. We had lost touch in that time, and it was Facebook that had brought us back together.
I moved around a lot as a kid, and even more as a young adult. It wasn't until meeting my husband that my life became stable and I stayed in any place for a substantial amount of time. and by then, most of my friends from my teens and young adulthood had been lost, never forgotten.
Along came facebook. I've been able to reconnect with people and reform some truly amazing friendships that I am beyond grateful for. From silly games I've played (thank you farmville) I have formed lifelong friendships with people I've never met, and have watched their children grow and be born!
I've been able to learn about my chronic illness, and even become an advocate, and create everyPCOSbody, all because of meeting people from Facebook!
People say facebook is trash and a waste of time. There are certainly times where I need a break. But the algorithms work. If you follow positive pages, and react to positive posts, your newsfeed will fill with positivity and beauty. Facebook will become a source of light and hope.
I look back on my memories and see a very dark time in my life if I go back far enough, nothing but complaining and sorrow. Then there's a shift. I decided to purposefully follow positive pages and only have positivity on my newsfeed, and it changed my outlook. It didn't happen overnight, but it absolutely worked.
Am I happy all the time? Hell no! I have Major Depressive Disorder, among other serious other mental health disorders. There are days I can't get out of bed. But I do go to facebook, and I go to some of the positive pages, some of my positive friends, and there is a pinhole light in the day that makes things a bit brighter.
So, if you are struggling with a negative experience, "unfollow" your negative friends, start following some positive pages, or heck, even take a social media break!
Yeah, I am a total mom dork, and I like facebook, and no, this isn't sponsored by them, lol! I wish it were, I could use the money!!
Support with PCOS... I'm about to say something that's probably going to get me in trouble and a pretty unpopular opinion... I've noticed as someone who runs and is a member of multiple support groups on Facebook; there are a lot of people looking for an Echo Chamber instead of actual support.
I know, I know, bare with me for a minute, I am NOT trying to be edgy, I promise. I'm not saying that this is done on purpose. PCOS SUCKS. It's a chronic syndrome, with (in my research so far) over 85 related symptoms. Symptoms that are often discounted by people in your life, even medical professionals that are supposed to be helping you! So it's easy to go into support groups and want to be validated with the feelings, thoughts and experiences you are having.
However, I can't be your Echo Chamber. PCOS Sucks, it absolutely does. But We Don't Have To! And I know that it is so incredibly difficult to be positive with a chronic illness. But, when you come to me, I am not going to feed into your sorrow. I am going to feed into your positivity and your self abilities to lift yourself up.
You are able to get your symptoms under control and maintained. Is it going to happen overnight, hell no. Are their magic pills, absolutely not. But, you have the ability to do the research, find the resources, and make your life better.
I will not be your echo chamber, I will be your cheerleader. I will be your resource, I will be the person to tell you when you are down that YOU GOT THIS! That it will be okay and that despite everything, it will get better. That there is hope and no matter what happens, there is silver linings and positive reasons for it all. I will send you love and strength. I will show you how incredibly powerful and strong you are. I will not be a negative echo chamber. You are worth more than that.
- Jeni Gutke
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DISCLAIMER: We are NOT doctors. everyPCOSbody, and all whom run and contribute to anything that has the everyPCOSbody name do not make any medical claims. We are expressing our opinions based on extensive research, knowledge and being highly involved within the PCOS community. As always, with any medical condition, please speak with a medical professional regarding diagnosis and any treatment or treatment changes.
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