Insulin resistance : a root cause of PCOS
Problems managing polycystic ovarian syndrome? It may not be due to lack of willpower. Instead, you could be Insulin Resistant, a root cause of PCOS. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health, Stanford University and other research centers have clearly identified the existence and effects of Insulin Resistance, a biochemical condition that can cause excessive weight gain and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
PCOS and Insulin Resistance
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance linked to the way the body processes insulin after it has been produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Insulin Resistance could be caused by:
- genetic predisposition
- high stress
- unhealthy lifestyles
- environmental toxins (hygiene products, herbicides / pesticides / industrial growth fertilizers)
Insulin resistant cells
Over time, the above factors have damaged the complex ability of the body’s cells to properly utilize insulin to convert glucose to energy. This process creates Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance can also cause PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is by raising insulin levels in the blood stream. Unhealthy lifestyles and genetic conditions can lead to the pancreas overproducing insulin. This excess insulin stimulates the ovaries to produce large amounts of the male hormone testosterone, which may prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month, thus causing infertility. High levels of insulin also increase the conversion of androgens (male hormones) to estrogens (female hormones), upsetting a delicate balance between the two and having a direct effect on weight gain and the formation of cystic follicles or ovarian cysts.
Symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms vary widely from woman to woman. Because the symptoms vary so widely and not all women display all the symptoms, doctors very often misdiagnose PCOS. This became an issue of critical concern after a study in 2000 found that women suffering from PCOS have a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
- polycystic ovaries
- irregular or completely absent periods,
- Hirsutism (excessive facial or body hair),
- Alopecia (hair loss),
- skin tags (raisin-like growths on the skin),
- Acanthosis Nigricans (brown skin patches),
- exhaustion or lack of mental alertness
- decreased sex drive.
- high blood pressure
- high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol
- atherosclerosis, which occurs when fatty deposits called plaque cling to the interior walls of the arteries, leading to blockages that can cause heart attacks or stroke. Not only do PCOS sufferers have higher rates of plaque buildup but those over 45 have thicker deposits of plaque.
- up to 40% of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have either impaired glucose tolerance or Type 2 Diabetes by the age of 40.
- Posted by : Goral Gandhi, MSc, Laboratory Director, Rotunda – Center for Human Reproduction (Pvt) Ltd, full article
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JAMA Raises Concerns about BPA
–Dr. Jamie McManus, M.D., FAAFP
Chairman, Medical Affairs, Health Sciences & Education
BPA – what is it? It is a chemical modifier used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics typically are clear and hard and have many applications, including use in certain food and beverage packaging such as water and infant bottles, as well as compact discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices. About 7 billion pounds of BPA are produced worldwide each year.
Problems BPA causes? cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, heart attack, angina), diabetes, liver enzyme abnormalities, brain damage, developmental abnormalities, precancerous changes, metabolic syndrome, etc.
Why BPA causes these problems? Possibly, BPA is a hormone disruptor or modulator and causes pancreatic cells to increase insulin production.
Who is at risk? In 2007, the CDC found BPA in the urine of nearly 93% tested. This indicates widespread exposure to BPA in the US. Who has the highest levels? Children, then females, then males.
Shaklee’s response: Shaklee’s first commitment is to product safety and, as such, our product packaging is free of BPA.
Tips to reduce Exposure to BPA:
- Avoid Reusable Polycarbonate (labeled #7) plastic water and baby bottles, which tend to be hard, clear and colorful. Choose polyethylene or glass.
- Avoid Polycarbonate Plastic Food Containers and Tableware. These may also be labeled “PC” underneath a plastic code #7 in the recycling triangle on the bottom of the container. Use instead: BPA-free plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2, or #4 and #5, ceramic or glass. Soft or cloudy-colored plastic containers do not usually contain BPA.
- Minimize the use of canned food & drink, especially tomato sauces because the high acidity causes more chemical leaching. Choose foods which are fresh, frozen, or stored in glass. The recent study by EWG found BPA in more than half of the 97 canned goods that were tested.
- Ask your dentist for BPA-free sealants and composite fillings.
- Avoid microwaving or heating any food in plastic containers because heat may release chemicals into food.
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References: (full list in full article)