Hormonal imbalance like PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome can be difficult to address especially when the person experiencing it may not be aware they have it.
A certain medical approach effectively restores harmony to one’s hormones by understanding the cause of the imbalance.
Dr. Zoe Arugay, a functional medicine practitioner at LifeScience Center, believes that the symptoms are interconnected, therefore a holistic approach to treatment is more effective than addressing each symptom individually.
“Functional medicine works best when it comes to addressing the root causes of your health problems,” said Dr. Arugay. “Whether it be nutrition, sleep, exercise, or stress––it correlates with conventional and advanced diagnostics.”
Functional medicine takes a look into one’s genetic makeup and analyzes how it interacts with its environment. By doing so, doctors gain key insights into which illnesses a patient is susceptible to. The goal of FM is to achieve optimal health.
Dr. Arugay recalls a patient named Cynthia, who was plagued with sleep issues, lack of exercise, and obesity, in addition to PCOS.
PCOS is a nutritional and metabolic issue that affects insulin and other hormones. Large amount of sugar in one’s diet causes the body to produce more insulin in order to properly absorb the sugar into cells. The more insulin produced, the more one becomes resistant to it. This can lead to problems like inflammation, oxidative stress, high cholesterol, cancer, obesity, and infertility.
With a varied set of symptoms, it usually takes time and a lot of trial and error to arrive at the proper treatment for a condition as complex as PCOS.
In Cynthia’s case, it was essential for her to change her work routine. Her habit of reporting to work early and punching out late wreaked havoc on her sleep schedule, allowing her only four to five hours of sleep a night.
She made the necessary adjustments for the sake of her health. She prioritized self-care, making changes to her nutrition intake, cutting down her work hours, getting more sleep, and walking daily to get some much-needed exercise.
In just a month’s time, Cynthia was able to sleep more, enjoy more leisure time, and lose weight.
Moreover, she eventually regained hormonal balance and her menstrual cycle was once again regular. Over time, her OB-GYN lowered her prescribed dose of birth control pills until she was no longer advised to take them.
“By going down to the roots and treating it from there, we are treating the whole person,” noted Dr. Arugay. “The results also show that we are reversing the symptoms of not just one but multiple health issues because they are all interconnected.”
In cases where a pill is initially prescribed to address the imbalance of the body’s hormones, Dr. Arugay advises that it would be best to take them first.
“The good news is that it’s possible to get rid of pills and other medications when there is no longer a need for them. It’s the patient’s capability to make great strides towards their own healing that makes getting rid of pills possible.”
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