PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome that involves a complex combination of hormonal, metabolic, and inflammatory imbalances. It is the most common hormonal condition among women of reproductive age, affecting about 10-15% of women. It is also the number one reason for fertility issues among women.
PCOS leads to multiple cysts on the ovaries that disrupt hormonal balance. This condition causes the ovaries to produce excess androgens (like testosterone) that interfere with ovulation and lead to a range of mental and physical symptoms. The exact cause is unknown, but it is related to various lifestyle and genetic factors.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
-Missing or irregular periods
-Heavy bleeding during periods
-Excessive hair growth on face + chest
Which labs should be considered for PCOS?
-DUTCH for sex + adrenal hormones
-Full Thyroid Panel
-Insulin + glucose markers, HbA1c
-Micronutrient Panel (especially Vitamin D, B12, B9 + magnesium)
Getting lab work done is an important aspect of PCOS management because it gives us a better idea of what is going on in your body. Even though there is no cure for PCOS, managing symptoms with lifestyle strategies, such as nutrition, movement, supplementation, and stress-reduction techniques are KEY!
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS or suspect you have PCOS, functional testing and a holistic approach to care can help address the root cause of your symptoms and heal your body from the inside out.