Unmasking PCOS: The Reality of Androgen Dominance In Boulder CO
PCOS, short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a condition that primarily strikes individuals who are female by birth. A defining feature of PCOS is androgen dominance. These hormones, which play an integral role in reproductive health, emotional balance, mental acuity, and physical development like muscle growth and bone strength, are unusually high in individuals with this disorder. Your body makes androgens in several places including fat cells, the ovaries, as well as the adrenal glands.
Hyperandrogenism, the medical term for elevated androgen levels, can manifest in two distinct ways. In fact, both of these can lead to a PCOS diagnosis. Clinical hyperandrogenism is evidenced by visible signs hinting at excessive androgen production. On the other hand, lab tests that show a high level of androgen hormones in the blood can help determine biochemical hyperandrogenism.
Spotting the Signs of PCOS and Androgen Dominance
Hyperandrogenism or androgen dominance can result in a range of symptoms that can differ greatly among individuals. These can include hirsutism or abnormal hair growth typically seen in males, such as facial hair or hair on the chest and back. Acne, particularly when severe and combined with other symptoms, may also point to high androgen levels.
Another potential sign of hyperandrogenism is hair loss that follows a pattern typically seen in males—termed "male pattern balding". This involves hair loss around the hairline or the crown of the head. Virilization, or the development of traits typically associated with males, is another possible symptom of hyperandrogenism.
Debunking PCOS: Do Ovarian Cysts Define the Condition?
Despite the name 'Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,' having cysts on your ovaries is not always a part of the equation. This is why we suggest 'Androgen Dominance' as a more fitting description for this condition as it aptly reflects the hormonal imbalance at the heart of the syndrome.
Embracing Natural Treatment Options for PCOS
At Wolfe Functional Medicine, here in Boulder, CO, we believe in a holistic approach to managing PCOS. Our strategy includes comprehensive testing of blood, urine, saliva and stool, and based on the results of those labs, we create individualized health optimization plans for our patients that include herbal/nutritional supplementation and modifications to diet and lifestyle. We dig deeper than most conventional practitioners via extensive and intracellular testing for hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies that are often at the root of the typical PCOS presentation. Many women with PCOS are not aware that for many years they have been chronically low in foundational nutrients, such as Iodine, Thiamine, and Magnesium, which are critical for proper hormone production and regulation. These nutritional deficits are highly contributory to the various symptoms and imbalances of PCOS patients. In addition, unlike most conventional providers, here at Wolfe Functional Medicine, we also do not negate the strong influence that latent pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, have on our hormonal balance. In fact, women’s hormonal health is extremely dependent on the health of their immune system because the two systems are intimately linked. In other words, if our immune system is constantly dysfunctional and/or drained by chronic pathogens, then our hormonal balance will be challenged as well. If you think you might be experiencing PCOS symptoms, we at Wolfe Functional Medicine are here for you. We offer a free, no-obligation 10-minute consultation to discuss how we might be able to aid you. You don't need to feel stuck with these symptoms—there are ways to manage them.
Act Now: Your Health Can't Wait
PCOS and androgen dominance are often overlooked or insufficiently treated in conventional medical practices, leaving many women unaware of their condition and the potential for managing it. Wolfe Functional Medicine's mission is to offer wide-ranging, integrative healthcare services to assist you in overcoming these health challenges. We invite you to get in touch with us to find out how we can assist you in taking back control of your health.
Stay updated on our latest insights about PCOS, androgen dominance, and other hormonal imbalances by following us on Instagram at @wolfe.fm. Join our community as we journey towards health and wellness together.
Yours in health,
Dr. Eva Dec
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