There is not just one kind of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), in fact that are several types and knowing which PCOS type you have is key to knowing the right treatment protocol for you. Every type of PCOS is given the same name, even though the root causes are actually quite different. Of course, in mainstream medicine, every type of PCOS is also managed with the same suggested treatments, even though these treatments only work for some women, some of the time.
Different types of PCOS also have different symptoms – not all women with PCOS are overweight, or have acne, or have excess hair growth – and this confusion can delay diagnosis, and therefore delay proper treatment and support.
I personally had the type of PCOS that is rooted in insulin and food sensitivity. I’ve been able to put my PCOS into remission with the FLO Living protocol for almost 20 years now. It has meant I no longer struggle with my weight, my skin, my hair, or any of the other symptoms I used to have. However, it’s ongoing, I am mindful of my PCOS every day and I’ve created a lifestyle around what helps me to feel good despite this diagnosis.
There are a few types of PCOS, and different causes behind them, as well as varied symptoms. The way you’ll know which you have is by looking at symptoms, and following up with blood tests or an ultrasound to look for cysts on the ovaries. The first sign for all women is irregular cycles and missing periods. If you know you’re not ovulating and your cycles are messed up, the next step is to figure out which PCOS you’re dealing with exactly.
The 3 types of PCOS on the spectrum
- Insulin-resistant PCOS – this is the most typical and common PCOS type. High insulin levels stop ovulation in its tracks, causing irregular cycles and symptoms. The insulin resistance is brought about by diet. The symptoms are weight gain or obesity, acne, hirsutism, mood swings, and lack of periods. Women with this kind of PCOS are usually considered borderline diabetic.
- Inflammation-based PCOS – this is the kind of PCOS that can be seen in women who are not overweight, but normal weight or even underweight, and don’t feel they have any of the classic symptoms of PCOS. The inflammatory response that stops ovulation and causes irregular cycles comes from the body’s response to foods like gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, or from overexposure to endocrine disruptive chemicals whether it be from chemical lawn spraying or frequent use of the dry cleaner. There are multiple influencers that can cause suppressed ovulation and irregular cycles. It could be an over-reliance on artificial sweeteners (I’m talking too much Diet Coke or Stevia-based products). It could be due to poor diet, especially if you’re eating very little, only vegan, only raw, or no carbs whatsoever. The lack of ovulation will cause symptoms, but it won’t necessarily look or feel the same as common, insulin-resistant PCOS.
- Synthetic Hormone-Induced PCOS – this kind of PCOS is common for women who have been on the pill or other hormonal birth control like the implant, shot, or ring, for a long time. They will come off and see their periods do not return. The synthetic hormones shut down communication between the pituitary gland and the ovaries in order to prevent pregnancy and often times this can be challenging to bring back online.
It’s also possible to have a combination of these types of PCOS, as I did, or for the root cause of your PCOS to change and develop over time. This is why the FLO protocol is uniquely supportive for the PCOS “spectrum” that exists as it addresses all the root causes.
Common treatments for PCOS
Once you’ve got to grips with your PCOS type, the next step is to consider your treatment options. I’ve explained previously why the two most commonly prescribed PCOS treatments – Metformin and the birth control pill – are not very effective.
Metformin is only effective for women with insulin-resistant PCOS, and even then I recommend only short term use paired with changes to diet and lifestyle (https://www.floliving.com/metformin-for-pcos/). I have assisted many women for whom Metformin did not work to manage and control their PCOS symptoms using the FLO Living protocol.
The birth control pill just acts to mask the problems with PCOS. It may suppress symptoms short term, but they will return when you stop using it and they could be even worse than when you started. The pill happens to exacerbate many of the root causes of PCOS, including insulin-resistance and inflammation.
Natural treatments for PCOS
Vitex is not a good option for all women with PCOS, even if you are looking for a more natural treatment. Women with inflammation-based PCOS may find Vitex helps them, but if you have a different type, Vitex will worsen your symptoms.
The FLO Living protocol works for all the types of PCOS I’ve mentioned here to address the root causes.
For all PCOS types I recommend this 3 stage strategy for natural treatment:
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Eliminate endocrine disruptors
- Improve estrogen metabolism
Women with all types of PCOS can benefit from:
Other thoughts for your type of PCOS:
- Insulin-resistant PCOS – Focus on your blood sugar stability – lots of cinnamon for blood sugar regulation, in supplement form and/or sprinkled on your meals, plus brisk exercise after eating to prevent an insulin spike, like a walk after dinner.
- Other types of PCOS – if you don’t have the common symptoms of insulin-resistant PCOS, because you’re normal weight or even underweight, with clear skin – then you need to look carefully at whether you’re feeding your body enough and the right kinds of nutrients for it to make hormones. The communication between the pituitary gland and the ovaries has broken down and needs to be reestablished. Whether you came off the pill last month or last year you can follow my protocol for that transition to help jumpstart your ovaries. You can also realign with what would be a regular cycle by syncing your diet and lifestyle to the moon phases. This heightened awareness coupled with a gentle progression towards living in your FLO can bring back your period.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you know what kind of PCOS you have?
Second, have you tried the pill, Metformin, or Vitex already?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
Is Your Period Healthy?
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign – your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.