PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Fertility struggles, weight gain, and poor metabolic health are only a few of the symptoms associated with this complex hormone condition. Functional medicine offers true hormone balance for those seeking to manage PCOS symptoms with or without the use of conventional hormone treatment.

PCOS Affects 1 in 10

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal disorder that affects many aspects of a woman's health, including her reproductive, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems. It's characterized by a range of symptoms and potential complications that can significantly impact a woman's quality of life. PCOS is a common condition, affecting approximately 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, making it one of the most prevalent endocrine disorders.

PCOS is known to vary widely from woman to woman. However, there are common hallmarks of the condition:

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Women with PCOS often experience irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles, sometimes with long gaps between periods.


This refers to elevated levels of male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone. It can lead to symptoms like acne, excessive hair growth (hirsutism), and male-pattern baldness.

Polycystic Ovaries

Despite the name, not all women with PCOS have ovarian cysts. The term "polycystic" refers to the appearance of the ovaries on an ultrasound, where multiple small follicles may be seen.

Functional Medicine Approach to PCOS

Conventional Western medicine approaches PCOS primarily through symptom management, relying on hormonal contraceptives, anti-androgen medications, and insulin-sensitizing drugs. While these treatments can provide relief from some PCOS symptoms, they may not address the underlying causes. Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives can also mask underlying hormonal imbalances, making it challenging to identify and address them if the patient decides to conceive later.


If a woman's mother or sister has PCOS, her risk of developing the condition is higher.

Insulin Resistance

Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle contribute to insulin resistance, which is strongly associated with PCOS. 

Hormone Imbalances

Elevated androgens, along with changes in luteinizing hormone (LH) & follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Lifestyle Factors

Diet, exercise, stress, and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals influence the development and severity of PCOS.

The most current research supports the use of diet & lifestyle therapies as a first-line treatment to successfully treat PCOS symptoms. Functional medicine provides a patient-centered, systems-oriented approach to address PCOS from multiple angles.

Explore the most up-to-date treatment approaches available for PCOS symptoms today — virtual appointments are available!

For Fertility and Beyond

PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility. Irregular ovulation and anovulation are a hallmark of PCOS and both hinder conception. While hormonal treatments in conventional medicine may help induce ovulation, they may not address the underlying hormonal imbalances or insulin resistance, leading to a return of symptoms, as well as a continued risk of developing long-term metabolic diseases.

PCOS itself does not directly cause heart disease or type 2 diabetes, but it does share some of the main underlying risk factors, which is why it’s important to treat PCOS with a whole-body approach. 

Women who have PCOS may also:

  • Have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels

  • Be more likely to be pre-diabetic or diabetic

  • Be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease

PCOS Treatment & Testing

In addition to the standard hormonal panels, our integrative medicine team may investigate markers of inflammation, insulin resistance, adrenal function, and assess the gut microbiome.

A functional medicine doctor’s primary goal will be to resolve chronic fatigue by employing various tests and treatments, including:

  • Supplement therapy to improve insulin sensitivity, regulate menstrual cycles, and reduce elevated androgen levels
  • Gut function analysis to explore the potential influence of the microbiome on hormones and metabolic pathways
  • Dietary Modifications: A low-glycemic or anti-inflammatory diet to help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance
  • Lifestyle modifications such as reducing stress and promoting quality sleep to normalize hormones
  • IV Drip Therapy to reduce oxidative damage and replenish nutrients

Are you struggling with this condition?

See how we can help. 

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