Natural Treatments for PCOS

There are plenty of non-invasive, natural treatments you can investigate to help treat the underlying causes and effects of PCOS, as well as mitigate a lot of the unpleasant symptoms.  Take your time and have a good read through the following options:

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21 Responses to Natural Treatments for PCOS

  1. Tara says:

    I just wanted to thank you for all of this information. I came across the soulcysters blog while trying to find a natural product to use to try to get pregnant and through there was told to check this site out. I have gone thru IVF in the past to get pregnant but would prefer to get pregnant more naturally. Currently I am on DCI 1200 mg daily (about 2 weeks now) and am going to start Myo-I also. In your research have you come across why DCI works for some woman with PCOS but not others. I was just wondering because I never ovulated when I was on Clomid and other fertility drugs so I am patiently waiting to see if I will taking the DCI. Any advice you could give about the best supplements or combination of to get pregnant would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Belrosa says:

      Tara,
      Thank you for your comment, I am really glad that you have found the information useful.

      Whilst the science behind how DCI works is compelling and provides us with great insight into the mechanism of insulin resistance and PCOS, it is not a magic bullet. Every human being is unique in their physiology thus no two people will ever suffer from the same disease in exactly the same way. On top of physiological idiosyncrasies we have the influence that our lifestyle choices make on our health.

      With insulin resistance (IR) and polycystic ovarian syndrome as well as other related issues such as Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome, Type II Diabetes Mellitus etc, the effects of exercise are particularly important. When we exercise we increase our cellular receptivity to insulin, allowing us to utilise the carbohydrates from our food with much lower insulin levels. This is of vital importance in managing IR. The other very important tool in managing IR is to keep both the glycaemic load (total amount of carbohydrates you consume) and the glycaemic index of foods (how quickly the carbohydrates in the food are absorbed into your blood stream) low. Everybody is different and the amount of carbohydrates that you can safely consume will differ depending upon how much exercise you do, your weight, the degree to which you are insulin resistant and many other factors, however as a basic guideline it would be safe to say that eating in excess of 150 grams of carbohydrate per day will not be beneficial. Some women with PCOS restrict this amount down as low as 20 grams per day, though for many this will be too extreme. Others if they are very very fit and lead a very active lifestyle can consume as much as 250 grams – but these will all be from very low GI sources such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

      A general rule for everybody whether they have insulin resistance or not is to eat as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible – fresh, live foods that look exactly the same as when they were picked. The less processed food we eat, the healthier we will be, and this goes for every single person on earth. As an added bonus, the less processing and packaging that has gone into our food, the lower the carbon footprint will be and the less impact it will have on the earth.

      The research done to date on both DCI and PCOS indicates that if you:
      *Limit your carbohydrate intake
      *Increase your fibre intake
      *Regularly engage in exercise
      *Drink plenty of water
      *Take an appropriate amount of DCI
      *Ensure that your Vitamin D levels are adequate

      Then you will have the best chance of improving your health and fertility.

      Best of luck!

      Anne

      • Nina says:

        My daughter has just been diagnosed with PCOS. I never even new that it was an actual disease and so common among young women. Now I understand that I had it too as a teenager and I just didn’t know it. My daugter is 15 and has done all the lab work thay my gyn recommended. She’s not diabetic, but she has a higer risk of developing diabetes. I have turned to the internet for more help. Mostly to read and learn as much as I can. Started following a low GI index diet, hopefully that will help, but we are still at the stage of “why me?” and “how long will I have to eat like this?” I plan to take her to an actual nutritionist so that my daughter can realize this will be a lifelong change. Our entire family plans to adapt to a new healthier way of eating, but I just don’t want her to feel deprived or different. I know it’s a healthy choice for her, but like I said she’s at the Why Me stage! any suggestions would be greatly appreciated or any other sites you know of that will help. thanks again!

        • My PCOS Info says:

          Hi Nina,

          I’m sorry you’ve both had to hear such news, but how lucky your daughter is that you are taking the time to investigate the best course of action for her. PCOS is unfortunately not something that will ever go away completely, so it will help both of you immensely to follow a low glycaemic index and low glycaemic load diet. If you had PCOS when you were younger, you would still have the underlying predisposition towards poor carbohydrate metabolism and the cascade of hormonal and biochemical problems which can ensue.

          There are many useful resources for those with PCOS. I have listed some of them down the side of this blog under general health resources and PCOS resources. I have also done my best to put lots of information on this site. I now host it at http://www.mypcos.info, though a lot of the information is the same as this site. If you have any specific questions you would like answered, just let me know.

          Best of luck to you both!

    • Belrosa says:

      Tara, I have just come across another study by Dr Nestler, published in 2008 in Metabolism Clinical and Experimental 57 (2008) 1390–1397 which postulates that there may be multiple defects in DCI-phosphoglycan metabolism resulting in the same thing – Insulin Resistance. The study found that in this particular cohort of women, when they were supplemented with 3000 mg of DCI per day it did not have the expected (and previously found in other studies) result of increasing the release of DCI-IPG the active form within the body tissues. They hypothesize that if one is deficient in DCI then supplementation will address that and resolve the insulin resistance, however if one is not deficient in DCI, but has a defect in DCI-IPG metabolism then mere supplementation will not address the underlying problem. I hope this information is useful to you and answers your question. Best of luck.

  2. Nasrin says:

    Hi Anne,

    How does one know that she has a deficiency in DCI-IPG? And how do you correct this disorder?

    I bought DCI supplements from Chiral Balance last week and have been on it since. I’m starting to feel more energetic. Have not menstruated for 12 months now.

    • My PCOS Info says:

      The only way to definitively determine whether you are functionally deficient in DCI-IPG is to do a muscle biopsy. I don’t believe that this is performed clinically at present, as it’s a reasonably invasive test, but there have been a couple of studies which have performed muscle biopsies from live patients and obtained samples during autopsies of Type II diabetics as part of their investigation into the role of DCI-IPG in insulin resistance.

      From a study published in 2008 in the Journal Metabolism Clinical and Experimental by Cheang et al:
      Significantly decreased muscle DCI-IPG bioactivity and decreased total DCI content have been noted in needle biopsies [13] and autopsy specimens [14] from subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with controls. In addition, DCI-IPG (or P-type IPG) has been shown to be decreased in human term placentas in preeclamptic individuals, who also concomitantly exhibit decreased insulin signaling, when compared with healthy women [28].

      The other studies referred to in the paper are:
      [13] Kennington AS, Hill CR, Craig J, et al. Low urinary chiro-inositol excretion in non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1990;323:373-8.
      [14] Asplin I, Galasko G, Larner J. Chiro-inositol deficiency and insulin resistance: a comparison of the chiro-inositol- and the myo-inositol–containing insulin mediators isolated from urine, hemodialysate, and muscle of control and type II diabetic subjects. Proc Natl Acad Sci
      [28] Scioscia M, Gumaa K, Kunjara S, et al. Insulin resistance in human preeclamptic placenta is mediated by serine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 and -2. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2006;91:709-17. U S A 1993;90:5924-8.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Clinical signs such as better energy levels, reduced appetite (or even increased appetite) are a good indicator that you do have a degree of DCI deficiency, either through a lack of dietary myoinositol or an inability to convert myoinositol into DCI. Hopefully as your treatment progresses you will resume menstruating. Some women have found that their menstrual cycle either shortens, or if it has been absent, returns within their first 2-4 weeks of treatment with DCI, even if it’s been absent for years.

      There is no known way to correct the disorder, in fact, the disorder itself is still being isolated. It appears that some women (especially those from the studies performed in South America) have a deficiency of DCI that is corrected by dietary supplementation with d chiro inositol. A more recent study, in fact the one I quoted from above, resulted in findings that indicate that there is another mechanism of action in IR which may involve a functional deficiency in DCI-IPG which is NOT corrected by dietary supplementation. It’s hard to say, as the study was cut short at only 6 weeks due to them running out of DCI and they did not test levels of testosterone, cholesterol, triglycerides etc – the things that have been found to consistently improve in prior studies.

      Insulin resistance, which is really the root of the problem when it comes to PCOS, is a complex problem and there are many things that you can do to improve it. Please check out http://www.pcosinfo.wordpress.com/treatments/natural and https://pcosinfo.wordpress.com/news-research for some ideas or feel free to write back with any more questions you may have.

      Well this is rather a long-winded and technical response but it is a complex issue. I hope it’s been helpful to you.

      All the best,

      Anne

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hello! I was wondering if I am not clinically diagnosed with PCOS but I was diagnosed by my endocrinologist to have hyperinsulinemia and I havn’t had a normal period for 5 years and have gone as long as 18 months without having a period at all. Though I haven’t been diagnosed with PCOS (though I have alot of the symptoms) would it be still safe for me to take DCI supplements to help improve my hyperinsulinemia and maybe even bring back my periods? Or is DCI only for positive PCOS patients?

    • My PCOS Info says:

      PCOS is really a misnomer. Not every woman who has polycystic ovaries will have PCOS and not all women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries. The underlying metabolic disorder is really insulin resistance; the polycystic ovaries and other symptoms which are lumped into that syndrome (high testosterone levels, hirsutism, central obesity, alopecia, acne etc) are all a result of the high insulin levels.

      It sounds to me that you likely fit the diagnostic criteria for PCOS, whether a Dr has put the pieces together properly or not yet. You can find information on the diagnostic criteria here: http://mypcos.info/1/what_is_pcos/diagnostic-criteria as well as a list of the tests which should be performed in order to determine the severity here: http://mypcos.info/1/what_is_pcos/diagnostic-tests

      DCI has been shown to improve insulin resistance. It has been studied in relation to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, PCOS and even type II diabetes (the insulin resistant form as opposed to the insulin deficient form). I’ve attached a few studies on DCI & insulin resistance as well as a brochure I’ve put together on it for you to have a read of.

      If there’s anything further you’d like to know, please feel free to ask. I’m here to help.

  4. Del says:

    Do you have any information about Hyponidd? Or does anyone have any experience with this herbal formula from India?

    • My PCOS Info says:

      Hi Del,

      The studies on Hyponidd, whilst not published in peer-reviewed journals, look very promising. The ingredients look to be a good combination which should help control hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia, as is common in PCOS. One concern might be the propensity for herbs sourced from India to be significantly contaminated by heavy metals. Another difficulty is obtaining and importing it at a reasonable price. Many of the ingredients are available elsewhere in isolation – gymnema sylvestre and bitter melon (momordica charantia) for instance. It may be preferable to do this.

      Personally, before I learned about DCI I was going to try and get hold of some Hyponidd, but after several months discussion with Indian suppliers without result and concerns about heavy metal contamination, I chose DCI instead, which I also augment with chromium, cinnamon etc depending upon my need at the time.

      I have heard a few anecdotal reports from some women who have tried it, that it helped, others that it did not. There are many factors to consider – such as diet and exercise which are acknowledged as the keystones of any PCOS treatment plan.

      Kind regards,

      Anne

  5. Kristen says:

    Are there any side effects with taking DCI? If you take it and it turns out you don’t have this deficiency will it harm you?

    • My PCOS Info says:

      There are no known side effects of taking DCI. As it is a naturally ocurring substance found in some foods, and also a natural human metabolite (a substance which a healthy human body can manufacture by itself out of inositol), it is not dangerous or harmful to take it, whether you are deficient or not. It is also a water soluble nutrient, so clears from the body fairly quickly.

  6. Ritu says:

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome aka Polycystic Ovarian Disease manifests in multiple cysts covering the ovaries, filled with immature follicles (eggs) accompanied by hormonal abnormalities and irregularities in ovulation and menstruation. This is a metabolic condition associated with insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Studies have found that the majority of cases of infertility due to ovulatory disorders may be prevented with dietary and lifestyle modifications. You must have a look at Homeopathic remedies such as FB factor and OM 24 and Ayurvedic remedies such as M 2 tone and Hyponidd, that help to coax the ovaries to resume normal ovarian functions, by dissolving the cysts and helps to restore normal ovulation and menstrual cycles.

    • Alka Kapadia says:

      Can you take Ayurvedic medicines and DCI. My daughter has PCOS and is somewhat successful with getting periods with Ayurveda but still has hair loss, loss of energy, weight management etc. Will taking DCI help?

      • My PCOS Info says:

        Hello Ritu, There is no contraindication between DCI and Ayurvedic medicines. If both are designed to lower blood sugar, then the dose may need to be adjusted so as not to be more effective than is desired. Clinical studies indicate that DCI is successful in reducing the symptoms of PCOS in about 86% of womwn with PCOS. I hope your daughter will be amongst this percentage. If you have any further questions, please let me know. I’m here to help.

        • Alka Kapadia says:

          Thanks Ritu for your prompt reply. She is 20 and weight 128lbs and 5.1″. Ayurveda is only giving her meds for periods just now nothing for weight. So what dosage – powder or tablet of DCI should I give her. Please guide me when where and how to buy and give her this herb.

  7. jay says:

    Hi i have pcos been trying to get pregnant for5 years tried 3 ivf nothing work currently on metformin and clomid is there any herbal medicine I can take to have kids please help

    • My PCOS Info says:

      Hi Jay,

      I’m sorry to hear you have had such a hard time. Many women with PCOS find that d-chiro inositol (DCI) is very effective at helping them to become pregnant. It is a natural nutritional derivative that healthy people produce from the b-vitamin myo-inositol and that women with PCOS, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, do not (or have various problems in metabolising it). When women with PCOS supplement with DCI, most of them begin ovulating again and many of their other PCOS symptoms and metabolic markers improve.

      You can read about how it works here: D-chiro inositol: How Does It Work?

      You can purchase it from here: Buy D-chiro Inositol

  8. ND says:

    I currently take a supplement that contains just Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, and Nettle Root – I find some relief with this but not enough. Is it safe to take with DCI? Or would I have to chose between the two?

    • My PCOS Info says:

      Hi ND, There’s no contraindication between DCI and Saw palmetto, pygeum and nettle root. You should find DCI far more effective than that supplement as it will be addressing the root cause of the symptoms instead of just trying to mitigate some of them far downstream of the cause.

      If you have any other questions please let me know. I’m here to help.

      Kind regards,

      Anne

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