Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

September is PCOS Awareness Month

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an increasingly common condition in women where cysts develop on the ovaries and ovulation is inhibited. 20-25% of women have PCO which only affects the ovaries, while 5-10% of women of reproductive age have PCOS which involves blood sugar irregularities, insulin resistance, thyroid, adrenal and the pituitary.

PCOS usually begins in puberty and worsens with time, although fortunately it is a benign disorder. PCOS is complex because it is so much affected by a woman’s emotions, thoughts, diet and personal history. Instead of producing eggs in the ovary and releasing them once a month, called ovulation, women with PCO/S produce eggs that do not mature properly but develop into multiple cysts on the ovaries. The woman’s body produces too many male hormones, known as androgens. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common hormonal problems for women and a risk factor for Type-2 Diabetes. Many women have PCOS for 20 or 30 years before they develop diabetes, and most don’t realise that their daughters and granddaughters are at high risk too. Between 50% and 70% of women with PCOS have high insulin levels, called Insulin Resistance.

Signs and symptoms include irregular or absence of menstrual periods, which is usually the 1st warning sign, infertility, excess body hair, obesity, underweight or history of eating disorders, acne around the jawline, chest and back, craving sugars and starchy carbohydrates such as white flour products, heightened stress, anxiety or performance pressure.

Diagnosis requires two of the following tests:

  • Hormone Blood Tests: The ratio of Lutenizing Hormone (LH) to Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is 2:1 or more. Oestrogen and Testosterone are high, while Progesterone and SHBG are low.
  • Internal Ultrasound Examination of the ovaries illustrating 10 or more cysts on the ovary. Ovaries are usually 10ml or more in size.
  • Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) with Insulin is elevated. According to Dr Warren Kidson, the leading endocrinologist on PCOS at the Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals, all women diagnosed with PCO/S should be screened for insulin resistance by a 1 + 2 hour oral GTT: Glucose Tolerance Test with Insulin. Measuring only fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin are not sufficient.  This will determine whether it is systemic and whether the woman has already developed Type 2 Diabetes.

Dietary and lifestyle changes are essential for successful treatment of PCOS and for maintenance of the condition to prevent long term complications.
Eat 3 main meals with protein daily that stimulate your metabolism. If you skip meals, it slows your metabolism down and your blood sugars drop so that you crave a sugar or stimulant to bring them back up again quickly.

Reduce sugars, sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, fruit juices, cordials, alcohol, white bread and biscuits. Low glycaemic index foods are best, eg. whole grain bread, rolled oats, Basmati or brown rice, natural muesli, quinoa, fresh fruit.

Apple cider vinegar aids digestion and has been shown to improve blood sugar control in obesity and diabetes. Drink 1Tb in glass of warm water on rising.

Include some foods that contain phytoestrogens that help buffer against the stronger oestrogens in the body eg. 2 Tb of ground flaxseeds (flaxmeal) on your cereal or in smoothie, ¼  cup of alfalfa or sprouts, use mixed beans and legumes instead of grains, eat sunflower seeds, non-genetically modified soy products such as tofu, tempeh and miso. However, I do not advocate other Western invented soy products such as soy milk, soy sausages, soy protein powders, soy cheeses, etc

Thyroid: Check your thyroid (TSH<2 .5=".5" and="and" by="by" crushing="crushing" div="div" eat="eat" fry.="fry." iodine="iodine" levels.="levels." nori="nori" on="on" or="or" salad="salad" seaweed="seaweed" some="some" stir="stir" your="your">

Regular moderate exercise: minimum 4x week 45 minutes combination of aerobic and resistance is essential to control insulin levels and for stress management. 

Castor oil pack: Apply organic castor oil on lower abdomen with hot water bottle on top, ½ hour three times a week which is anti-inflammatory and helps you relax.

Adopt a lifestyle that balances work and relaxation, allowing some time to have fun, relax and have a good laugh! Consider a massage fortnightly, meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga, relaxing hot bath with lavender oil

• I specialise in treating women with PCOS and find that most women benefit from herbal medicines to rebalance their hormones and regulate their periods. Naturopathic treatment does not interfere with IVF treatment and increases fertility. 

• Using the work of Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, and the work of Vianna Stibal, ThetaHealing®, the emotional connections to PCOS are discussed to address any underlying emotional issues or creativity blocks so as to create healthy boundaries in all areas of your life. Claudette’s supportive approach makes this journey towards optimum health and balance rewarding and empowering. 


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