Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorder.
Between 5 to 10% of women in their childbearing age, generally from 12 to 45 years old. It is also considered one of the leading causes of infertility.. In addition, it can affect a woman's menstrual cycle, hormones, heart, blood vessels, anxiety or depression, sleep, appearance (acne, hair growth) and weight.
Symptoms include high levels of androgens, or male hormones, absent or irregular periods and numerous small cysts (fluid filled sacs) in their ovaries. Modern medicine does not know the cause of PCOS, but most experts consider genetics as a major factor. Hormonal imbalance is the underlying cause (from a Western medicine perspective). In addition to androgens, insulin is level often higher than normal in women with PCOS. As a result, more than 50% of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes before the age of 40.
TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) considers PCOS as a symptom of deeper causes of dysfunction in the Kidney and Spleen, resulting in Blood stasis and Phlegm. Patients with PCOS often eat excessively, prefer spicy foods, cold foods and drinks and raw foods. These habits bring about weakness in the Spleen, which in turn cause Coldness and Phlegm. Eventually, the Kidney is affected, causing a reduction in function of the reproductive system.
Acupuncture treatments will aim at expelling the Dampness, Coldness and Phlegm, and tonifying the Kidney and Spleen. The diet will need to be corrected to avoid further damage to these systems. PCOS will improve as these systems are nursed back to health.