Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): A Naturopathic Viewpoint


At Nexus Naturopathic Medical Clinic, one of the most common hormonal imbalances we treat is polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as PCOS. PCOS is a syndrome that is often under-diagnosed, because it is assumed that patients with this disorder must present with polycystic ovaries on a pelvic ultrasound. However, this is not necessarily true. According to the Rotterdam criteria, patients only need to fulfill 2 of the following 3 criteria to confirm PCOS diagnosis:

  • Androgen Excess: This is evident through a blood test and/or symptoms, including hirsutism (excessive body hair), acne, and male pattern hair loss

  • Menstrual Irregularity: Menstrual cycles longer than 35 days or absent

  • Polycystic ovaries: 12 or more follicles on an ovary

Additional symptoms of PCOS may vary from mild to severe:

  • Acne

  • Thinning hair or hair loss

  • Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) especially along face, chest, and back

  • Weight gain/difficult weight loss

  • Low libido

  • Fatigue

  • Infertility

  • Darkened skin (acanthosis nigricans)

When it comes to treating PCOS, it is important to take a holistic approach. PCOS increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and infertility. Therefore, treating PCOS is not only about lowering androgens (ie. testosterone) and inducing ovulation, but also preventing other illnesses. Focusing on blood glucose, gut function, adrenal health, stress, and diet is important instead of just suppressing symptoms. Dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and supplementation are used to manage symptoms of PCOS and achieve the following treatment goals:

  • Lower androgens (ie. testosterone)

  • Induce ovulation

  • Treat insulin resistance

  • Correct nutritional deficiencies

  • Reduce long term health risks and prevent other illnesses

  • Optimize diet and lifestyle

If you have the above symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis of PCOS, Calgary Naturopath Dr. Dhaliwal uses a combination of therapies to address your concerns, including lab testing, professional grade supplements, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications. To book an appointment, call 403-453-6261 or book online today.