We talked to our new Toronto naturopathic Dr Francesca Reis ND about what PCOS is, and what her approach is to treatment. Dr Reis is licensed through the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, and a member of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), and the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND). She has completed a BSc (honours) in Chemistry from the University of Central Oklahoma, as well as an MD degree from St. George’s University of London in the UK.
Dr Francesca Reis ND gave us some insight of how PCOS can look in individuals:
“Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition among women of reproductive age. Women who suffer with PCOS may have irregular or missed periods, excess amounts of androgens (male hormones) or numerous ovarian cysts. These factors lead to symptoms such as excess facial or body hair, male pattern baldness, acne, and skin tags. PCOS can be diagnosed through blood work assessing hormonal levels, and an ultrasound which is used to look for cysts in the ovaries. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to infertility, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and endometrial cancer.”
We asked Dr Reis some of her approaches to treating PCOS:
“When a woman with PCOS comes to see me, I start off by taking a detailed medical history from her to find out what caused her to develop PCOS. I also order lab tests to look at hormones, adrenal function, and insulin and glucose levels. There are various causes of PCOS, but one of the biggest causes is insulin resistance, a condition where the body’s tissues are no longer sensitive to insulin, forcing the pancreas to pump out excess amounts of insulin. Some of the main causes of insulin resistance I see in practice are a diet high in refined carbohydrates, being overweight, a lack of exercise, inflammation, and poor sleep.”
Next week we will look with more depth into the causes of PCOS and how naturopathic Dr Francesca Reis ND gets down to the root cause of it.