This week I have received multiple inquiries about PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and GAPS. Will the GAPS diet help with PCOS? The answer is yes, both directly and indirectly.
Dr. Natasha discussed with us in Chicago the fact that many have a hormone imbalance; It is not a difficult thing to discern. Just look around when you are in public. Many men have fat deposits on their bodies that are where women tend to put fat on their bodies; breasts, hips, thighs. Women have fat deposits, “beer bellies,” like we associate with men.
Why is this?
Our hormones are a very intricately balanced system. When one system is functioning less than optimal, for example, the thyroid, all of the other systems are likely to be slightly off balance too. Although treating the thyroid when necessary might be exactly what is needed, intervening in this intricate system can throw off the balance of the system as a whole. A very complex “feedback” system from one gland to another tells each gland how much hormone to produce. By supplementing hormones to one gland, it can interrupt that feedback system and tell the body to cut back on that particular hormone even more.
PCOS is an imbalance in the hormones. GAPS diet addresses this directly by providing the nutrients needed to support hormone production. Hormone production needs good fats to supply cholesterol. Supplying cholesterol in the diet gives the body a “break” from making it. Cholesterol is a necessary part of every cell in the body and the building block of EVERY hormone.
GAPS also helps balance the body by supporting natural healing of the gut and detoxification in the body using fermented foods and probiotics, indirectly addressing PCOS. As digestive health improves, the liver can function more efficiently, as it has less toxins to deal with
Below is a copy of this question on Dr. Natasha’s blog with her response:
1. Is PMS a sign of digestive issues? Can the GAPS diet help with common infertility issues such as endometriosis and PCOS? Some women report irregularities and loss of menstruation during die-off. Is this cause for any concern?
“Digestive system is always involved in PMS, PCOS, endometriosis and other hormonal abnormalities: toxins produced by unhealthy gut flora interfere in the delicate balance of hormones in the body – some hormones become low or insufficient, other hormones become excessive. When the die-off is initiated, more toxins are released into the bloodstream, so your typical hormonal symptoms these toxins cause, become more acute. Indeed the menstruations may become irregular and PMS may get worse. Die-off is temporary, so these symptoms will pass. Just keep them under control by gradual introduction of probiotics, fermented foods and food items, which you may be sensitive to. I do not specialise in infertility or other female reproductive problems, but I have many patients, who started the GAPS Programme, and their first symptoms to go were symptoms of PMS. More chronic conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS take longer to remedy, but GAPS Programme works well for many women with these conditions as well. In order to make steroid hormones (and all sex hormones are steroids) we need plenty of cholesterol and animal fats. So, for all these conditions it is essential to have high-fat and high-cholesterol diet, where main sources of fat are animal products: meats, eggs, fish, butter and cream. Women, who are trying to conceive, should consume 2 cups of homemade sour cream per day, as well as 4 fresh eggs and plenty of fatty meats and fish. As the gut flora becomes more normal and the gut wall heals, the toxins will disappear, and your hormonal system will come back to normal balance.”
Wishing you good health….