Are you a woman struggling with poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?
If so, this blog is for you!
There are many things that could cause PCOS, specifically due to the fact that there are four different types of PCOS that women can develop, but that doesn't mean there aren't basic things that can help.
First, let's understand what is PCOS.
PCOS is is a metabolic issue that presents itself as an endocrine imbalance. It has many root causes due to the nature it can show up as, thus there isn't one specific reason why someone develops it. In order to be officially diagnosed with PCOS, one has to have 2 out of the three main symptoms which are anovulatory or irregular cycles, polycystic ovaries, or elevated androgens (which can vary from testosterone, androstenedione or DHEA). That being said, other symptoms that women can experience are high fasting insulin, a thickened uterine lining, high luteinizing to follicle stimulating hormone ratio, facial hair, hair loss, acne, anxiety, weight gain or estrogen dominant symptoms.
Now there are basic things people with PCOS can do to help ease their symptoms or manage it, such as eating balanced meals to balance blood sugar, lifting weights, optimizing thyroid function, etc. However, there is a particular mineral that has been shown to offer promising benefits, and that is magnesium.
Aside from magnesium being one of the most important minerals we need to manage due to its over 600 enzymatic reactions in the body, it is responsible for specific things which we'll get to below.
1. Magnesium helps with insulin sensitivity
If you haven't checked out our other blog all on how magnesium can help with blood sugar, definitely check it out here! But to summarize, magnesium plays a role in glucose control and insulin metabolism at the cellular level. Calcium is what helps secrete insulin at the pancreas, whereas magnesium helps modulate how much glucose will enter into the cell, thus making it important for those highs and lows of blood sugar.
2. Magnesium helps with anxiety
Despite anxiety not being a forefront of PCOS, many women who do receive a diagnosis of PCOS also have mental health issues. This is usually correlated to the HPA axis dysfunction they may be struggling with, which directly affects one's hormones. Magnesium has been shown to have calming effects on the nervous system and even relieve inflammation- which ironically enough many women with PCOS struggle with.
3. Magnesium helps with migraines
One common factor that women with PCOS struggle with is migraines which can be due to two main factors: insulin resistance or estrogen dominance. As mentioned above, many women with PCOS, despite struggling with higher androgen levels, also struggle with estrogen dominant symptoms because majority of them aren't ovulating or producing adequate progesterone. Conversely, if one struggles with spikes in blood sugar or sudden drops, this could also leave one susceptible to migraines. Magnesium helps with relieving tension by calming the nerves but also increasing progesterone levels.
4. Magnesium helps with androgens
This is simply a direct affect from balancing blood sugar and lowering insulin. Androgens naturally rise as a side effect from higher blood sugar within serum levels, hence by taking magnesium and lowering insulin, androgens will lower too. Conversely, sometimes androgens can be high due to other issues related to the adrenals, and magnesium is necessary for their function as well.
If you have yet to get on a magnesium supplement, we highly recommend checking out our Upgraded Magnesium which you can find here!
Let us know what you think if you try it!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach