The PCOS and Diabetes Connection
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition that affects millions of women worldwide. With a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, hair loss, and blood sugar imbalances, it's no wonder that many are left wondering if there is a connection between PCOS and diabetes. One subtype of PCOS, Insulin Resistant PCOS, points to a possible link between the two conditions. But what exactly is the root cause of this connection, and is there a way to tackle the issue? In this article, we'll delve into the role of mineral imbalances in the development of both PCOS and insulin resistance, as well as explore potential commonalities between the two through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). By understanding the intricate relationship between minerals and hormones, we can begin to unravel the mystery surrounding the connection between PCOS and diabetes.
Overview of PCOS
Living with PCOS can feel like a never-ending battle, as it can show up in so many different ways. From hair growth and irregular periods to high blood pressure and difficulty losing weight, it can be incredibly frustrating to know what is behind it all. But, it's important to know that you're not alone. Receiving a diagnosis can be a turning point in learning to manage the condition and seek the right treatment plan. Lifestyle changes, medication, and hormone therapy can help with weight, blood sugar, and symptoms like hair loss. Your healthcare provider can give you guidance and support to take control of your health.
PCOS and Insulin Resistance
Dealing with PCOS can be an incredibly frustrating experience for many women. Having four unique types of PCOS can be overwhelming. Insulin Resistant PCOS is one of them. To avoid pre-diabetes, managing your insulin levels is crucial. A blood test is a simple step to take, but unfortunately, high androgen levels may also occur. This can make things even more complicated and make it harder to manage the condition.
HTMA as a diagnostic tool
Taking care of our bodies and ensuring they're functioning properly can be overwhelming and complicated at times. Understanding our body's mineral and metal status is key, but not all methods are equal. An accessible and effective option is the HTMA. It looks at minerals in our hair, providing insight into how we’re processing nutrients. Unlike blood work's snapshot, HTMAs offer a 3 month average. This test is also more precise than blood work since it measures what is present inside the cell. We often overlook the importance of minerals in our daily lives, but this analysis can help us identify any deficits and make improvements for optimal health.
Mineral Commonalities in PCOS and Diabetes
Do you have PCOS or diabetes, or know someone who does? If so, then you understand the difficulty of managing complications that come with these conditions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, PCOS and diabetes often go hand-in-hand with other issues such as hormonal imbalance, infertility, cardiovascular health risks, and insulin resistance - making treatment challenging when trying to get relief from any number of symptoms. But did you know that there are commonalities between both PCOS and diabetes which can help in their management? Let’s explore mineral imbalances shared between people with these illnesses and how dietary changes can lead to improved treatment outcomes for both!
An accumulation of calcium in the soft tissues could be dangerous and present itself in many different ways. Sometimes the body starts collecting calcium in places where it shouldn’t be, such as bones and teeth. High calcium levels on an HTMA test could show up as depression, joint pain, cold extremities, and constipation. Calcium buildup could also prevent our cells from getting hormonal messages.This can include thyroid, insulin, and other hormones.
High Ca:Mg ratio
Similar to the point above, when calcium is high, especially in relation to magnesium, it can hinder the message insulin desires to send to our cells. The Ca:Mg ratio is a representation of our blood sugar. Calcium is responsible for the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, whereas magnesium helps with the regulation of how much glucose enters the cell. Too much calcium can block the receptor sights or cause insulin to be secreted too often, whereas low magnesium can have one struggle accepting glucose to begin with.
Chromium deficiency is common in women who struggle with PCOS and individuals struggling with type 2 diabetes. It is an essential mineral responsible for the metabolism of all 3 macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein).This substance is widely known for its ability to improve glucose tolerance by facilitating glucose transport into cells and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Additionally, it stimulates enzymes like phosphoglucomutase to make glucose utilization more efficient.. Phosphoglucomutase in particular is an enzyme for starch biosynthesis, thus helping with glucose metabolism.
PCOS sufferers might benefit from increasing zinc in their diet, due to its role in regulating testosterone and progesterone. Although often associated with high testosterone, zinc is typically low in those with PCOS and can result in other health issues.
High Ca;K ratio
On an HTMA, we consider the Ca:K ratio the thyroid ratio.The thyroid plays a key role for those with PCOS. Without the proper use of thyroid hormone, women struggle to produce progesterone. As a result of irregular or anovulatory cycles, or estrogen-like symptoms, progesterone can be a challenge for women with PCOS. In addition, this is also another representation of a calcium shell, blocking our cells to utilize thyroid hormone. Furthermore, if the Ca;K ratio is high due to a potassium deficiency, this would also correlate to not just thyroid issues but also blood sugar imbalances. Potassium sensitizes our cells to thyroid hormone as well as insulin.
As mentioned above, potassium is important for the utilization of glucose, hence many individuals who struggle with insulin resistance could also be struggling with a potassium deficiency.
Going back to the thyroid point, selenium is a vital mineral for thyroid function. Regulating thyroid hormone is important to help manage major PCOS symptoms like painful or heavy periods, irregular periods, as well as the blood sugar imbalances.
There is a link between PCOS and diabetes, primarily due to insulin resistance. Various mineral imbalances in the body affect hormonal and enzymatic reactions, leading to conditions like calcium shell, high Ca:Mg ratio, chromium deficiency, zinc deficiency, high Ca;K ratio, low potassium, and low selenium. Addressing mineral imbalances through HTMA, and working with healthcare professionals can help to create personalized treatment plans for those affected. This holistic approach can bring about significant improvements in health and reduce the risk of long-term complications.
Dealing with PCOS and blood sugar issues is a challenge that many women face. It can feel overwhelming to understand the root cause of these health concerns and how to best manage them. That's why we're here to support you on your journey. If you've been considering whether your mineral levels might be contributing to these issues, we invite you to take the next step and explore this possibility with us. Our team is ready to provide you with personalized guidance and support, helping you to navigate your unique health needs with empathy, clarity, and a friendly approach. So don't hesitate any longer - click the link here and get started with us today!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach