Root + Revel

How I Cured PCOS + Leaky Gut Naturally!

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

**This post first appeared August 2016. It was updated July 2017 to reflect new information, supplement recommendations, and a helpful checklist of natural treatments for PCOS and Leaky Gut.

It’s been exactly two years since I was first diagnosed with PCOS, Leaky Gut + Insulin Resistance. And one year since I was pronounced “cured” by my doctor!

I’m warning you now. This one’s a doozy! It may be the longest post I’ve ever written, so settle in. Pour yourself a cup of butter coffee and stay a while. I promise the pay-off of sticking with me through to the end will be worth it (there’s a special FREE goodie for you in the post!).


How to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally

Some of you may remember my story, and how that diagnosis was just one phase in my health journey.

For several years before my diagnosis, I struggled with chronic constipation, unexplained nausea, fatigue, irregular periods, acne, PMS, weight gain and irregular blood sugar. And yet, despite going to many, many doctors and specialists, nobody knew what was wrong with me.

In fact, most doctors just chalked my concerns up to “aging” or “being a woman” (keep in mind, I was in my mid-twenties!) and either dismissed me entirely or just threw expensive prescription medication at my symptoms, rather than working to heal the root cause; medication that had really extreme and scary side effects, and that ultimately did NOT work.

But that’s not what this post is about (you can read more about my diagnosis here). No, today, I am here with good news!

Today, I am here to tell you that just one year after my diagnosis, one year after I found a doctor who really listened to me, discovered the root cause of my symptoms and put me on a path to healing, I have reversed my PCOS, Leaky Gut and Insulin Resistance. And I’ve done it all NATURALLY!

That means no prescription medication. I know, I was skeptical at first, too. After all, Western medicine is all most of us know living in the U.S., and it’s done amazing things for many people.

But when I harnessed the power of nutrition, I learned that FOOD IS MEDICINE. Food heals. And coupled with some safe, natural supplements and simple lifestyle changes, healing is possible. I am living proof!

At my doctor’s appointment last week, I was pronounced “cured”. My blood work looked great, my symptoms have nearly all disappeared and I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life!

So I wanted to write a post today to share my healing journey with y’all, in the hopes that maybe there’s somebody else out there struggling with similar issues who can learn something from my story and begin their own healing.

If you have any digestive disorders or hormonal imbalances, this one’s for you!

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

Natural Treatment for PCOS + Leaky Gut

After my initial diagnosis, my doctor (you might remember Dr. Taz from our In Her Shoes series) put me on an anti-inflammatory diet. Unsure of what this meant, I researched the diet online and read the life-changing book, Clean Cuisine (buy your copy here!).

Related: In Her Shoes with Clean Cuisine author Ivy Larson

Following this diet was the single greatest thing I did for my health. In short, I drastically reduced my intake of gluten, dairy, inflammatory oils and sugar, instead filling my plate with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. Learn more about what an anti-inflammatory diet is, and how you can implement it, here.

Likewise, I also cut out all processed food and centered my diet around real, whole foods that would nourish my body to its fullest.

Related: What is Real Food + What to Avoid

But I didn’t stop there–I read dozens of books (my favorites are listed here!) after Clean Cuisine in an attempt to understand what was really going on in my body and how I could potentially reverse my diagnosis and get rid of my symptoms.

Though I learned that food is the first, and most important, step to natural healing, there are other techniques that can boost your healing power. Like healthy detoxes and cleanses, such as Whole 30 (here are the Top 15 Things I learned from Whole30 when I did it earlier this year).

I also learned about the power of safe and natural supplements.

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

Today, my supplement routine is much simpler (keep reading to find out what supplements I take now), but it was so important when I was in the early stages of healing that I nourished my body with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

And to be honest, there’s a level of trial and error that’s involved in finding the supplement routine that works best for you.

RELATED:  What's In My All-Natural Medicine Cabinet?

I was skeptical that supplements would really work, but I can say that without a doubt, supplements were the key to a lot of my healing, as there are many nutrients that our bodies simply can’t get enough of from food alone, no matter how healthy you eat (hello, Vitamin D!).

I also made some holistic lifestyle changes. Some of these were simple, like exercising regularly (don’t miss my favorite FREE online workouts here). Though I made the switch from burning out my adrenals by over-exercising (more than 60 minutes per session, or running) several times a week, to exercising for less time (15-30 minutes) every single day, or taking long, leisurely walks and going to restorative yoga classes.

I love using my Fitbit as extra support to balance my hormones, as its designed to help you become more active, eat a more well-rounded diet, sleep better and turn you into a healthier human being one step at a time–all of which are incredibly influential factors on our hormones.

Others took a bit more discipline, like meditating and tossing toxic store-bought skincare, makeup, personal hygiene and cleaning products for safe, natural alternatives (don’t miss my favorite affordable natural beauty brands heremy current green beauty routineand our Savvy Swaps series, where we make the switch from toxic to safe products monthly!).

Related: The 10 Most Toxic Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

I also started making a lot of my own skincare and cleaning products, because most store-bought products contain a cocktail of harmful chemicals that are proven to cause cancer, hormonal imbalances (including infertility), asthma and allergies, neurotoxicity and other ills. This was particularly important for my PCOS, as many of these toxins mimic estrogen in the body, further exacerbating estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalances.

You can find my favorite DIY recipes here, and we just launched our first eBook on DIY Natural Cleaning, which you can download for FREE here.

So that’s the big picture of how I healed my body naturally: an anti-inflammatory diet, safe supplements, restorative exercise, getting rid of toxic chemicals and practicing self-care.

But if any of you out there also have PCOS, Leaky Gut and/or insulin resistance, you can keep reading to learn more about exactly what I did to reverse those specific disorders.

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast 

Some healing takes a really long time (see below for my PCOS story). But within one week of treating my digestive disorders naturally, I noticed a nearly 100% improvement. After one month, I felt like my digestion was totally back on track and doing what it was supposed to do. I couldn’t believe how fast food worked, especially considering how many years I suffered!

Let’s start with the basics. What is Leaky Gut? Leaky gut is essentially when your intestinal lining is damaged and/or inflamed and foreign particles can actually leak out of your gut.

This, as you might have guessed, causes digestive distress, from constipation and nausea (which is what I had for years!) to diarrhea, IBS, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.

RELATED:  How To Heal Leaky Gut + Cure IBS Naturally

So what’s my secret? It’s simple: the following five steps healed my leaky gut:

  1. Reduce inflammation by majorly upping your intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and fiber and decreasing your intake of inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, junky oils (click here for a guide to healthy cooking oils), refined carbs and sugar.
  2. Drink a green smoothie a day. This daily habit really helped me accomplish all of these goals, particularly when I added a fiber boost like flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp hearts.
  3. Incorporate gut-healing foods like bone broth (make your own with this recipe or save time by stocking up on Kettle & Fire’s organic bone broth), collagen, and fermented foods, like kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, and miso.
  4. Take safe supplements. There’s a variety of choices out there, and it’s all about finding which ones work best for you. But a good place to start is with a high-quality Probiotic. Fish Oil, Magnesium, IBS Formula, Digestive Enzymes, and/or HCL with Pepsin are also really helpful for anyone struggling with digestion issues, including indigestion (heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, gas, or bloating).
  5. Nourish your thyroid. I started taking a natural compounded T3/T4 thyroid replacement hormone to treat my hypothyroidism (which causes sluggish bowels) and a thyroid-specific multi-vitamin (it’s rich in Selenium, Zinc, and Iodine, plus methylated B vitamins, D3, methyl-folate, and Vitamin A), and I’ve been amazed at how much it’s helped improve my digestion. It’s amazing how connected the body is–when one system is out of whack, it affects another and can become a viscious cycle. Optimizing my thyroid has been incredibly helpful not only for digestion, but for hormonal balance, anxiety, energy and metabolism, as well.
RELATED:  Baked Miso Salmon with Ponzu Sauce and Lentils

Though there aren’t as many blood levels to check for digestive disorders, there are a few numbers you can monitor. One is food allergies or sensitivities.

Unless you have a severe food allergy, sensitivities and intolerances can often just be a sign that your gut is inflamed. And, did you know that you can reverse these sensitivities? Check it out…below are the results of my food allergies starting in August 2015 through today.

peanut, went from .17 –> .04 –> .02 –> .03
cashew, went from .15 –> .09 –> .05 –> .03
almond, went from .05 –> .05 –> .05 –> 0.0
cow’s milk, went from .18 –> .11 –> .09 –> .07
casein, went from .14 –> .08 –> .06 –> .07
soybean, went from .09 –> .03 –> .01 –> 0.0
gluten, went from .29 –> .19 –> .11 –> <0.1
egg white, went from .25 –> .19 –> .12 –> .09
egg yolk, went from .29 –> .19 –> .14 –> .11

As you can see, every single one of these food allergies is down, not only from where I originally started, but to a point where I don’t have a single allergy.  A sure sign that my gut is healing.
You can also have your C-reactive protein levels checked, which indicate inflammation. Ideally, this level will be less than 1.0, though you’re not at high risk of inflammatory disease until it’s over 3.0.
Want to test at home for food sensitivities and gut health? Luckily, it’s now possible to get results without stepping foot into a doctor’s office! A couple of my favorite companies that provide you with affordable tests you can take at home are Viome for gut health tests + food recommendations and EverlyWell for food sensitivities test (EverlyWell also has awesome hormonal tests, vitamin + mineral deficiency tests, and more).
For more details, read about my first hand experiences with Viome in Metabolism + Microbiome Testing From Your Couch, and with EverlyWell in the posts The Best At Home Health Tests and Women’s Health Tracking Tools to Track Periods, Increase Fertility + Balance Hormones.

RELATED: Are you inflamed? Take this quiz to find out!

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

how to cure pcos naturally

So what is PCOS? PCOS, which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women. Symptoms include irregular periods, acne, PMS, weight gain, hair loss, and, often times, infertility.

When I was first diagnosed with PCOS, I suffered more from excess androgens, which caused me to break out, gain weight around my midsection and skip periods. My initial blood work showed AMHA levels of 13.89, which is one of the indicators that you have PCOS.

But after drinking spearmint tea, taking an apple cider vinegar shot in the morning, and following my anti-inflammatory diet, I reduced that level back into a healthy range between 4 and 7.

Unfortunately, then I became estrogen dominant (meaning my estrogen levels were too high and progesterone too low). The peak of my estrogen dominance was when my estrone levels were above 200 and my estradiol levels hovered over 150.

This imbalance caused me to have symptoms like acne, long menstrual cycles, and heavy cramping during my period. Today, my estrone and estradiol levels are now down to 68 and 123, respectively, which is a very healthy range, and my progesterone levels are up to 17.

And my periods come every 29-32 days, compared to 45-60 days, with regular ovulation (yes, even though I’m not trying to get pregnant, I track my cycles religiously!). My acne has nearly gone away, I don’t get bad cramps with my periods, I’ve lost weight, and my energy is way up!

RELATED:  A Health Update: How To Manage PCOS + Live Symptom Free Naturally

But here’s the thing… there is no “cure” for PCOS. I will always have it. What I can do is manage it. I can reverse the chronic conditions that accompany the hormonal disorder and essentially be in “remission” from the symptoms. I can feel “cured”, but if I don’t treat my body right, PCOS can always flare up again. So it’s something I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life.

I should also note that there are many different kinds of PCOS, and it manifests itself differently in every woman. For example, I don’t have any cysts on my ovaries, nor have I ever been really overweight. But my hormone labs, symptoms and periods all indicate that I have PCOS. Other women might have cysts, but no other symptoms. So it’s important to look at your situation as unique and work with a thoughtful doctor who can help you cure/reverse/treat your PCOS without relying on harmful and controversial bandaids, like birth control pills, Metformin, Clomid, and/or spironolactone.

Other women might have cysts, but no other symptoms. So it’s important to look at your situation as unique and work with a thoughtful doctor who can help you cure/reverse/treat your PCOS without relying on harmful and controversial band-aids, like birth control pills, Metformin, Clomid, and/or spironolactone.

A Guide to Our Favorite Healthy Brands + Exclusive Discounts

Here’s what I did to balance my hormones:

  1. Reduce Inflammation by eating an anti-inflammatory diet (yes, this again! healing takes time, remember!)
  2. Nurture your adrenals with yoga, meditation, and self-care, as cortisol (the stress hormone) affects every single one of your hormones. Some of my favorite self-care techniques include meditation, yoga, epsom salt bath soaks, massage, and reading (particularly in the sun for 15 minutes a day to boost Vitamin D levels). It’s also helpful to consume less caffeine and alcohol. I have since switched to decaf coffee (with the occasional green tea or matcha latte), and I try to limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per day, often skipping drinking altogether.
  3. Manage estrogen levels with supplements like VitexDIMTurmeric and Ayurvedic Herbs, which helps to cleanse your liver, metabolize hormones and detox your body. It also helps to reduce your toxic burden by switching to natural skincare, makeup, and household products, as many conventional products contain fake estrogens that cause imbalances.
  4. Balance blood sugar: Insulin resistance was another issue I struggled with as a woman with PCOS–many women who have PCOS also have insulin resistance and hypothyroidism, as well. Essentially, my blood sugar (fasting glucose and insulin) levels were way too high, putting me at a very high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. This really scared me, perhaps most of all. Cutting out refined carbs and sugar, focusing on healthy fats, fiber and protein, eating at regular intervals (especially first thing in the morning), and a couple of supplements (namely Inositol) helped me bring my fasting insulin levels down from 6.3 to a healthy 2.9. And my fasting glucose is now an ideal 88.
  5. Nourish your thyroid. Yep, this one again too. Isn’t is crazy how linked our symptoms can be? The same way my hypothyroidism was slowing down my digestion, it was also worsening my hormonal imbalances. By focusing on thyroid-healthy techniques, and taking the supplements mentioned above, I’ve nearly cleared up my acne, normalized my periods, and drastically reduced my anxiety (with the help of self-care, namely yoga, and therapy).

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

My Plan for Staying Healthy

Ok, this blog post is certainly going to win an award for longest post ever. Sheesh, if you’ve made it this far, I commend you! And I hope you’ve gotten TONS of helpful tips along the way.

A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined that I would be writing this post, telling the story of how all of those debilitating symptoms that plagued me for years have disappeared. But thanks to food and natural living, here I am, doing exactly that.

This is a really proud moment for me and one that I hope inspires you to find healing naturally. I highly recommend seeking out a holistic MD near you to help you on your journey. Obviously, I am not a doctor and my story is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. I’m simply sharing what has worked for me.

Moving forward, to maintain my newfound level of health, I plan to continue eating an anti-inflammatory diet focused on real, whole foods. Gluten, dairy, junky oils and sugar will never have a regular place on my plate again, though I am a firm believer in moderation and think it’s crucial to your health and happiness that you allow yourself to let go and enjoy delicious food every now and then. So, expect more of my signature 80-20 rule!

I’m currently working with my naturopathic doctor to simplify my supplement regimen, but for now I am taking a Multi-Vitamin, Probiotic and Compounded T4/T3.  It took me a few years to simplify my routine to this point, but it was worth all of the energy I put in to now feel my best ever with minimal effort.

If you’re interested in regular health updates from me, please comment below (or ask a question or share your own health journey!) and let me know what you’d like to see. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Yours in health,

Kate

P.S. This post has been updated to be completely forthcoming with you all. After struggling with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, I added Zoloft to my medicine cabinet this year. While I struggle with the desire to treat everything naturally and avoid prescription medication when possible, I’ve found that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, and there’s no need to suffer needlessly. Root + Revel is all about balance, and I strongly believe there is a time and a place for Western medicine. I try to always seek the natural, holistic approach first, and then supplement with safe prescriptions, with minimal side effects, when necessary. I work with a holistic psychiatrist to manage my medication in tandem with cognitive behavioral therapy and yoga.

P.S.S. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget that I promised you all a FREE goodie. Download this handy cheat sheet for natural healing here! It’s part of my FREE Library of Resources that I offer exclusively to subscribers. 

Learn how to cure PCOS + Leaky Gut naturally with food, safe supplements and holistic lifestyle changes. No prescriptions required!

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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137 comments on “How I Cured PCOS + Leaky Gut Naturally!”

  1. Hi! I drank spearmint tea for a month, and while my androgens went down, my estrogen increased. Do you still drink the tea, or did you do the pharmaceutical route? Thanks!

  2. Hello!

    Thank you for your post. I’m struggling with how to proceed after 10 months of eating very clean and still experiencing sever cystic acne, digestion issues, etc. Did you do an elimination diet targeted at healing your gut? Outside of the common culprits (gluten, sugar, dairy), did you cutout certain foods like raw or insoluble fiber? For how long? When did you add them back in and how did you decide you were ready to? Did you have any symptoms when you added them back?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Hannah – Sorry to hear about your troubles; I know how frustrating that is! I worked with an integrative health expert here in Atlanta (Dr. Taz) so we ran specific tests to help understand what was going on in my body. I really recommend working with a professional and doing different tests for hormones, food sensitivities, gut health etc. That’s really the only way to *truly* know what’s at the root of your problem! In the meantime you could try an elimination diet but I think those can be tricky and haven’t personally gone that route. Best of luck!!

  3. Hey Kate,

    I’m so happy that I came across your blog because I have been struggling with hyper thyroid and Graves’ disease. I know that I can heal my body through food and I have been doing that for the past couple of months and taking the proper supplements. I wish there was more of a community with answers and support like you because it’s been very hard to find since I was diagnosed in 2015. I have been to countless endocrinologist and natural pathic doctors to find what is the right remedy for healing. I am learning more and more each year.

    • Hi Julianne – Oh, I am so happy that you’re finding the site useful! The whole reason I started this site is for people like you, so it makes my day knowing you’re getting some support here. I know how hard it is to make sense of it all, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job persevering through the search and continuing to learn. That’s all we can really do! Wishing you the best. <3

  4. I heartily congrats Arogyam doctors. I have conceived 11 years after my marriage. I took many treatments, not cured, finally this Arogyam pcod kit cured my problem and I got conceived very holistic treatment, recommend it

  5. Hi there! I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this blog post and all you are doing! I am only 18, and a few months ago I was diagnosed with both PCOS and hypothyroidism. I also have always suffered with gut problems and food sensitivities. Its hard to find my own personal groove for what most benefits my health and all of my different needs. Reading this though, I feel like I am not alone there is another real person that has been through what I am going through. Thanks for sharing your story and all of this wonderful information!

    • Hi Summer! Wow, I so feel you and understand. I’m super happy that you found R+R to hopefully help guide you on your healing journey. I do what I do for people like you! 🙂

  6. May it be the best day of your life thus far, & may your happiness grow with each passing day through the many many birthdays that surely are ahead of you.

  7. Hi Kate!!!!
    I get your emails and i have been looking through your blogs and i need your help what do i do/ask for the doctor to test if i have pcos i have cyst on my ovarys and my vagina is so tight it hurts for intercourse im thinking i have hormanal imbalance as well but endocrinologist said i can not go by 1 lab reading since hormones flucuate! I went to all nat doc last year food sensitivities were through roof it was t a T everything i was eating spinach lettuce citus beans sweet potatoes dairy garlic avacado u name it i cried cried how could eating healthy get me this way im struggling that was last year did blood tests after i took high histamines probiotic which I didn’t realize i had prob but it inflamed gut made me miserable couldn’t sleep for days tried all diff ernt ones as well did not work! Then next day had blood work with food sensitivities! My vitm D was 20 took sublingual went up 44 but my tounge so dry horrible was taking b12 as well dried my saliva glands out! I stopped the vit D and b12 and my bloat is back and my tounge papilea are not shedding its white Hairy tongue look!!!! Please help i truly need it im loosing my mind!!! Thanks for your time and for sharing your story with all truly great full!

  8. Hello Kate, I’m really thankful to you. I have read your blog which contains PCOS problem and remedy. In this blog, I do not agree with that point. PCOD (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is not permanent which can cure by dieting and proper food. When the hormonal is balanced the pcos will cure. The regular cycle is important for everyone otherwise it can making big problems. We can try to conceive with PCOS but have to maintain correct weight and proper diet and exercise. Anyways now I got a clear idea kate. Thank you for the article. Am admired. Keep writing…

    • Thanks for your support! Most doctors will say that you can never truly “cure” PCOS, but you can keep it managed and symptom free through lifestyle, diet and exercise, so that’s what I’m talking about in this post. Thanks for being here!

  9. Thank you for the information. However, I have to disagree that there is no cure for PCOS. Well perhaps not a cure but 100% remission. My PCOS went into complete remission the day I had gastric bypass surgery (RNY). Before my RNY surgery I took 2100 MG Medformin daily for my PCOS. I had to shave big black hairs off my fair completion daily. I also spent over an hour a day plucking black hairs to try and avoid the black shadow on my face. I had acne and male pattern baldness at age 51 and weighed 260 pounds eating under 1,000 calories a day. The day after my RNY surgery, before I lost any weight, I had no beard! My head hair grew back and no more ovairan cysts. Seven years later and post menopause 2 years, I now pluck about a dozen hairs from my face every month. I weigh 140 pounds and have no symptoms of PCOS, including clean blood tests. I eat 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day without gaining weight. Maybe my PCOS isn’t cured but it’s in 100% remission which is almost the same. The first 6 months after my RNY surgery were h*** and the first year was very difficult but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe everyone isn’t willing to take such drastic steps to put their PCOS in remission but my only regret is not doing it sooner.

    • So glad to hear what’s worked for you, Kris, and that your symptoms are in remission! I say there is no cure for PCOS because that’s the consensus among doctors and health professionals. I agree that the symptoms can go into remission but do think we’re more susceptible to getting the symptoms back if we don’t keep our health and wellness a priority.

  10. Hello, I’m curious about your food allergies you have listed. Did you cut them out completely or just reduce them per the anti- inflammatory diet? My dr did blood testing for allergies and it came back with a mild allergy to egg white and cows milk only. I’ve also been diagnosed with IBS, so I’m hoping switching to an anti inflammatory diet will help. It seemed to be doing much better but then I recently decided to stop taking birth control pills, and I think that has caused my digestive issues to resurface. Thanks for all the great info on the site!

  11. Kate, hello my name is Natalie and I’m pretty sure I have leaky gut. Within the past six months or so it seems like I’ve become allergic to everything. I’m trying to figure out my best plan however I’ve got a bladder disease called Interstitial Cystitis. Basically the lining of my bladder is gone. I’ve been suffering for almost eight years. I’m currently going to pain management because with out my pain medicine the pain is unbearable. Fact is when I’m flailing nothing really helps. The trouble is I think I’ve become allergic to my pain meds now too and I’m not sure what to do. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Natalie

    • Google leaky gut diet. I started becoming intolerant to foods- such as developing oral allergy to avocado and carrots. Kettle and Fire has a really good chart of ‘foods to eat’, ”foods to eat occasionally’ and ‘foods to avoid’ I’ve sended up completely eliminating grains of all sorts after removing dairy, beef, eggs, soy and then wheat-and several of my digestive symptoms have lessened. I elevated to oils (vegetable oil/canola oil) I’m also drinking chicken bone broth every morning plus a tbsp of apple cider vinegar every day. Adding green tea with coconut oil. I’m sure you have leaky gut. I used to be able to eat most foods and recently after becoming pregnant & having my baby I’ve had tons of issues. Look up leaky gut diet and you’ll find a ton of information. Good luck. I even boxed up almost all my processed foods and gave it away -keeping all few snacks for my husband. .. and I’m looking into where I can get Farm raised organic non gmo meats. It’s more expensive but your body can better absorb foods/nutrients when it’s not enflamed. Leaky gut is linked to a host of health issues from allergies /autism/depressiom/ IBS, etc.

    • Scalded with blood in the urine=IC pain.
      Daughter had it this badly (me, not so badly).
      She took the expensive (over $800 month) meds.
      That did help-but she also did other things.
      Please do not think I am telling you what to do, but
      only telling you what we did.
      Find a doctor/nurse practitioner who treats post-menapausal
      women with natural hormones. (One who hopefully also treats
      MTHFR from your genetic profile, too.) Make sure the office uses a
      compound pharmacy, so that you can be treated at the proper
      dose for you, with all natural hormones.
      Then take only methylated (or hyro. versions) of B vitamins.
      You may or may not have the MTHFR genes-only testing can
      tell you [use 23andMe for that] but this is very common. And
      if you are MTHFR, then you are NOT getting enough B vitamins,
      especially if you take a supplement with cyanocobalamins. (IF MTHFR,
      you cannot absorb them and end up too low in B’s even though you are
      taking vitamins!) And not enough B’s is bad=stress, hormone issues, etc.
      Then reduce stress, even if you must take a drug. We had to do a prescription
      anti-anxiety drug, but friends in another state (where “grass” is legal) found
      a better way. (Low dose only, once in evening-worked wonders-with no side effects!
      Then eat well. This post sounds good. Paleo or Low Keto is good, too.
      Just get rid of gluten, sugar, dairy (at least temporarily) and do a lower carb.
      There are plans out there. I find a low carb for 5 or 6 days (eaten all within
      about 8 hours time during day) followed by a day or two of carbs-works for me.
      My daughter does more or less this, plus she does some fasting now and then.
      Don’t worry about exercise during the time you are changing over to a low carb
      diet (and please read up on the “keto flu” or herxheimer effect before you start!)
      But exercise is important-just don’t stress yourself out by doing too much too soon!
      But all this is worth it! It Worked For US!
      Daughter doesn’t take that expensive drug any more, and she no longer notices
      her IC (unless she really eats a lot of the “wrong foods” that can cause IC.)
      She may or may not still have PCOS, but she is better with that, too!
      The biggest problem with this program is the diet.
      Cooking for yourself is probably the best, but if you can’t or won’t (too tired?)
      then figure out what you need to do to at least start this. If it involves freezing meals
      ahead of time, instead of fresh (which is best!) start with that. Even a shipped in
      frozen meal would be better than grabbing quick junk food!
      You will make mistakes-but just start!
      It is worth it!
      Jeannette Marie

  12. As a nurse and a fellow sufferer of PCOS, your title that you reversed PCOS is totally false. PCOS never goes away! It is a hormonal imbalance. Your just managing it better by diet.

  13. Dear Kate

    Its just after 3am here in Cape Town South Africa and insomnia has kicked in. So I google a bit here and there to try and figure out how I can get healthy again and I came across your post. Your post brought me to tears. Its exactly what Im going through right now. Im 38 and we trying to conceive ( no kids yet) I have PCOS with insulin resistance with hypoglycemia( diagnosed in 2008 but had It since I was 14), endless gut problems that wont stop, high inflammation levels(crp) and the list goes on and on and on. Ive been from doctor to doctor, to a gynaecologist, a endocrinologist, a gastroenterologist etc. Finally a gynae did the right blood tests last week and the results are really bad. But I will do my best to overcome my everyday battles. I cant thank you enough for taking the time to write this post for people like us who is stil struggling with these illnesses. Thank you once again

    • Oh, Annalisa – my heart goes out to you! So sorry to hear about your challenges, but I love that you’re still looking for solutions. The power of hope should never be underestimated. <3 I wish you lots of love and improvements on your health journey and am happy you found R+R as a resource!

    • Which tests did they do? as this is the same story for me…

  14. Thank you SO much for this post! How do you recommend finding a doctor who is familiar with PCOS and will support you in managing it naturally?

    • Hi Courtney – I would just google something like integrative health, functional medicine and/or women’s hormones in [fill in the name of your city/town and state] and see what comes up. There’s likely going to be a wellness clinic or at least a practitioner with specialities in women’s health and hormone issues that you can get a consultation with and get your blood work done. I hope that helps!

  15. Dear Kate,

    With in the past couple months I have been diagnosed with the same exact thing and the weird thing is that we pretty much have the same symptoms as well! I was wondering how long it took you too feel back to normal and also if you ever had a belly pouch (like just a little bite of fat under the belly button and on the waist)?

  16. I had no idea that I had type II diabetes. I was diagnosed at age 50, after complaining to my doctor about being very tired. There is no family history of this disease. I’m a male and at the time of diagnosis, I weighed about 215. (I’m 6’2″)Within 6 months, I had gained 30 to 35 pounds, and apparently the diabetes medicines (Actos and Glimiperide) are known to cause weight gain. I wish my doctor had mentioned that, so I could have monitored my weight more closely. I was also taking metformin 1000 mg twice daily December 2017 our family doctor started me on Green House Herbal Clinic Diabetes Disease Herbal mixture, 5 weeks into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case blurred vision, frequent urination, or weakness
    Visit Green House Herbal Clinic official website w I am strong again and able to go about daily activities.‌ This is a breakthrough for all diabetes sufferers

  17. Hi Kate!

    My name is Kait too. I’m currently studying to be an RDN and will graduate in 2019. I’ve worked at a holistic chiropractor’s office and have a lot of experience with nutrition healing the body. About a year ago I started breaking out with large cystic acne all over my face (previously never broke out, like ever) and was so fatigued that it took 4-5 cups of coffee to keep up with my busy lifestyle.

    I started looking for a solution and coffee was the first to go. I always eat pretty clean but at the time I was balancing school, 2 jobs, a toddler, my marriage, and all of my home responsibilities, so my diet wasn’t as nutrient rich as it could be but still not terrible. I too love to eat, I work in restaurants and I love to cook. I feel like my life revolves around food.

    Over the summer I went to see a Functional Medicine MD. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Hypothyroidism and leaky gut. I too was diagnosed with food sensitivities and it seems as though all of my favorite foods are now off limits… eggs, avocado, garlic, ginger, beans, jalapeños, rosemary, dairy, gluten, zucchini, squash, and a few more. Needless to say I was devastated. I feel infinitely better when I stay away from these foods but the thought of never having them again is almost unbearable. I saw in your post that you had basically gotten rid of your sensisitives and I am dying to know how! I make and drink my own bone broth, eat EXTREMELY clean (except when I let myself live a tiny bit and then pay for it), and drink only one cup of weak black tea a day. I would love to hear about what you did and how long it took to get to where you are today. I am on a number of supplements, including probiotics, fish oil, adrenal support, B’s, A, C, E, and selenium.

  18. Kate, I have to say, I’m so happy that I stumbled upon your blog! And honestly, I’m kind of surprised it took me this long to find you. I’ve been struggling with hormonal imbalances for years (I’m 26 years old), and now that my husband and I are ready to start a family, I’m more worried than ever that I won’t be able to heal myself. Like you, I’ve always been mostly healthy, but certain factors throughout my life (soy formula as an infant, an eating disorder at the age of 17, a sugar-and-caffeine addiction in college, etc.) has led to insulin resistance, PCOS, and a minor case of hypothyroidism. In the past year, I’ve really tried to educate myself on the topic (specifically via Alisa Vitti’s FloLiving program), and it seems like I’ve tried everything to turn my diagnosis around—including improving my diet (I’m all about the 80/20 rule—this girl has to have a burger and wine from time to time!), experimenting with certain supplements (DIM, probiotic, glucofunction, cod liver oil, etc.), and even quitting a stressful job. But somehow, my cycles have just gotten worse. So that’s where I’m at right now, stuck wondering if maybe my diet and lifestyle changes are simply not enough to undo what I’ve done to my body over the years. And it frustrates me to no end, because I’m in the process of becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner! Yep, that’s right…I will be coaching others on how to holistically better their health, but how can I confidently teach others if I can’t even heal myself?

    All this to say, I’m so grateful that you’ve shared your own struggle with PCOS because it truly does give me hope that things can change over time if we just keep trucking along. My OB-GYN recently prescribed me progesterone and inositol, so I’m going to see how those two things work in conjunction with a anti-inflammatory diet. Thank you so much for the tips you gave in this article—you know I’ll be researching away for hours! 😉

    • Hi Emily – it’s so great to hear from you! I really appreciate your heartfelt words and am delighted to hear that you’re enjoying R+R as a resource. I’m so sorry you’re still having challenges after so much effort, but I love your attitude and optimism – that’s one of the most important ingredients! Best of luck on your healing journey. <3

  19. Hello Kate, I am so glad I ran across your article. I am a 46 year old female, 5’3 170 lbs. I had my left ovary removed 10 years ago, was diagnosed with PCOS 8 years ago, I have high testosterone, hypothyroidism, estrogen dominance and low progesterone. I have been following a very strict diet and exercise program, but instead of losing weight, I’m gaining. Well about 3 months ago I started a vitamin and supplement regimen. Could you tell me if I am taking the right supplements:

    • Multivitamin
    • Berberine HCI – 1,800 mg daily (insulin resistance)
    • Cinnamon (Ceylon) – 500 mg daily (insulin resistance)
    • Spearmint leaf pills – 800 mg daily (high testosterone)
    • Indole 3 Carbinol – 500 mg daily (estrogen dominance)
    • Ashwagandha extract – 460 mg daily (stress)
    • Resveratrol extract – 1300 mg daily (Resveratrol extract 50%, Japanese Knotweed, Grape seed extract, Quercetin, Green tea leaf)(Inflammation)
    • Probiotic (IBS, Digestion problems)
    • Fish Oil – 2,720 mg daily (580 EPA/320 DHA)

    I don’t think I’m perimenopause yet, but I don’t want to take the wrong supplements since I know I’m gonna be in some years.

    • Hi, Keisha: I’m so sorry to hear of your PCOS struggles, but I hope you’ve found some healing from the advice here. That’s definitely a lot of supplements and without knowing more about your specific situation, it’s difficult for me to advise. However, I’d love to dive deep with you on this and you might be interested in 1:1 coaching: https://rootandrevel.com/coaching Let me know if I can help!

  20. Hello, I’m a 19 year old female and I have been experiencing irregular periods. Before this happened, earlier their year I started having gallbladder pains. I was nauseous, constipated, and had the pains associated with gallbladder issues. It was about 3 weeks after that, i started having irregular periods. From may to June I bled (lightly) everyday or every other day. So i went to the doctor and it turns out, i have high estrogen and very low progesterone. So in July I got on birth control, the depo shot. That didn’t work because i still bled so they coupled the depo shot with the pill and it made my period somewhat regular. This issue is, i don’t want a temporary fix.. I want my body healthy again and periods regulated on its own. So I’ve been doing research. Since my liver/gall problems preceded first I read online that to start this healing process, it was good to do a liver cleanse to give my body a clean slate and I will do that for a month . But im still bleeding although it’s light. In December I plan to start taking chaste berry or “Fem Rebalance” to balance everything naturally. This morning I came across a blog about magnesium and hormonal balance. Would taking magnesium while I’m cleaning interfere with its effectiveness or should I wait until December? And what other advice would you have to give me? Should I worry… how long does it take for the body to regulate erratic periods?..
    Thank you.

  21. Hello. I’m glad I found you. I have PCOS for many years, I took long contraceptive pills. Over the years I have struggled with many of the symptoms you are writing about: constipation, nausea, flatulence, weight gain, and water retention, recent hypothyroidism. A few years ago I threw the pills, I began to feel bad, I have a problem with hair, facial skin, anxiety, insomnia. Finally, I found the cause: estrogen dominance, I still have PCOS (high LH). I try to work naturally, I use a cream with natural progesterone, which has already helped a lot, but it does not work on the cause of PCOS. I started using a simple diet, but it’s not easy. I live in Poland, here is little talk about diet treatment and naturally. I hope on your blog I will find a lot of inspiration what to do, how to eat. I want to finally feel normal. I’m sorry if I’m writing with errors.

    • Hi Asia – So sorry to hear about all your troubles. I know how overwhelming and challenging it can feel to get the right support, and am glad that you have now found the cause. I do hope you find helpful guidelines on the site to support your healing journey. Thanks for being here!

      • Welcome back. I started to use your advice and drink green cocktail with fiber for 4 days every day, I love them. I started using DIM (this is a new supplement for me), hopefully it will help fight estrogen dominance and water retention (this is for me the worst symptom lately). Next I use calcium d-glucarate, omega 3 and myo-inositol, I try to watch diet, I do not eat sugar. In the luteal phase I use a cream with natural progesterone, he helped me with sleep problems and anxiety, panic attacks. My skin became nicer. I am 42 years old and I know that it will be harder for me to fight for hormonal balance, but I hope I can do it.
        Kate, I have a question about DIM. What dose helped you to so beautifully reduce estrogen?

  22. Hi there,

    I am struggling with PCOS and thyroid issues as well. May I ask which thyroid medication you take? I previously took armour thyroid and it caused my acne to get much worse! Have you experienced more acne from thyroid medication? Also, how long after changing your dietuntil your acne improved?

    • Hi, Amber. I take a natural compounded T3/T4. It has changed my life. I’m not a fan of Armour or Synthroid as they’re synthetic and contain additives like gluten and don’t help raise T3 levels. My acne nearly disappeared after a few months on the compounded T3/T4. My diet got me about 75% of the way there after 6-9 months, but it wasn’t until a really took care of my thyroid that it really cleared up. Hope that helps!

      • Kate, where did you get the natural compounded T3/T4? Also, how did you know you were having thyroid issues? I recently got blood work done and apparently everything came back normal minus Vitamin D. I am at 17.3 and apparently the recommended level is between 30-50. I’m taking 50,000 IU’s/week for 12 weeks of Vit D2. Did you work with your PCP or did you go to a naturopath? I too have gone on gluten free/dairy free low GI diet for the past 3 months and really have not seen any improvement. It’s quite frustrating, but I assume 3 months is too soon to tell of any difference. Thanks for all you do in providing timely and helpful feedback. It feels good to know I’m not alone in this really frustrating journey!

        • Hi, Pia: My doctor had to prescribe the natural compounded t3/t4 and I got it from a compounding pharmacy. I knew my thyroid was dysfunctional because I had symptoms (constipation, anxiety, skin problems, weight gain) and my blood lab levels were out of range. Vitamin D deficiency is super common, and often supplements can help, but you’ll need D3. I don’t believe that cutting out entire food groups is necessary unless you have an allergy, so I would add foods back in so you’re eating a balanced diet in moderation, focusing on upping your intake of anti-inflammatory foods. Thanks so much and I hope that helps!

  23. Hello!
    I loved how informative your post is! I might have missed it somewhere in the post or in the downloads but what doses do you take of the turmeric and inositol? I understand that therapeutic doses will vary from woman to woman but I would like to know if there is a recommended baseline dose.
    Thank you so much for your feedback!

    • Hi Jennifer, you should probably work with your doctor to determine the dose that’s right for you. Based on your unique symptoms and body type, it will vary. These days I try to get turmeric from food sources. And when I was taking inositol, I took 2 packets of Ovasitol per day. Hope that helps!

  24. I’ve cut out gluten, dairy, soy, all forms of sugar (even fruits) and refined carbs. I only eat meat over the weekend, i eat eggs everyday. I drink almost 10 glasses of water everyday and take a multivitamin and probiotics but the pcos acne just gets worse.

    • I’m sorry, Renee. I know how frustrating that can be. Your diet sounds super restrictive and my motto is if it’s not working, try something else. Have you considered anti-inflammatory? https://rootandrevel.com/what-is-an-anti-inflammatory-diet/

    • Renee, I noticed you added in probiotics. I too did probiotics for a while and realized that the probiotics was actually making my acne worse and causing an increase in inflammation/redness all over my face. Try lowering the dose, or cutting it out altogether. I didn’t want to risk it, so I cut it out completely and my face has since calmed down. It’s still not where I would like it to be, but the bumps are not as itchy, inflamed and painful as before. Maybe cut down on eating eggs everyday as well. Try supplementing meat protein with legumes and nuts! I hope this helps. I’m on the same journey. Keep at it!

  25. My mother was the manager of a hospital. It is illegal now for any doctor to use the word “cure”. They are only allowed to use the word “treat”.

  26. Hi Kate!
    I just came across this post and found it very informative and helpful. I have avoided almost all of the inflammatory foods for about four months now and have truly felt and seen the difference. However, I was wondering if I have one small inflammatory food, like an ice cream that contains dairy and gluten once every three months or so, will there be significant damage to my progress and health?
    Thanks.

  27. This is so amazing and inspiring how you learned what you needed to do to support yourself, and it actually works! Definitely a valuable guide for others – thank you!

  28. Very inspiring story! I”m excited to follow along with you as you continue your journey.

  29. Hi Kate,

    Were you able to stop the hair loss and regrow all of your hair? I feel like every site I look at, this answer seems to get lost somehow.

    I have lost 80% of my hair and have been using a topical with minoxidil, latanoprost, tretinoin, azaelic acid and progesterone but there has been absolutely no regrowth and I am still shedding. I have androgenic alopecia and have been using this hair growth stimulator for over 2 months with no results at all.

    I just went to the doctor yesterday because of my hair loss over the past 4 years. Back in 2013, I was told that it looked like I had PCOS. I have had tons of skin tags since I was a skinny teenager. I have gained a ton of weight. My blood sugar was borderline at the time but I did have an ultrasound that showed ovarian cysts. I elected to not use Metformin and tried to eat low carb to reverse the problems. Sadly, I didn’t stick to it and in 2015, I was pre-diabetic and at this point, it was very evident that my hair was thinning. My thryoid levels were all normal, as were my iron levels. Vitamin d was very low, but it has been low for a long time, long before the hair loss.

    In October 2016, I went to see another doctor because my hair loss has become much more prevalent. I have no hair growing anywhere on my head. I have hair that will no longer grow even one inch. I also have had a huge increase in facial and body hair growth.

    Anyway, please advise if this terrible hair loss can be reversed. I thought that Minoxidil would help grow hair no matter that cause, but I am afraid it just isn’t working for me. What else can I do? I saw a hair loss specialist, and because my DHT levels are very high, they want put me on Dutasteride (oral) and topical Dutasteride with latanoprost. I would rather use natural cures but I am at a point where I just need to save my hair. And since I am already using a product with topical latanoprost and have not regrown any hair, I am worried that nothing will regrow my hair.

    Oh, and all of the other testosterone levels are normal which is why no doctor before will prescribe an anti-androgen. Only the dht is high and the dermatologist and endocrinologist don’t measure DHT, which is bizarre. They just said my hair loss is genetic. My blood sugar levels were normal last December so the endocrinologist said that I am not pre-diabetic or insulin resistant nor do I have PCOS. But I disagree with this doctor and my current doctor seems to as well and is re-testing everything. Apparently, I was correct that they did not do the correct test for insulin resistance and just told me I was fine when this is not the case.

    With the exception of the hair loss specialist, and possibly my new doctor, none of the 5 doctors I saw prior seems even remotely interested in helping me regrow my hair. They basically say there is nothing I can do and try minoxidil. Which, again, isn’t working.

    Please let us all know what we can do to regrow hair and stop the shedding altogether.

    • I have been in the authors same position. Everything she had and celiac disease to boot. I have done much of the same and am currently healing but doing so much better than I was even six months ago.
      Hair loss is par for the course but I have found something natural that has worked for me. Baking soda and water 1/3 ratio for shampoo. And vinegar and water 1/4 ratio for conditioner. It’s been a long process but my hair has almost completely stopped falling out. And I have found some new growth slowly starting again. So there is always hope. Keep going it’s a long journey but doing it natural is so worth it.

    • I lost 90% of my hair after having a baby at 40, while in menopause. I went to specialist and dermatologist, the dermotoligist said that she had nightmares of it happening to her…well that was comforting. It was bad. (I also have a myriad of other adrenal, thyroid issues going on)
      So, I wore a wig for almost a year. And began taking Zinc. I don’t go a night without out taking Zinc. And prayer. Lots of prayer. Getting used to the wig, which looked very natural….no one suspected, took a while. My hair grew back within the year. 9 years later, no problems except the normal cycle of shedding in summer, thickening in late fall. I still take Zinc. Double dose at nighttime, right before I get into bed because it can make one nauseous.

  30. Hi, Thank you so much for this article. I recently got diagnosed with PCOS, type 2 diabetes and sever psoriasis. I have also had significant hair loss which I think has been caused by low sbgh and high free androgens. Im also about 100lbs overweight and really suffering on a daily basis.Do you know what supplements are good for the hair loss and to balance those hormones?

    • Also can you show us what a meal plan would be for someone who suffers with insulin resistance and pcos? Your help would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    • The same was true for me and me PCOSreveresed with a lifestyle similar to this one, PLUS the collaboratibe work of my ObGyn and Dermatologist–you may need more than a supplement. I take medications to balance my hormones (sprinoalactone) and birth control with a single hormone (as opposed to orthotricycline). The helped w/hair loss. The high protein high veggieddiet critical and IMHO, the only way to lose weight w/PCOS. Also, you may benefit from a weight loss drug such as qsymia that will help. If not, all natural is great too–I personally needed the extra help bt now manage without it. Whatever works for you and your ducklings! Good luck!

  31. Thank u so much for the post Kate????. I was diagnosed with pcos 1&1/2 years ago when my doctor put me on pills. I just stopped taking them since last month. I too want to treat my pcos naturally. But I’ve heard leaving the pills can again cause the symptoms to return . Can you please guide me on how i can go off the pill and what type of nutrient deficiencies are caused by it.
    Thank you ????

  32. Hi Kate,

    I stumbled upon your website and was really glad I’m here because it gave me a little hope of healing my PCOS naturally. May I ask how long did it take for you to heal your PCOS? I’m 21 this year I’ve been on a vegan diet (greens, legumes, fruits, complex carbs) for about 5-6 months now and my period is still absent (since dec 2016 but it has been absent since i was 13 years old unless i take the pill) 🙁 I’m exercising 5 days a week, usually HIIT and cardio but recently included weight training in the past 2 months. I’m just losing hope and wish you could give me any advice?

    • Hi,
      Have you also been diagnosed insulin resistant?….I had all these same problems due to genetics. I find less fruit as a lot of it is high in sugar, I make a fruit salad to have with protein at breakfast and lunch only that is no more than 125 gms per serve I.e the size of one average piece of fruit. And I only use the lower gi fruits like berries, and papaya for digestive enzymes ( (small amount) and half a kiwi for vitamin c . I also have more protein than carbs … I start with 1 or two eggs, kale cooked in olive oil and sprinkled with flax, 1 piece of capeseed toast with vegemite, my small fruit salad with lactose free yogurt and chia seeds and a cup of jasmine or green or ginger tea…a very hearty breakfast that’s filling and nutritious. I will then have either salmon or quinoa crumbed chicken with pan seared beet leaves and spinach and another fruit salad (small) , a small handful of nuts as a snack, and dinner is usually small amount of sweet potato with fish or chicken or meat with other vegetables. I don’t eat anything 3 hours before bed – I noticed that was making me gain weight. I had severe insulin resistance and was very close to diabetes but I have now got my numbers down to almost a normal level and have halved my metformin dose. Everybody is different though but I believe more protein and fiber helps. And for my sweet tooth, I eat 85% dark chocolate with a geeen tea – took a while to get used to the bitterness of the dark chocolate but after keeping it up I couldn’t go back to regular chocolate as I find it too sweet ( not in a million years would I have thought I’d say that) but it is now an engrained habit that I enjoy that isn’t as bad!…I’m 40 this year and have been battling severe insulin resistance, pcos and food sensitivities, acne, psoriasis , gastritis and bowel problems and although I’m not completely clear of all symptoms I have lost 35 kilos – (metformin) needed initially to help get the weight loss started. My acne is almost completely gone, and periods mostly regular. It’s a huge fight against your body, keep it up – don’t give in!!!, keep trying everything until you find what works for you, I hope you have some success and I wish you luck in beating this.

  33. Hi Kate,
    Thanks for these useful advices. I am really interested in the supplements you are mentioning in this article (to balance the hormones) but the links on Amazon show products that can’t be shipped outside of the US (and I live in Germany!). Maybe it’s a lot to ask you, but would you have any idea of products with equivalent quality (and/or links to get these products) that I could have here? That would be great, as there are so many inefficient supplements sold on the internet and in pharmacies. Thanks a lot for your work, all the best

    • Hi, Chloe! So glad you found this article helpful. The brands aren’t as important as the actual supplement, though you want to make sure you’re getting a high-quality brand. I would search for the name of the supplement (i.e. Vitex) instead of the brand (i.e. Gaia) if you’re not able to ship to Germany. Or, you could search other sites for the same brand names that I recommended here and see where you can order those to ship to you. I hope that helps!

  34. Hi! I stumbled across your blog post after reading “Eat Dirt” by Dr Axe. I’m starting to research an anti-inflammatory diet as an approach to healing PCOS, and have found it really interesting. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 7 years ago, and after diagnosis realized that I’ve suffered from it since my teens. Now that I’m nearing 40, I’m realizing I need to research a little more on how to manage symptoms.

    I’ve been incorporating in the last couple years coconut oil, ACV, and low-carb choices into my diet and have found it all to be very helpful. In fact, last year I started drinking ACV every day, and I now have a regular cycle for the first time in my life!

    But, I still have unanswered questions. I suffer often from lower abdominal pain, consistent with ovarian pain. It’s debilitating at times, and after many tests my doctor has no answers. Also, although I am pretty active (running 2-4 miles a week, yoga and pilates classes) and maintain a healthy diet (not perfect though! 🙂 ) I am finding it extremely difficult to lose weight. I often have trouble sleeping well at night, and am fatigued often during the day. Mood swings, rosacea, and general body changes seem to be beyond my control and it all can be a little overwhelming.

    Thanks for the helpful blog post. I’m wondering if some of the symptoms I’m experiencing shouldn’t just be chalked up to “normal”, but can be overcome and managed. I’ve made a list of supplements to try, am finding ways to incorporate kefir into my foods, and bone broth is in my fridge now for sipping throughout the day. If you have any suggestions of things to try, I’d love to hear!

    • Hi, Lisa: So glad you found R+R and that you’re taking control of your health and managing your PCOS with diet. It’s so powerful! Have you been tested for fibroids, endometriosis, and/or ovarian cysts? How’s your digestion? I know you mentioned it feeling like ovarian pain, but I wonder if your gut is involved? Also, are you insulin resistant? That can really inhibit weight loss, but is fairly straightforward to get under control naturally if you’re dedicated. Same with thyroid–that could be causing your fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. You’re absolutely right now to chalk these symptoms up to normal. Just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re normal, or right. Your body is trying to tell you something! Have you signed up for our email list yet? That’s a great resource and you can get lots of free downloads with more info about healing naturally. Hope that helps!

  35. Hi kate,
    Congrats .. this is a great post.. I have PCOS, i got few ideas to change my diet from this post.
    Thank you

  36. Lots of great information, Kate. Thank you for sharing. I have many of the same diagnoses, plus I am a breast cancer survivor (post 10 years). I also suspect that I am harboring the Epstein Barr virus from a bad bout with mono as a teen that could be an additional trigger. Your health regimen is inspiring and clearly proves that food can be your medicine. Naturopathic doctors are pretty scarce here in New England and typically not covered by health insurance. The allopathic endocrinologist I consulted was useless and freely admitted that she was all about just treating symptoms. Also looking for a holistic dentist to deal with mercury dental fillings. I’ve recently been reading about Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s research into how glyphosate (primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Round Up herbicide) has pervaded our food supply and interfered with metabolism. Non-GMO, organic whole foods are vital for health recovery. I so appreciate you sharing the kinds of supplements you take and your path to recovery. Thank you again.

    • Thanks so much for writing in, Trish and congrats on beating breast cancer!! I can’t even imagine, but you must feel so good now! Do you have an HSA account? That’s how I pay to see my doctors because most don’t take insurance either. But I also think there’s no better investment than in your health. That’s so common that conventional doctors just treat the symptoms, but as you know, healing the root cause is the best way to achieve optimal health. Hope you find some healing soon!

  37. hello Kate.. I stumbled upon your story by chance and you give me hope. I have hashimotos, leaky gut and insulin resistance. it’s like a fight with myself. though my weight hasn’t gone up . it hasn’t gone down either. I am STUCK at the same weight and same body stats since 1.5yrs. more fat on my thighs n love handles.

    I have gone gf df n soy free. I am still lost and can’t find the reason I don’t seem to lose any weight. I have my periods regularly. I do feel cold at times but after switching to natural thyroid medication I am better. I am a vegetarian and for me to start eating meat is going to take a lot of emotional control.
    plz tell me I can still eat grains n survive this battle.

  38. Although I am not in my twenties, I am seeing in your story many similarities in my menopause that reflect issues you were having. Feeling the actual weight gain and inflammation from the hormonal imbalance in my body I can see where your advise on stopping the gluten, sugar and carbs in my diet can totally be the source of a very big evil in my body. With that said, I am inspired by your story and think that for me a holistic doctor will be my starting point. Thank you so much for inspiring me to figure out how to balance my hormones through holistic lifestyle, what a great read. I can hardly wait to jump into more of your read suggestions and free downloads. Thank so much for sharing. I have been a healthy happy 125lb woman for 48 years and in a matter of three months I began the affects of menopause and my body suddenly changed, I gained almost 40 I s and people asked me if I was pregnant!! Now 6 years later and I’m tired (fatigued) depressed, and done spiraling. It’s time to find a doctor who can help me figure it out. Thank you again for your story and inspiration!! Hopefully I can save myself.

    • Hi, Teeda: Yes, for sure…no matter what stage of life you may be in, excess refined sugar and carbs are never good for anyone 😉 I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed R+R and look forward to connecting with you more. I think a holistic doctor can absolutely help you get to the bottom of this–sounds like you may have some adrenal/cortisol issues, as well. Good luck and please keep me posted!

  39. Thank you sharing all your information. I just found out that I’m completely diagnosed with PCOS and it is scary and overwhelming. Thank you for sharing all the things you have done.

    • Hi, Gabriela: I’m so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but just know that there is so much hope and it is totally possible to live a symptom-free life. I hope you’ll find some healing inspiration here!

  40. Hi, kate

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I would love to implement some of your suggestions to my lifestyle, i struggle with most of the symptoms of PCOS but the one that really gets me are the mood swings, sometimes i am controlled by my feelings..so its exciting to hear of your success and in such great detail =) i hope i too will be able to share of my success here soon. Thanks again

  41. Hi Kate,
    I have never commented on a blog before, but while perusing google for a cauliflower soup recipe I was immediately struck by your plug for PCOS. I was away at law school and severe stress exacerbated the symptoms that I didn’t even realize I had post puberty. Ultimately both an MD and my holistic doctor confirmed I had PCOS. I decided to go full force with my holistic doctor and have been severely dedicated to curing this exactly how you describe…naturally…through healing foods, supplements, and as I have learned very relaxed exercise! I was inspired by your journey as it felt so close to him for me having been on my own journey since December of this year. I look forward to more posts and PCOS awareness.

    P.S. the soup was delicious 🙂

  42. I’m sorry but this blog post is very misleading. YOU CAN NOT CURE PCOS. I have been aware of my PCOS for over 10 years and there is nothing that will CURE it. You can curb SOME of the symptoms like irregular periods and weight gain but some symptoms will NEVER go away including excess facial and body hair. Living a healthy lifestyle can help you manage it but again THERE IS NO CURE.

    • Hi, Sarah: Thanks for writing in. With all do respect, I disagree. While you’re right that PCOS is not curable–it is something that I will always have–you can absolutely reverse ALL of the symptoms and essentially be in “remission”. Irregular periods and excess facial hair are all symptoms of hormonal imbalances and they can absolutely go away when your hormones are balanced. I am living proof! And I’ve heard from dozens of other women who have found success healing their symptoms naturally, as well. There’s tons of great books on the subject, written by MDs, too, helping women balance their hormones and get rid of ALL of their symptoms, including irregular periods and excess facial hair. I encourage you to do a bit more research and start implementing some of the natural living tactics I recommend here. I think you’ll find that your periods can return to normal 28-day cycles and the facial hair will go away when your hormones are balanced. It is possible! Please let me know how I can help you in your healing journey. I’m rooting for you!

      • Hi thanks for the info please send me all the vitamins that can help ,I have pco and insulin resistance,And hard to lose weight,please any thing to help

      • Hi Kate!
        It would mean so much to me if you could tell me how they reversed the facial hair. Unfortunately PCOS has taken its form on my face, by giving me a dark humiliating beard and body hair, but also the most painful acne. Thankfully I found plexus which are natural supplements tHat have re weeded so much of my issues, unfortunately the body hair is still and issue. Please help
        hannah❤

        • Plexus has reversed so many issues*

        • Hi, Hannah: I’m so sorry to hear about your facial hair issues. I personally didn’t have any of that with my PCOS, so I can’t speak to it exactly. But I would imagine that treating your PCOS with the tips I suggest here would also help with that. It’s a hormonal balance that causes that, excess androgens, so I’d work on ways to naturally reduce androgens, like drinking spearmint tea. Hope that helps!

  43. Hi Kate. I can relate with your story in so many ways. I am now 46, but at the age of 17 my hormones were out of whack. Having periods 3-4 months apart. Actually went 13 months at one point without a period. OBGYN said that my male hormones were higher than female hormone levels. He advised birth control but I opted not to take it. In the meantime I gained weight (more so around the belly). I was always thin in my early teens before all the Hormone issues. For years my symptoms include irregular bowel movements (3-5 days apart), cloudy judgement, concentration issues, some memory loss and hair loss (has been getting worse lately). I asked my doctor to test my thyroid and it came back normal. However, I take meds for grand mal seizures that can affect the results of certain types of tests and thryoid is one of them. As for my seizures that’s a whole another story. No diagnosis. Only have them in my sleep (15 total in the last 25 years). In the last 6 years or so I have been having pains and recently noticed the pain is relieved after a BM. I am glad to have run across your site and read your story. As I never heard of PCOS until recently and the more I read about it, I have a lot of the symptoms. I am going to try taking supplements and changing my diet to see if that may help with all my issues.

  44. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this information out, Kate! I have the exact same diagnosis of PCOS, Hypothyroidism, Leaky Gut, & Insulin Resistance. I was diagnosed with the first two back in 2010 and it’s been an on going struggle of attempting medication and changing my diet. Your story is definitely motivating to keep going though, so thank you again! xoxo

    • It’s my pleasure, Jess. Please keep me posted on your healing journey and let me know if you have any questions. I’d highly recommend only using medication as a last resort and try some of natural remedies that don’t have side effects AND will actually heal the root cause, rather than just masking the symptoms. Sending you lots of health and happiness! 🙂

  45. Thank you for all of you advices and tips, Kate. This sounds very much like me right now; Hashimoto disease, PCOS, IBS, weight gain , lethargy..
    I’m starting my new diet plan tomorrow and hoping for the best. It’ is encouraging to hear that the hard work and dedication pays off in the end. Thank you again.
    Ina

    • Hi, Ina: Wow, it does sound like we have a lot in common. Good luck with your new diet, please do keep me posted on your journey. I’d love to hear how you’re doing after a few weeks on your plan. What kind of diet is it, if you don’t mind me asking?

  46. Hi Kate! I’m so happy that I came across your post! I’m 24 and was diagnosed with pcos about 2 years ago. I have been taking progesterone supplements as prescribed by my doctor, and after increasing my dose my levels are all out of wack again! My blood work even showed that I’m now hypothyroid, whereas I wasn’t last march. I already try to maintain a healthy diet but reading your post has motivated me to clean it up that much more! I still need to see an endocrinologist but I am more of a naturalist when it comes to disease. Just glad and I can finally relate to someone on this issue! Thank you 🙂

    • Hey Codie! Yay, I’m so happy you found R+R, too 🙂 It might be worth talking to your doctor about getting off synthetic hormones and treating your PCOS naturally. I take Vitex, DIM and Evening Primrose Oil because I am low in progesterone with excess estrogen and it works SO well. Plus it’s all natural. There are also things you can change in your diet to treat these imbalances. Hope you’ll poke around the site more and find some helpful healing tips. I’d recommend signing up for the newsletter, or the FREE library of downloads so you can get even more natural healing hacks 🙂

  47. Thank you so much for writing about your journey. I have only recently been going through what I consider to be extremely frustrating process. I have gained over 15 lbs in a year and cannot seem to fix the problem. Finally, I said…enough is enough…and made an appointment with my Endocrinologist (I have a thyroid nodule that I get checked on a yearly basis). He has been saying that my thyroid levels are perfect. However, I know that something is off. I have had 2 doctors dismiss me and say that nothing is wrong with me. How can, what I consider, extreme weight gain, lethargy, bloating, swelling, and the over all feeling of just being off, be perfectly fine?! I have found this article and this website to be very helpful! I have just ordered the Clean Cuisine book, and downloaded the audio books for Womancode and Hormone Cure. I hope by reading these books, I can gain some insight as to what is happening in my body.

    Again…thank you for sharing your experiences!

    • Hi, Ashley: I’m so sorry to hear about your health issues, but you are absolutely right. Those symptoms are NOT normal and should not be ignored. Have you tried finding a holistic MD near you? Someone who can fuse conventional medicine with a more functional, integrative approach? I think that would be really helpful for you. A lot of doctors use the old ranges for thyroid issues, but there are new and updated ranges that should be used, so that might be why some doctors are saying it’s nothing to worry about. Your symptoms definitely sound like a thyroid problem, if not something else hormone-related. How’s your digestion? I think you will absolutely love those books and I can’t wait to hear what you think. Please do keep me posted on your journey! Sending you lots of love and healing!

      • Hi Kate,

        Thank you for responding! I actually just made an appointment with a Naturopathic doctor in the next couple weeks. I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say. So far I love the books. And cannot wait to start the 8 week Clean Cuisine program. I think by taking these steps, it will put me on the path to feeling better and figuring out what is truly going on within my body.

        I will most definitely keep you posted along my journey! 🙂

  48. I am so thankful to have run across your blog. My 17 year old daughter has been struggling with pcos for 4 years. She has slept through most of high school, has lots of acne, losing hair, gained an unbelievable amount of weight, lots of hair growth in unwanted places….all a high school, or any woman for that matter, nightmare. We’ve been to many doctors. Finally found one that put her on some of the supplements you mentioned and a paleontology type diet. We are finally trying to implement. I will definitely have her follow your advice. I’ve been praying this new year for God to heal her. Perhaps your site is His answer especially since it offers natural, life-long way of living. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for offering hope and sharing. God bless

    • Wow, thank you so much for your kind words, Tiffany. I’m so sorry to hear of your daughter’s struggles with PCOS. I’m so glad you’ve found a good doctor. Supplements and eating anti-inflammatory foods are the best medicine, for sure! I hope you’ll find some more healing answers on R+R. Keep me posted 🙂

      • This is so crazy I cam across your article. I myself suffer from pcos and thyroid problems and was just diagnosed with leaky gut. Your strength and advice will definitely help me out through this long journey. Thank you!

        • I’m so glad to help, Lauren. Please keep me posted on your healing journey and let me know if you have any questions. Sending you lots of health and happiness! 🙂

  49. hi! I have IBS and most likely leaky gut.. how did you finally get a diagnosis. Who did you go see (doctor) to get help .. I am having no luck

  50. Thank you for writing this post. I had an allergy and intolerance test a couple of months ago as I have been suffering from constipation, stomach cramps, eczema, skin sensitivity, skin reactions from food, swollen glands, low moods…the list is endless.
    My test came back with a huge list of intolerances which did seem overwhelming. The list included gluten, milk, lactose, soya, egg white, sugar, grapes, beef, chicken, chlorine, all scented cosmetics/candles, all washing products with chemicals and the list goes on. Leaky Gut syndrome was explained and it did actually make sense with what I was experiencing. I had this test done privately and when I wen to my own GP with the results, they could not have been quicker to dismiss me. I have been back and forth to various clinics at the hospital and my liver function levels are showing as high. I have basically been told there is no such thing as a leaky gut and they are just keen on throwing more medication at me which I don’t want to take. I want to find a cure, not a short term solution. I have noticed improvements through following a low fodmap diet which I was recommend to treat IBS. Your article has inspired me to seek out a nutrionist or herbalist in order to get me on the road to recovery!

    • Hi, Rosalynn: I’m so sorry to hear about your allergy troubles. It’s so frustrating to be dismissed by GP’s, but if I’ve learned anything it’s that you know your own body best and if you’ve got to be your own advocate. Unfortunately conventional doctors don’t have the time, and sometimes the training, to work from a more functional, integrative approach, so I’m not surprised that they just want to throw medication at the issue. I would just strongly discourage you from starting at that route, unless absolutely necessary, as so many of these things can be reversed naturally. I hope you’ll find some more healing tips on R+R, and please keep me posted on your journey. Thanks!

  51. We have been trying to get pregnant for a few years and in January I was finally diagnosed with pcos, both a relief and frustration. However we have still been unable to get pregnant even after 1 round of ivf. After it didn’t work we found out my uterine lining was inflamed!. I started doing research and found your site. I bought the clean eating book a super food smoothie book and cut out gluten dairy and lots of sugar! It’s been hard but within 2 weeks my chronic constipation is gone! And feel so much better! I’ve been taking several of the supplements you recommend. In January we will try our next round of ivf. I am so hopeful it will work after all the changes I’ve made. Even if it doesn’t this time I feel so much better and that is worth it. I love getting you updates. Thank you so much!

    • Hi, Brittney! I’m so sorry to hear about your fertility troubles, but it sounds like you’ve already found a ton of healing in just a few short weeks. That’s awesome!! Please do keep me posted on your next round of IVF. I’m so glad you feel better and look forward to following your journey!

  52. I am so glad I found this post! I was diagnosed with PCOS, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. In the astonishing year I have lost about 40 pounds by cutting out soda and monitoring my food intake. It has drastically helped by taking my menstrual cycles from 1 or 2 a year to now I am getting them every month for the last 6 months. My A1c and cholesterol levels as well as some other blood work is all down. I can’t wait to implement some of your tips as well to maintain my current progress and continue progressing. Thank you so much for writing this.

    • Congratulations, Kaitlin! That’s so fantastic to hear about your weight loss and improved health. I have no doubt that if you implement some of these strategies that you will continue to find healing and happiness. Keep me posted! 🙂

  53. Hi. I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2006. I have extremely high levels of testosterone in my system. I was immediately put on 2000mg of Metformin. However, 10 years later, I found that it was causing more health problems than good and earlier this year, I stopped taking it. The only thing that hasn’t improved since stopping Metformin is my weight and I have developed severe acne. I am now at the heaviest I have ever been and since recovering from “frozen shoulder,” I have been looking for a natural way to reduce my weight and heal my hormonal imbalance. I believe your post is the answer to my prayer. There are so many things in my life that I will have to change, and financially, that may pose another problem, but I am going to get started and make changes as I can. I want to thank you for taking the time to document your journey so that others may find their healing too. You may have just changed my life.

    • Hi, Chellie: I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with PCOS symptoms, but I am SO glad that you found R+R. I think you will find TONS of helpful info about how you can treat these symptoms naturally, without any prescription medication. And the best part? I’m LIVING PROOF that it works! 🙂 I hope you’ll stick around and think you’ll find a lot of value in the FREE library of resources I provide here: https://rootandrevel.com/joinlibrary Stay in touch! 🙂

      • Thank you so much Kate!

        I signed up for the library of resources. I am so excited to have found someone that has beaten PCOS naturally. I will check in periodically with updates. I am going to take a before and after picture because they tell a story that words cannot. I can’t wait to see where I am 6 months and then one year from now.

        Can I just say again, I’m so excited!

        • SO happy to have you as part of the R+R community!! I know great things are in store for your health and I can’t wait to follow along on your journey!! XO

    • Believe it or not, frozen shoulder is a red flag for a thyroid imbalance. You may want to have that checked since the symptoms mimic those of PCOS. Great job at recognizing where you need to make changes and making those changes for your health.

  54. I was wondering if you, or anyone else, ever experienced any symptoms on your lips? I have all the other symptoms but the one the bothers me the most are very dry, peeling, sensitive lips….

    • Hi, Mellony! Thanks for writing in. I’m sorry to report that I haven’t had any symptoms on my lips, nor heard about that being an issue with PCOS. But is that what you have? Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    • Thyroid imbalance symptoms also can mimic PCOS symptoms and very dry skin (including the lips) could be a sign of that.

  55. This could be be my story…and EVERY woman should be taking a high quality Evening Primrose supplement daily! I was experiencing significant shedding of my hair as well as mild balding around my temples…this is the only thing that’s made a difference. And everyone (including) kids should be on a daily probiotic, our gut is center of our health and until we are processing toxins accordingly the rest of our body will struggle to function efficiently.

    • Lol…should’ve proofread before posting….excuse the typos.

    • Hey Lauren! Thanks so much for writing in–so glad to have you here as part of the R+R community! Evening Primrose is awesome for women with hormonal imbalances and sensitivities. Is your hair loss related to your thyroid at all? I’m curious if you’ve had that checked out. TOTALLY AGREE about the probiotic. Maintaining a healthy, balanced microbiome is the #1 thing people can do for their health, in my opinion 😉 When I healed my gut, EVERYTHING got better! Thanks for sharing your story!

  56. I was so excited to find this! For the past couple years, I’ve been experiencing symptoms of PCOS, and thyroid issues. Despite that, my blood work comes back “normal”. I’m only 25 and yet I have a whole list of symptoms: hot flashes, weight gain around the middle, cystic acne, thinning brittle hair, and hair growth on my face, belly, and thighs. Then this summer I had an ovarian cyst rupture and developed increasingly irregular cycles. I’ve been having all sorts of tests done, but I was wondering what I could be doing to naturally help my body. I’m looking forward to reading more! Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive guide!

    • Hi, Cassandra: I’m so sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been having. Are you on any kind of prescription medication right now, including birth control pills? That could be affecting your blood work. Feel free to email me at kate[at]rootandrevel.com and we can talk more about what’s going on. I hope you’ll sign up for our newsletter and continue following along as we cover natural healing for exactly the kind of symptoms you’re having!

  57. Vitamin D3 is artificial and is a hormone not a vitamin check out the people’s chemist with Shane Ellison he can be rough with the language but he is good he will tell you why not to use VD3 and what to use.he had stated that VD3 is used in rat poisoning and I verified it by research and it is so it causes hardening of the arteries and so does artificial calcium

    • Interesting, Teresa. Thanks very much for sharing. I’ll definitely look more into VD3. I currently get the injections instead of taking oral supplements, so I wonder if that’s also the case… what does Shane recommend doing instead of taking VD3? Thanks!

  58. I happened across you post today and your story could be mine. I am just beginning to heal naturally and your post has given me great encouragement and hope. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for the kind works, Allison! Have you signed up for our newsletter? You’ll get access to the FREE library of resources, which has tons of helpful healing tips and tricks!

  59. I stumbled across this post today and am so happy that I did! It is just the hope I needed to really heal my body. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • I’m so glad to have you here, Sarah! Thanks for the kind words. Have you signed up for our newsletter? You’ll get access to the FREE library of resources, which has tons of helpful healing tips and tricks!

      • Yes Ma’am I sure did 🙂 I am looking forward to exploring. I’m eager to try some healing recipes with my family. It’s challenging to make these vital changes with my picky eaters – so I accept the challenge of finding recipes that I can have all of them on board with me. Recent suggestions involve disguising all vegetables,quinoa, etc by emulsifying them into muffins! So…perhaps I will figure other ways to get our meals on track 😉 We have already made-over our environmental lifestyle for about 5 years, but food is key to getting my body better with anti-inflammatory eating and balancing these hormones. Thank you!

        • Hey Sarah! I don’t have kids yet myself, so I’m sure my advice on this will change once I do. But I do think that helping your kids develop a palate and taste for fruits and vegetables is so important, and if that means sneaking some veggies into things, I think that’s great. An awesome way to do this is with green smoothies! If the green color throws them off, try serving it to them in a cup that they can’t see the smoothie color. Hope that’s helpful 🙂

  60. Hi Kate, this was a GREAT post. Thank you!

    This really hit home for me because I’ve been struggling with what I can only label as a mystery condition since December. We moved to a new state in July 2015, and since then it’s been a mess for me professionally. I’ve been employed spottily, but nothing lasting longer than 6 weeks (long story).

    I have a great suspicion that there is a lot of inflammation going on in my digestive system, so I’ve been hitting it hard with all the right things (all of which I was really happy to see were on your list of do’s). It comes and goes, though I’ve been in a flare-up for the last couple weeks. I’ve always been a person who carries stress in my gut, so I know that controlling my mind is half this battle.

    I also believe that the stress over unemployment has affected my ovaries as well, which has happened in the past, but never to this extent. I always believed that I was getting occasional ovarian cysts, but now I believe that I have them near constantly. I have always been able to feel myself ovulate, but now I feel twinges in my right ovary especially pretty frequently, even when I’m not ovulating.

    My periods are actually really regular (my last one was a perfect 28-day cycle!) and I don’t bleed unusually heavily. I’ve just turned 30, so I’ve noticed a few changes in flow pattern, but nothing to write home about. The only thing I’ve noticed of any concern is that my ovaries actually ache more than my uterus when I have menstrual pain.

    I know that the obvious advice is to get checked out, but my husband’s insurance through his employer is simply awful. Getting a Pap smear would be covered, but everything else we would pay 100% of up to our deductible of $3500. No co-pays even. So I just picture the cost of ultrasounds or heaven knows what else, and panic even more at the thought of receiving that bill.

    Essentially, I’m hoping that once I’m employed again (which is hopefully very soon) the situation will go back to how it used to be. During the times that I was employed, my body went back to normal. So I’m really, really hoping the same will happen again and STAY that way as I finally get in a permanent position. But, in the meantime, I continue to try my best, doing what I can to minimize stress and inflammation.

    After rattling on so long about myself, I do want to thank you for putting such a great post out there and sharing your experience. This is so helpful for everyone suffering similar situations, especially for those who are new to treating issues naturally, and your advice is spot-on.

    Kudos!

    • Hey Brittany: I’m so sorry to hear about your inflammation issues. But you are absolutely right on the money to note the connection between stress and the gut. And hormones. I really struggle with stress management, too, but I’m trying to incorporate more meditation, yoga, acupuncture, exercise, epsom salt baths, etc. into my daily routine.

      Pain during your period can be a sign of low progesterone, so I’d definitely recommend getting a blood test to check your hormone levels. There’s lots of natural ways you can balance them once you know what’s out of whack. Blood work isn’t too expensive, so I would definitely look into the cost. I don’t think you need ultrasounds or anything more serious just yet.

      I hope that you’ve been able to find a great job or something else that brings you lots of joy and peace. I’m rooting for you!