Natural Resources for Recovery from PCOS
Here are the best natural resources for recovery from PCOS, including books, supplements, and tips for diet, exercise, and stress management.
Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.
Treating PCOS Naturally
1. Read PCOS books and follow the advice carefully
Check out the WomanCode and 28 Days books. They taught me more about my cycle than I ever knew. WomanCode outlines a diet appropriate for PCOS sufferers that can be helpful. You might also like my post on the best PCOS diet.
Other PCOS and women’s hormone health books I highly recommend include:
- Period Repair Manual: Natural Treatment for Better Hormones and Better Periods (2nd edition) by Lara Briden, N.D.
- Beyond the Pill: A 30-Day Program to Balance Your Hormones, Reclaim Your Body, and Reverse the Dangerous Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill by Jolene Brighten, N.D.
- 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS: A Proven Program to Reset Your Hormones, Repair Your Metabolism, and Restore Your Fertility by Fiona McCulloch, N.D.
- Healing PCOS: A 21-Day Plan for Reclaiming Your Health and Life with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome by Amy Medling
2. Find online resources and support
The PCOS Diva website has lots of great info on food and supplements, plus interviews with healthcare professionals who specialize in PCOS.
3. Find scientifically-backed resources
The PCOS Natural Solutions newsletter has great information on supplements and natural ways to address female hormone imbalance.
4. Supplement appropriately
Ovablend by Vitanica is one I have tried, but I’m also experimenting with inositol powder and Vitex (you should discuss all supplements with your healthcare professional). Read more about the best PCOS supplements.
5. Exercise moderately, but keep cortisol low
I never realized how important it is to find the balance between too little and too much activity. I aim to be active about 30-45 minutes a day, plus about 15 minutes of time for gentle stretching. Most of my cardio activity consists of walking or dancing so I feel like I’m staying in shape, but working out doesn’t stress me out.
6. Find a diet approach that helps keep blood sugar stabilized
Following a paleo-type approach adapted to my needs with regular meals including lean protein and “gentle” carbs, plus healthy fats, has made all the difference for me. I highly recommend the book, The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser.
Read a lot more about the best PCOS diet here.
7. Manage stress to feel safe
Like moderating exercise, it’s important from an evolutionary perspective for us to feel safe in order for our cycles to be normal, otherwise our brains will subconsciously think that it’s not a good time to reproduce, even if we’re not deliberately trying to get pregnant. If you have trauma from your past (most of us do), it might be wise to work with a therapist to heal the trauma.
8. Do what you love
I know myself well enough now that I thrive working for myself, and that my true happiness comes from being outside, spending time with friends, writing, being creative, cooking, managing my home, reading, and connecting with like-minded people. So, I’ve structured my life around doing what I love as often as possible. Being content is good for hormone balance.
9. Ask for help
Whether it’s finding a qualified health professional or simply getting a hug from a friend, you aren’t alone and there are resources to help, but it’s your job to ask for that help. I ended up finding a great dietitian to help me navigate my new dietary plan, and her input helped so much. When it comes to PCOS or any hormonal disorder, it seems that there isn’t one answer that applies to all women, so I think it’s that much more important to get individualized help.
10. Use medication wisely
Even though I decided not to use prescription medication to manage my current symptoms of PCOS, it’s certainly an option depending on your goals (especially when it comes to maintaining a pregnancy). I am thrilled to say that diet and lifestyle changes at least got me further on the path toward healing, and I honestly thought that I was the most hopeless case there was.
Still, you’ve got to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Also, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stay hopeful during any kind of health challenge. While none of us are immune to feeling sorry for ourselves every now and then, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and move forward, even if it’s not the life we anticipated or were promised.
Other Natural Resources
- The Best PCOS Diet
- How to Eat Clean (Without Starving Yourself)
- Interview with PCOS Diva Amy Medling
- Best Supplements for PCOS
As I mentioned in the past, I used hormonal birth control for over 15 years to manage my PCOS, and I still have no idea to what extent the pill affected my gut health and the years I suffered with chronic migraines and crippling anxiety.
I actually went back on the pill for about first months after my thyroid cancer surgery back in 2012. I had a horrible experience taking this medication again, though, including a recurrence of migraines and a bunch of other intolerable symptoms. As a result, I decided to devote myself wholeheartedly to figuring out a holistic way of dealing with PCOS.
I changed my diet drastically and my regular resulting cycle is giving me a signal that I must be doing something right. I hope that you find these tips helpful and I wish you the very best on your road to recovery.
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Learn more about natural ways of managing PCOS, including diet, recipes, and supplements.