Episode #36: Do You Have a PCOS Type?
What you’ll learn in this episode
On the surface, the difference between a root cause or a type might seem trivial.
But when it comes to the practical application of addressing a PCOS type or a PCOS root cause there is a big difference. That is what we will be discussing in this episode so go ahead and listen now.
Mistakes Of The PCOS Type Model
PCOS types lead to focusing on bigger more advanced symptoms rather than being more fluid and responsive to your body’s needs before it is severely affected.
Thinking you have one type can lead to hitting your head against the same wall when your body’s needs have changed. We are living and therefore constantly changing. As our bodies change and our environments change, so do our primary root causes of symptoms.
Understanding the root causes of PCOS allows you to listen to your body and address each need. After all, you are unique and don’t fit into a perfect type kind of box.
The PCOS “Types” vs Root Causes
It’s important to remember that PCOS types are just a way of easy classification. They aren’t necessarily wrong, just very broad and general.
When I work with women one on one or in a group setting it’s not helpful to categorize them into types. It doesn’t help them listen to their body’s needs and it definitely doesn’t address the fact that we can have multiple problems all at once.
For example, you can have insulin resistance type PCOS and post-pill PCOS. These need to be addressed differently but can be addressed simultaneously. You will learn more about juggling these reboot causes and more when you listen to this episode.
A Practical Approach to PCOS Types and Root Cause Healing
After listening to this episode you’ll be able to see that the best and ultimately most effective approach to naturally caring for PCOS hormone imbalance is to stay more fluid in determining your current primary root cause and how to do that.
Let’s Continue The Conversation
Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.
So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com
Let’s Continue The Conversation
Do you have questions about this episode or other questions about PCOS? I would love to connect and chat on a more personal level over on Instagram. My DMs are my favorite place to chat more.
So go visit me on IG @nourishedtohealthy.com
Resources & References Mentioned in this episode
Spread the Awareness
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Read The Full Episode Transcript Here
Perhaps you’ve heard of different PCOS types, maybe you’ve even taken a quiz to see what type you have and then here on the PCOS Repair Podcast, we talk a lot about the root causes. What is the difference, what one should you pay attention to? And ultimately, practically, what are they trying to assist you to do? That’s what we’re going to be talking about in this episode as we dive deeper into what PCOS root causes are and how they can help you reverse your PCOS for good. So let’s get started.
You’re listening to the PCOS Repair Podcast, where we explore the ins and outs of PCOS and how to repair the imbalances in your hormones naturally with a little medical help sprinkled in. Hi, I’m Ashlene Korcek and with many years of medical and personal experience with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, it is my joy to watch women reverse their PCOS as they learn to nourish their bodies in a whole new way. With the power of our beliefs, our mindset, and our environment and the understanding of our genetics, we can heal at the root cause.
Welcome back to the PCOS Repair Podcast, where today we are going to be talking about the difference between root causes and how they relate to the practicality compared to a PCOS type to actually begin healing your PCOS and reversing your PCOS symptoms for good. On the surface, the difference between a root cause and a type seems really trivial. But when it comes to the practical application of how are you actually addressing your PCOS type or root cause, there’s a really big difference and on a broad scale, that subtle difference can make a huge impact over the months that you are diligently working on trying to repair your PCOS. For example, when you’re dealing with a PCOS type, let’s just say the insulin resistance type of PCOS that is as far as that method really dives into what’s going on in your body, it kind of skips over discovering and learning how to listen to the nuances of a particular person and basically just provides another label like a diagnosis and then moves straight into addressing in a cookie-cutter manner. Insulin is considered by research and medical experts to be one of the primary contributing factors when it comes to PCOS.
So it kind of makes sense, right, to just if you have the PCOS-resistant type, you should just dive in and start healing it, right? Wrong. You see, sugar and balancing insulin resistance, diabetes or just the insulin effect can arise from various root causes, food is a big one, body composition is another and then even just our environment can contribute in many ways to how our body is responding to and achieving various levels of blood sugar control, cortisol and stress, and how our body is managing stress and coping are big contributors to the insulin effect aside from food. So while removing certain foods and trying to improve your sugar and watching everything you eat might seem like the best advice, if you haven’t gone a little further into discovering what is going on in your body, listening to your body’s cues and learning how to interpret those in all of the root causes, you may be close to what your body needs, but you’re still not addressing the root of the matter. So hopefully that makes it clear why we want to go beyond just lumping different types of PCOS together and instead of trying just to create another new label for a more natural approach to healing PCOS as compared to just a diagnosis, why we really want to get to the root of what’s causing your body to be out of balance, what are your symptoms telling us? And why aren’t your hormones functioning the way that they’re supposed to? That way we can, instead of working against our body, start assisting our body to work with us in our endeavors to improve our health. So let’s look at some of the common mistakes that people make when they are using a PCOS-type model to heal their PCOS. Again, I’m going to go through the different PCOS types to illustrate the mistakes and the oversimplification and how to practically correct these assumptions to improve your PCOS symptoms by going deeper into the root cause so that you can more efficiently and effectively reverse your PCOS. The overriding mistake with PCOS types is that it’s looking at more advanced symptoms and signs, maybe even needing lab work to help you determine whether or not you have a certain PCOS type. I like to back it way up to when your body starts to show signs that it is struggling. This is going to happen so long before you’ll ever see a significantly elevated hormone lab. Of course, you’re going to see these symptoms magnified as your labs become more and more and more abnormal.
But learning to recognize it sooner is going to save you a lot of frustration and struggling and it’s also going to be a lot easier to address, and you won’t be missing little things along the way that will assist you in helping your body heal and function the way that you want. Okay, so let’s look at the insulin-resistant type of PCOS we’ve talked about insulin being a spectrum of issues from functioning normally all the way down to type two diabetes here on the PCOS Repair podcast before and you can go back and listen to episodes three and four where we talk about that as well as I will link to the episodes brief and go back and listen to more about that in the show notes below. Your body will start to struggle with insulin long before it shows up as abnormal on lab work and this is because the food that we eat will spike your insulin as well as your environment can increase your insulin. So there are several contributing factors. If you truly have the insulin effect root cause, food is going to always be a very important one. But before we just blindly dive into changing how we eat, we want to also take a look at what other environmental considerations may be leading to that insulin effect root cause.
Because there may be deeper root causes to our root cause. I know so many layers and it gets confusing. It’s not confusing when we go through it in an individual way. But right now we’re just looking at the big picture of why it’s so important to not overly simplify a label on our PCOS, but to really dive in and address the various symptoms and to know what symptoms to look for. And that’s where when we look at someone individually with PCOS, we really can’t make generalized statements. We can’t say that one thing is best or one thing is not good for all women with PCOS because each individual has such a unique situation going on, has such a unique environment that they are living in, and their body is responding to that environment in its own unique way. And so just to have a PCOS type and I could end this conversation right here, but just to have a PCOS type is not looking deep enough into that uniqueness of each woman because going back to that insulin effect or insulin PCOS type, insulin resistant PCOS type, we have to look at other factors. Sure, food can spike your insulin, sleep patterns can spike your insulin, and stress levels can spike your insulin.
So many of the things that you may or may not be coping well within your environment can affect your insulin levels and therefore your PCOS symptoms. So while it is very well accepted that insulin resistance is a huge component of PCOS and found in over 70% of women who’ve been diagnosed with PCOS and probably even more are dealing with a pre-insulin resistance state, it’s important to remember that insulin resistance is not just caused by one thing and not only one thing needs to be addressed. We need to go a little bit deeper and see what is actually going on for that particular person. I mean, sure, most of the time it is diet related, but it’s also really important to take a step further back and make sure there’s not something else that is contributing to that because if you start changing your diet and you’re not looking at some of the other contributing factors, you’re going to be really frustrated when you’re not seeing the results that you want from the diet changes that you’re working so hard to make. Then we hear some people talking about post-pill type PCOS. Now, this is actually quite accurate.
There are a lot of women who have more or less been managing their PCOS, perhaps without even realizing that they’re managing it because they didn’t know they had PCOS, they’ve just intuitively discovered what works and what doesn’t work for their body and then you put hormonal birth control into the mix. Perhaps it’s when they start hormonal birth control or change hormonal birth control or discontinue hormonal birth control altogether, that they all of a sudden they’re not able to keep up with whatever they were doing in their lifestyle. It’s not enough to counteract the cascade of havoc and chaos that is going on in the hormones after being on or starting new birth control. As soon as birth control is brought into the picture, something goes completely out of control, chaos comes in and whatever was working previously in their lifestyle no longer is working. On a side note, I experienced this, I had always struggled with PCOS. I didn’t have a name for it, but I was able to more or less manage it. I was aware that managing certain aspects of my health, fitness and weight management was harder than some of my peers, but I just accepted it as this was just how I was and it wasn’t until I went off of hormonal birth control and struggled with various types of hormonal birth control that it really came to the surface that something wasn’t right, it is simply not normal to gain 40lbs over a two-month spread. So with doing nothing different in your lifestyle, so you can see, there are times where overall you were more or less manage it, maybe you knew you had PCOS, maybe you did not, and then something external such as hormonal birth control. I also see this very frequently with women who are given like provera to induce a period or women who are going through various rounds of infertility treatments with clomid, letrozole, various trigger shots, and so forth and find themselves in a frustrating place of hormonal chaos, either during or after these treatments, and can’t seem to quite get their body back on track or get into a natural rhythm that they have previously been able to accomplish. So the mistake here is that although post-pill PCOS is a thing, it’s really important to not only address a very similar situation for women who have recently gone off the pill. Like I said, this can happen to women going on hormonal birth control and this can happen for women who have never been on hormonal birth control, where all of a sudden something creates a tipping point where they start. To spiral in their PCOS and they’re not strongly having an insulin effect, they’re not strongly having other things, but they are definitely having hormonal chaos. And we need to figure out why, or they’re having some nutritional deficiencies and their body is not coping well with those aspects of their environment. And so I think it’s undercutting a great deal of the pool of women that have PCOS that have not been on hormonal birth control or haven’t been on it for a long time and are still struggling and not sure what to do about it that don’t quite fit in that PCOS post pill type criteria. So again, what we would want to do in this case is always go back to looking at the symptoms, letting our body tell us by listening to specific symptoms you’ll kind of get a sample of what those symptoms might look like if you take the PCOS Root Cause quiz. I go into that kind of questionnaire a lot deeper inside of the PCOS Root Cause Boot Camp to really pull out exactly what your body is trying to tell us, and then even once we have one of the PCOS root causes, we dive into that even a little bit further to find the root cause of the root cause.
You can see it’s really about listening to what is our body telling us and then what other information is our body giving us to piece together and it’s actually more simple than it sounds, but to really piece together what areas of our body are struggling and out of balance and needing assistance in our environment. Okay, so the next one we come to is adrenal-type PCOS. Now this one I feel like again is probably underutilized when we think of it in a PCOS type. So to have true Adrenal-type PCOS is pretty extreme in a very, very small percentage of women that have PCOS have true Adrenal-type PCOS in the criteria that experts are suggesting this particular type of PCOS. However, I think that most women have some degree of stress response going on in their PCOS. The degree of that stress response needs to be addressed and for some women, this may be their primary overriding really out-of-balance area of their life and it’s going to need to be addressed further and stronger. But I think that saying that only if you have this adrenal type and not the other types of this aspect of your PCOS need to be addressed is definitely doing a missing service to women with PCOS because most of us have at least some component of this going on.
It’s some sort of stress and lack of coping with our current environment. Whether it’s from a substance standpoint, such as toxins in our environment, in our products, whether it’s how we are dealing with our stress hormones and our work schedules, our sleep patterns or it could also be cereal dieting to where our body feels very unsafe and stressed and stretched thin. Even if to us it doesn’t seem scary or stressful in our minds and in our emotions, our body can perceive certain things as being very stressful that we weren’t even aware was causing our body stress and then contributing to again that inflammation which we’ll get to in a second and contributing to the insulin effect and contributing to that hormonal chaos and nutritional deficiency. So what I want you to start to see here is that if we put these all in types we’re basically kind of putting them in separate categories and addressing them very separately and in a practical sense and in a holistic sense, we need to combine these approaches and that’s where the terminology that I use inside the PCOS Root Cause Boot camp when I’m helping women address their PCOS root cause naturally is really to look at their current primary root cause and then we may progress to their secondary and their tertiary.
And a lot of these things are incorporated even in each root cause protocol to heal is looking at if you have the specific other symptoms going on, you may also want to consider this or you may adjust and alter your treatment protocol a little bit to address your unique situation. And that is what is really important for women with PCOS to learn to do it, learning to recognize the body, talking to us through symptoms, interpreting what those symptoms are actually telling us, looking at the other symptoms to kind of go one step further into why are we having that behavior in our body? And then thirdly, to address that through a caring environment that helps our body in the areas that it’s struggling, whether it’s through food, through changing up our sleep routines, through exercise, through hydration, through potential supplements, through all sorts of different avenues of things that we need to add into our life, let go of in our life, that we need to give ourselves time to restore and recover from whatever it is that we have going on in our personal life. It’s a very unique environment and learning to recognize that and then address that is what learning to deal with your root causes is all about.
Okay, so then finally we come to the inflammatory type of PCOS. And again, this one is I kind of laugh at it because PCOS in general is going to give you a higher level of an inflammatory state than not having PCOS. So dealing with inflammation is really an all-women with PCOS consideration and so that’s something that I have woven into all of the PCOS root cause protocols to heal and reverse your PCOS naturally. But beyond that, it’s going to be contributed to so your inflammation is going to increase with all of your other root causes. So if you have an insulin effect PCOS, that’s going to increase your inflammation. So just in having that insulin effect root cause, your inflammation is going to go up. So making it sound like we have one category of inflammation is a little bit laughable. However, there is a type of PCOS, there is a root cause of PCOS, or there are several root causes of PCOS that are systemic inflammation and we can address those, so there is a reason why we have this separate category of inflammatory type PCOS, but I think that it needs to be, again, incorporated in all of the types in different degrees based on what is going on in your specific body.
So if you’re someone, say, who has a skin sensitivity, you’ve dealt with a lot of Eczema, maybe you also have some asthma, seasonal allergies, things like that, that’s not PCOS related, but that systemic inflammation is going to make your PCOS worse. So we want to address those outside inflammatory issues that may be leading and becoming their own root cause of what’s worsening your PCOS. But it’s important to realize that all women with PCOS are dealing with some degree of inflammation and to not just discount like, oh, I don’t have in the inflammatory type PCOS and so therefore I don’t have to worry about inflammation. On the flip side, a lot of times, because all women with PCOS have some degree of inflammation, we falsely think of ourselves as having inflammatory type PCOS, and we focus on things that are, well, helpful to our general health aren’t going to be as specifically important and effective in healing our PCOS root causes because we’ve been distracted by the symptoms that are saying we have inflammation and not diving deep enough into those root causes of the inflammation to get a better picture of why we are having those symptoms.
So that is where it’s really important to take a full look at what’s going on and not discount your own intuition when it comes to what’s happening in your body, what’s happening in your daily life when you’re starting to feel your body struggle because even on a daily basis, we’ll feel times where, okay, right now I’m feeling better, right now I’m feeling worse, what is happening? What is contributing to that? And so instead of just taking somebody else’s label, it’s really more about learning how to listen to those cues in our hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. That gives us a bigger picture of where our body is struggling, where it needs help, and then learning how to address those in a way that is effective and practical, and sustainable. Okay. And then lastly, I just want to mention thin-type PCOS. We’ve talked about this, we have a whole episode about it on the PCOS Repair podcast. But thin type PCOS is really just a physical appearance of PCOS. You can actually have any and all of the root causes. You can have inflammation type, you can actually have insulin resistance going on even if you have thin type PCOS, your body is coping with it in a different way, but we still basically want to follow the same process of going deep into where your symptoms are leading you. Are you struggling with a stress response, sleep pattern problems? How are you achieving that thin type PCOS, what part of your environment is your body not coping with? And that’s what we want to look at. So the process of determining what is or isn’t working for your body really doesn’t change whether you have a lot of weight to lose or you can’t gain weight it really has very little to do with that. Now that may be one symptom that we look at, but the overall process of how we determine what’s going on in your root cause doesn’t change based on whether or not you would consider yourself to have thin-type PCOS or not. So hopefully through this conversation, you’ve been able to see how just labeling PCOS further with a PCOS type is definitely oversimplifying the process and not giving you all of the tools that you need to get started repairing your PCOS. Now I know we haven’t had time in this particular episode to really dive into the steps to take for that and that is something that’s going to be coming up.
So I want you to go ahead and get on the waitlist for the PCOS Root Cause Masterclass that’s going to be coming out in the next couple of weeks or days depending on when it is that you’re listening to this episode and if you’re listening to this episode a while after recording, it may already be available for you to listen to on demand. So if you go to the link for the PCOS Root Cause Masterclass, it will let you either go ahead and listen to it or it will let you get on the waitlist for when it becomes available. This is going to be more of a full presentation because I want to be able to give you some visuals with it that doesn’t allow me to hear on a podcast. It’ll make things a lot more clear about how we’re addressing hormones and how we’re getting down into those various levels of the different root causes of PCOS. So with that in mind, go ahead and get on the waitlist and I hope you have found this episode helpful. I know this episode brings up a lot of questions to the individual. This is a broad overview of how PCOS root causes work and why they are so important and why we want to take the time up front to really listen to our body and over time really develop that skill of learning to interpret and understand what it is our body is needing from us at any given time because this is not something that just stays the same, this is something that changes season to season. Different seasons throughout your life will have a different PCOS root cause and different focus of where your body is needing attention and assistance and so it’s very worth your time to learn how to listen to your body in that way. And so as those certain questions come up, I invite you to find me over on Instagram. You can find me at Nourishedtohealthy. I will link to it in the show notes below and I would be more than happy to continue the conversation about root causes over there. I know it’s an expansive topic, but you don’t have to know everything about it to get started. I encourage you to get started because as you start taking action, it starts to become more clear what is and isn’t working and through action is really how you are going to learn to listen to your body better. So you can meet me over on Instagram. We can continue the conversation there on a more personal level, but until next time, if you have found this episode helpful, be sure to hit the subscribe button because there’s going to be a lot more PCOS health topics coming available over the next couple of weeks.
And if you wouldn’t mind just taking a minute of your time to rate and review the podcast on whatever listening platform that you are listening to, whether it’s Spotify or Apple or any of the other podcast platforms. Because a good review really helps to spread the awareness of PCOS and helps other women to see the podcast and allow them to listen and learn more about what their body is needing as well. So if you have a minute, I would greatly appreciate your time leaving a review for the PCOS Repair podcast. And until next time, bye for now.
Did you know that studies of PCOS epigenetics have shown that our environment can either worsen or completely reverse our PCOS symptoms? I believe that although PCOS makes us sensitive to our environment, it also makes us powerful. When we learn what our body needs and commit to providing those needs, not only do we gain back our health, but we grow in power just by showing up for ourselves. This is why I’ve created a guide for you to get started.
My PCOS Fertility Meal guide can be found in the show notes below. I want to show you how to create an environment that promotes healing while still being able to live a life that you enjoy. This guide is completely free, so go get your copy now so that you can step into the vision that you have for your life and for your health.
Take The PCOS Root Cause Quiz
What Do Your Symptoms Mean?
Discover your current PCOS Root Cause
Start to reverse PCOS at the root cause.
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Welcome to The PCOS Repair Podcast!
I’m Ashlene Korcek, and each week I’ll be sharing the latest findings on PCOS and how to make practical health changes to your lifestyle to repair your PCOS at the root cause.
If you’re struggling with PCOS, know that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in ten women have PCOS. But the good news is that there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.
So whether you’re looking for tips on nutrition, exercise, supplements, or mental health, you’ll find it all here on The PCOS Repair Podcast. Ready to get started? Hit subscribe now