What is PCOS Dr Berg Interviews Dr Nadia Pateguana

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/21/2023

Have you ever experienced combat with an adversary that's out of sight? That's what living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can often feel like.

Maybe you've been recently diagnosed, or perhaps you suspect that those irregular periods and weight struggles are signs of something more. Or perhaps it's the uninvited acne or hair growth in places they shouldn't be... frustrating.

You might have heard about PCOS before—after all, it affects 8% to 30% of premenopausal women—but did you know that this hormonal disorder goes beyond reproductive health?

It has its tentacles wrapped around severe concerns such as diabetes and heart disease too!

Fear not! We'll tackle these topics head-on, from how insulin resistance fuels PCOS symptoms to why the ketogenic diet could be your secret weapon.

Understanding PCOS: Prevalence and Impact

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a noteworthy medical issue for ladies during their regenerative years. Think of it as an unwelcome guest who overstays its welcome - except this 'guest' brings along some severe health issues.

Data suggests that between 8% to 30% of premenopausal women are dealing with PCOS. That's like having the entire population of Texas suffering from this condition.

The Diagnostic Criteria for PCOS

Diagnosing PCOS isn't superficial; it's like solving a complex puzzle where every piece matters.

Doctors evaluate clinical signs such as abnormal menstrual cycles, high concentrations of androgens (which may lead to excess hair growth), plus polycystic ovaries observable on an ultrasound.

Health Risks Associated with PCOS

You may ask yourself why there’s so much fuss about managing PCOS. Well, here’s the kicker. If not managed properly, ladies with PCOS face higher risks for infertility, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and even certain cancers.

The Role of Insulin in PCOS

Insulin's influence on PCOS is undeniable, and it goes beyond just regulating blood sugar levels. This hormone, famous for its part in regulating blood sugar levels, has a less known but significant influence on PCOS.

Insulin Resistance and Male Hormones

In women with PCOS, high levels of insulin can cause problems. The body's inability to respond correctly to insulin triggers the pancreas to overproduce it, resulting in higher levels of circulating insulin that stimulate male hormone production.

To compensate for this resistance, your pancreas works overtime to produce more insulin. This increase is problematic because high circulating insulin levels stimulate the ovaries to produce male hormones, such as testosterone.

An excess of these hormones leads to many classic symptoms of PCOS, like irregular periods and excessive hair growth.

Key stats back up this relationship: indeed, PCOS is an insulin-resistant condition, meaning that most people suffering from it have higher-than-normal amounts of insulin flowing through their bloodstream.

It might seem odd at first glance – what does blood sugar control have to do with reproductive health? But when you understand how all our bodily systems are interconnected, the link between them becomes more explicit.

Dietary Management of PCOS

Managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can feel like a puzzle. But, with the right components in position, you can gain command. Dietary changes are critical to this process.

The Ketogenic Diet for PCOS

A ketogenic diet, known for being low-carb, may offer some relief from symptoms of PCOS. Why? It's all about insulin levels.

Insulin is an important hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. With PCOS, your body may not respond well to insulin and produce more than it needs – leading to high insulin levels.

Focusing on fat rather than carbohydrates as a primary energy source, the ketogenic diet may help reduce your body's demand for insulin. This switch can help lower your body's demand for insulin - giving those overworked pancreas cells a much-needed break.

Intermittent Fasting as a Tool for Managing PCOS

Intermittent fasting is another tool that might just fit into your lifestyle. Like the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting aims at reducing elevated insulin levels common in women with PCOS.

Fasting gives your body time to use stored glucose and tap into fat reserves - again lowering the need for constant production of insulin by pancreatic cells.

Lifestyle Changes for PCOS Management

For PCOS management, lifestyle changes extend beyond diet modifications. It's also about adjusting other aspects of your lifestyle to support better health.

Exercise and PCOS

Moving more often can help manage symptoms of PCOS. Regular strength-training workouts can help decrease insulin levels and enhance the body's responsiveness to this hormone.

Studies show that regular physical activity can reduce testosterone levels in women with PCOS, too.

The key here is consistency. Start small if you need to—just a few minutes each day—and gradually increase as your fitness improves. And remember: any exercise beats no exercise at all.

Sleep Hygiene for PCOS Management

Better sleep patterns are crucial when dealing with hormonal imbalances like those seen in PCOS. High-quality sleep helps regulate hormones in appetite control, mood stabilization, and insulin resistance—critical factors in managing this condition effectively.

Stress Reduction Techniques Can Help Manage Symptoms

Stress may exacerbate symptoms of PCOS by negatively affecting hormonal balance. Research suggests that mind-body techniques could be beneficial tools alongside traditional treatments for reducing stress-related symptoms associated with this disorder.

Upcoming Resources for PCOS Management

We have some exciting news to share. Dr. Nadia and Dr. Jason Fung are working on a new book that promises to be an invaluable resource for women battling PCOS.

Their practical guide will shed light on managing this condition through adequate diet and lifestyle changes, helping you take control of your health.

An Overview of the Upcoming Book

This isn't just another medical textbook filled with jargon - it's a practical handbook designed by experienced professionals who've spent years studying and treating PCOS patients.

Dr. Berg, renowned keto diet expert, has teamed up with Dr. Jason Fung, intermittent fasting guru, to create a comprehensive guide rooted in firsthand experience.

You can expect actionable advice backed by scientific research in their upcoming book about dietary management strategies such as ketogenic diets or intermittent fasting tailored explicitly for women struggling with PCOS symptoms.

A sneak peek into the contents reveals sections dedicated to understanding insulin resistance's role in exacerbating symptoms of this disorder, along with proposed solutions based on clinical trials involving premenopausal women diagnosed with PCOS (statistics suggest between 8% to 30%).

Probiotics and PCOS

The relationship between probiotics and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is an area of growing interest among researchers and individuals dealing with this condition. PCOS is often associated with hormonal imbalances, including irregular menstrual cycles.

While more studies are needed to establish a direct link, some research suggests that probiotics may play a role in hormonal regulation and metabolic health, critical factors in PCOS management.

One of the questions raised in this context is, can probiotics affect your menstrual cycle? While there is no definitive answer yet, the potential connection between gut health, probiotics, and hormonal balance is an intriguing avenue for exploration.

For individuals with PCOS looking for complementary approaches to manage their condition, consulting with a healthcare provider to discuss the potential benefits and risks of incorporating probiotics into their wellness routine is advisable.

Personalized guidance can help determine the most appropriate strategies for addressing PCOS-related concerns.


PCOS can feel like an invisible opponent, but knowledge is power. With understanding comes the ability to manage. You've learned about insulin resistance and its role in PCOS, opening doors for new strategies in PCOS treatment and management.

The keto diet isn't just a trend - it can help lower insulin levels. Remember that? And don't forget intermittent fasting, either! Exercise matters, too - your body will thank you for those extra steps or reps. It all adds up in this fight against PCOS symptoms.

Finally, watch for upcoming resources on managing PCOS with lifestyle changes - because more help is always welcome! In conclusion, You're not alone; you're empowered, and practical solutions are available. Fight on!

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