Nan Dunne Boggs Natural PCOS Newsletter

  • I get this in my e-mailbox and it has some interesting information in it:

    P C O S__ HEALTH REVIEW
    Natural Health Ideas for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    A fr*e monthly newsletter for women with ovarian cysts or PCOS.

    Issue #004__ _________________ September 24, 2002
    Nancy Dunne Boggs, N.D., Naturopathic Physician
    Bill Slater, Research Associate
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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ***_ DOCTOR'S COMMENTARY ***

    1)_ Answers to Your Questions

    2)_ Important Changes to our Newsletter that Will Affect You


    ***_ QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ***

    3)_ Getting Pregnant - A Burning Issue

    4)_ What Are My Chances of Miscarriage?

    5)_ What Can Help Me Get Pregnant Besides Hormone Therapy?

    6)_ Will Plant Estrogens Increase My Risk of Cancer?

    7)_ Did taking birth control pills when I was younger contribute to
    my PCOS?

    8)_ Is it true that women with PCOS can only have one child?

    ***_ THE MONTHLY RESEARCH PEARL ***

    9)_ NAC Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Women with PCOS

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~DOCTOR'S COMMENTARY~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1)_ ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

    Hello!_ Thanks to all who have written to tell us what's important
    to you._ We wish we had the time to individually and completely
    answer all of your questions!__ But we don't, because we're so
    involved in clinic practice and in writing our Natural Solutions for
    PCOS book.

    However, starting in this issue, we'll spend some time
    responding
    to some of your questions and concerns.

    We're also adding a new feature to our newsletter called "The
    Monthly Research Pearl"._ In the research process for writing our
    NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR PCOS book, we come across
    interesting research that may be relevant to you. Rather than wait
    until our book is published, we'll sharing some of this
    information
    with you as we discover it.

    Sincerely,
    Nan Dunne Boggs, N.D.


    2)_ IMPORTANT CHANGES TO OUR NEWSLETTER THAT
    WILL AFFECT YOU

    We're moving to a new web service that will allow us to send you
    a higher quality newsletter._ The new service will require you to
    confirm that you are an actual subscriber to our newsletter._

    **PLEASE NOTE**_ Within the next few days, you will receive
    an e-mail from Bill Slater that will contain the subject line
    "Please
    Confirm Your PCOS Health Review Subscription"._ This e-mail
    will contain a link that you can click in order to confirm that you
    are a subscriber to our newsletter._ If you don't click on this link,
    you will no longer receive this newsletter.

    If you're confused, don't worry._ When this e-mail arrives, it will
    contain instructions from me on what you should do in order to
    remain a subscriber.

    We apologize for this small inconvenience, but it will be worth it
    when you see our October issue of PCOS Health Review.

    Sincerely,
    Bill Slater,
    Research Associate for www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~QUESTIONS & ANSWERS~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    3)__ GETTING PREGNANT - A BURNING ISSUE

    By far the most common questions women ask us are about
    having
    successful pregnancies.

    --_ "My first and main concern is will I ever be able to have__
    children and will they be healthy?…"__
    --_ "My whole life I have wanted kids but last Thursday my dreams
    were shattered…"__
    --_ "What are my chances of conceiving…?"__
    --_ "I am heartbroken and fearful that I won't have
    children…"

    We plan to visit this important issue on a frequent basis._ For
    now,
    here's some basic information about PCOS and infertility.

    40% to 80% of women with PCOS have a problem with fertility.
    The reason for this wide variation is that PCOS is a complex
    metabolic syndrome, with any number of ways to interrupt
    fertility._

    In addition, some women have other factors that reduce fertility
    (like a husband with a low sperm count or a uterus scarred by a
    previous infection), which have nothing to do with PCOS._ If you
    have PCOS, it's difficult to estimate your chances of having a
    baby._

    We don't have specific statistics about natural therapies for
    PCOS
    or their impact on fertility. However, common sense as well as
    the
    clinical experience of naturopathic physicians and
    acupuncturists
    indicates that improving your health will increase your chances
    for
    conception. Safe, nontoxic and effective natural therapies can
    shift
    you into regular ovulatory cycles that will produce thriving eggs.

    Whatever method you choose to achieve pregnancy, building
    and
    maintaining your well-being all the way through to motherhood is
    essential for having a successful pregnancy and healthy baby.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    4)_ WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF MISCARRIAGE?_

    Q: "I have had this disease for almost fifteen years._ I've recently
    found out I'm pregnant and am concerned about the baby's
    health
    or the chance of a miscarriage."

    A: When a women with PCOS becomes pregnant, she is at risk
    for
    complications. More frequent early miscarriage is the primary
    risk.
    Gestational diabetes and high blood pressure can complicate
    the
    second and third trimesters.

    Blood sugar abnormalities can mean a large baby._ These
    babies
    have to be closely watched for hypoglycemia. They will usually be
    fine once they have established their skill at breast (or bottle)
    feeding and are getting steady nutrition._

    If a woman develops high blood pressure in pregnancy, the
    blood
    flow to her baby may be slowed and result in a baby that is born
    small. Growth-restricted babies can have multiple
    developmental
    problems after birth.

    Most women with PCOS have normal, average-weight babies.
    Interestingly, it seems that those who have either remarkably
    small
    or large babies turn out to have been either very small or large at
    birth themselves!

    Get regular prenatal care to monitor your blood sugar and blood
    pressure so you can catch any problems before they develop.
    Allow your healthcare team to help you minimize unhappy
    outcomes.

    Early studies have suggested that the insulin-sensitizing agent
    metformin may be safe and useful in reducing the risk of first-
    trimester miscarriages. Currently, most practitioners who use
    metformin during ovulation induction discontinue its use once
    pregnancy occurs, or don't continue it beyond the first trimester.
    More study is needed to determine the safety and value of this
    drug
    during pregnancy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    5)_ WHAT CAN HELP ME GET PREGNANT BESIDES
    HORMONE THERAPY?

    Q: "What may help someone with PCOS in getting pregnant
    without the hormone replacement therapy"

    A: Weight loss, even as a little as 5%-7%, can decrease the
    amount
    of circulating androgens and thus help induce ovulation. Weight
    loss is also associated with decreased insulin and testosterone
    levels. In one study, reversal of ovarian dysfunction was striking,
    with 82% of women in the group showing marked improvement
    in
    fertility, including five pregnancies in women who had long-
    standing infertility.(1)

    Regular ovulation is a primary goal of all fertility treatments.
    Exercise by itself, with or without weight loss, improves regularity
    of ovulation. A study of adolescent women found a significant
    decrease in the frequency of self-reported acne, painful periods,
    and irregular menses in those engaging in more than eight
    hours of
    sports each week.(2) Although few studies have reported on the
    link between exercise and PCOS, it's clear that exercise has
    positive effects on obesity and insulin resistance, which are
    common attributes of PCOS.

    I also recommend you find or create a support group. A recent
    Harvard study showed that women who participated in an
    infertility support group had a 25% increase in their success rate
    over women who just got the usual infertility clinic care.(3)_ An
    excellent resource for PCOS support groups is the Polycystic
    Ovarian Syndrome Association
    http://www.pcosupport.org/support/

    According to a recent study, acupuncture timed with in-vitro
    fertilization increased conception rates._ The group receiving
    acupuncture had a success rate of 43% vs. only 26% for the
    control
    group.(4)

    Naturopathic physicians and acupuncturists who specialize in
    helping infertile couples have reported increased success for
    couples who have had failed attempts with fertility technology.
    Natural medicine and acupuncture have helped a significant
    number of women have their babies. These are anecdotal
    reports
    and the causes for the infertility are not exclusively due to PCOS.

    The support that natural medicines provide to reproductive
    function and basic health will inevitably help restore fertility in
    some women. We look forward to more research to confirm this
    common-sense approach.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    6)_ WILL PLANT ESTROGENS INCREASE MY RISK OF
    CANCER?

    Q: "Since people with PCOS already have long menstrual cycles
    and their uterus and breasts are subject to longer exposures to
    estrogens, thus increasing their risk of cancer, should they avoid
    foods high in phytoestrogens, e.g., soy products?"

    A: "Phytoestrogens" is the name given to a family of plant
    compounds that have both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic
    properties. Flaxseed, soy, alfalfa are examples of plants
    containing
    phytoestrogens.

    Research indicates that these plants, and isolated lignans
    (proteins)
    from these plants, have many protective effects in the body._
    Consumption of flaxseed and its lignans increases SHBG (sex
    hormone binding globulin) synthesis, as well as reduce breast
    tumor formation and growth. SHBG inhibits the action of
    testosterone._ Excessive testosterone contributes to infertility,
    hirsutism, and acne.

    Hundreds of research studies demonstrate that soy foods are
    safe.
    Soy has a moderating influence on both estrogen and
    testosterone.

    There is some evidence to suggest that the more the food has
    been
    processed to be drug-like, the more likely there could be adverse
    effects._ Therefore, eating soy beans in chile, putting ground flax
    seed in your smoothie, or having a tofu scramble for breakfast, is
    preferable to taking capsules of isolated soy proteins.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    7)_ DID TAKING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS WHEN I WAS
    YOUNGER CONTRIBUTE TO MY PCOS?

    Q:_ "Now that I want to start a family, the dr's are finding answers
    to the problems. My mother thinks that it is because I was taking
    the birth control pill from age 19 to 25. Can this be a contributing
    factor for PCOS? Wouldn't this in turn help the problem? I was on
    4 different kinds of birth control pills and still none of them made
    me regular."

    A: There is concern among some physicians about the use of
    oral
    contraceptives and the long-term impact on women with PCOS.

    Oral contraceptives reduce acne and hirsutism by inhibiting
    ovarian steroid hormone production. Oral contraceptives are
    also
    used to "flush" the endometrium (create a bleeding episode
    once a
    month) and reduce the suggested, but unproven, increased risk
    of
    endometrial cancer in PCOS.

    One study of 16 non-diabetic women with high testosterone
    levels
    showed that those treated with oral contraceptives developed a
    poorer glucose tolerance over six months. Two of the women
    actually developed diabetes.(5) This raises doubts about the
    safety
    of oral contraceptives for treating PCOS. The use of oral
    contraceptives to treat menstrual irregularities should be halted
    until further studies specifically determine the long-term effects
    of
    oral contraceptives on women with PCOS.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    8)_ IS IT TRUE THAT WOMEN WITH PCOS CAN ONLY
    HAVE ONE CHILD?

    Q: "I heard of women only being able to have one child while
    dealing with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome._ Is that true?"

    A: A characteristic of PCOS is "early fertility", which means a
    woman with PCOS is more likely to conceive and give birth to
    one
    or two children when relatively young, say in her early to mid
    twenties. As she gets older, her PCOS symptoms become more
    entrenched, including irregular or no ovulation, and thus there
    are
    no more pregnancies later on.

    We presume this problem applies primarily to women who are
    not
    being properly treated. If you incorporate regular exercise, whole
    foods, appropriate protein, good quality fats, and fresh fruits and
    vegetables into your lifestyle, your health and fertility are less
    likely to follow this sad, unnecessary pattern.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~THE MONTHLY RESEARCH PEARL~~~~~~~~~~

    9)_ NAC IMPROVES INSULIN SENSITVITY IN WOMEN
    WITH PCOS

    ARTICLE TITLE:_ N-acetyl-cysteine treatment improves insulin
    sensitivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, Fulghesu
    AM, et al, Fertil Steril 2002 Jun;77(6):1128-35

    ARTICLE SUMMARY: This study evaluated the effect of N-
    acetyl-cysteine (NAC) on insulin secretion and peripheral insulin
    resistance in subjects with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
    Six
    lean and 31 obese subjects, aged 19-33 years, were treated for
    5-6
    weeks with NAC at a dose of 1.8 g/day orally._ A dose of 3 g/day
    was arbitrarily chosen for massively obese subjects. Six of 31
    obese patients with PCOS were treated with placebo and served
    as
    controls.

    Before and after the treatment period, the hormonal and lipid
    blood
    profile and insulin sensitivity, assessed by an hyperinsulinemic
    euglycemic clamp, were evaluated and an oral glucose
    tolerance
    test (OGTT) was performed.

    STUDY RESULTS:_ Fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and glucose
    area under curve (AUC) were unchanged after treatment. Insulin
    AUC after OGTT was significantly reduced, and the peripheral
    insulin sensitivity increased after NAC administration, whereas
    the
    hepatic insulin extraction was unaffected._ The NAC treatment
    induced a significant fall in T levels and in free androgen index
    values._ In analyzing patients according to their insulinemic
    response to OGTT, normoinsulinemic subjects and
    placebo-treated
    patients did not show any modification of the above parameters,
    whereas a significant improvement was observed in
    hyperinsulinemic subjects.

    STUDY CONCLUSTIONS: NAC may be a new treatment for the
    improvement of insulin circulating levels and insulin sensitivity in
    hyperinsulinemic patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

    DR. DUNNE BOGGS' COMMENTS:_ N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is
    an altered form of the amino acid cysteine, which is commonly
    found in food and synthesized by the body._ NAC supports your
    antioxidant system and thus helps prevent cell damage. It's
    available as a dietary supplement.

    I do NOT recommend that you start using NAC at the 1.8
    – 3 gram
    (that's 1,800 – 3,000 milligrams) dose used in this study._
    A
    qualified physician should assist you with this, especially if you
    are taking metformin._ However, 250-500 milligrams daily should
    be OK for a start.

    Although this is a small study, it suggests that NAC can play a
    role
    in improving your insulin sensitivity._ Many of you are taking
    metformin for the same purpose. Improved insulin sensitivity is
    crucial to reversing PCOS._ Our book will talk about NAC and all
    the other natural things you can do to control insulin and avoid
    the
    side effects of metformin.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The numbers in parentheses in the above articles are footnotes
    to
    medical journal articles._ Go to
    http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/news.html
    to see the newsletter with complete footnote references
    included.

    For more information about Dr. Nancy Dunne Boggs, go to
    http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/ndb.html.

    How can we make this newsletter more valuable to you?_ What
    do
    you want to know?__ Please send your comments or questions to
    mailto:[email protected]

    Dr. Nancy Dunne Boggs, N.D. may be contacted at:
    Bitterroot Natural Medicine
    127 N. Higgins, Suite 202
    Missoula MT 59802
    Tel: 406-728-8544
    Email: mailto:[email protected]
    Website: http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com
    Dr. Dunne Boggs is a Professional Member of the Polycystic
    Ovarian Syndrome Association

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The information in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the
    FDA. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or
    prevent any disease, and is provided for educational purposes
    only.
    Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health
    care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical
    condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other
    health
    program.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Copyright 2002 Nancy Dunne Boggs and Bill Slater._ All rights
    reserved.
  • Very interesting this answers some of my questions. thanks i will be subscrbing to the news letter!!!
  • Thanks for posting this! I would like to copy it to the FAQ's of the thread.