Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Recent research presented at the International Federation of Fertility Societies/American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting illustrated data that adding cinnamon to their diet can improve menstrual cyclicity in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Previous research has shown that the use of cinnamon can reduce insulin resistance in women with PCOS. In this study, researchers from Columbia University enrolled 45 women with PCOS into a research trial. The women who completed the 6 month trial and who received the cinnamon had more regular menstrual cycles than women who were given placebo. The cinnamon group had 3.82 menstrual cycles during the 6 month trial, while women in the control group only had 2.2 cycles. Two of the women in the treatment group reported spontaneous pregnancies during the trial.
“Though small, this rather elegant study shows that cinnamon may be an effective and inexpensive treatment for PCOS patients,” said Steven T. Nakajima, MD, President of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
A leading expert on reproductive health says young women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have a startlingly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if young and not overweight.
The research led by Professor Helena Teede and Dr Anju Joham, from the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University analysed a large-scale epidemiological study, called the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health, which revealed the findings.
Over 6000 women aged between 25-28 years were monitored for nine years, including 500 with diagnosed PCOS. The incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes was three to five times higher in women with PCOS. Crucially, obesity, a key trigger for type 2 diabetes, was not an important trigger in women with PCOS.
Professor Teede said the findings have significant implications for diabetes screening, as well as for the care of women with PCOS.
“Type 2 diabetes itself is preventable, as are diabetes complications, but only if people at risk of or who have diabetes are screened, aware and take preventative action,” Professor Teede said.
“With the dramatic rise in diabetes, this research highlights the need for greater awareness and screening, especially in high risk groups including young women with PCOS.”
In this article, I introduce a term that you are likely to think absurd. Below I present four case histories, three of teenagers and the fourth of a young woman. After you read them, please consider telling me if you still consider the term absurd. The term is “Taking It On the Ovaries” (TOCS). My purpose in inventing this diagnostic name is to jolt the readers—women who have taken it on their ovaries from their doctors and the doctors who gave it to them without consiedring the consequences of their drug treatments. Strong words? Yes. This is a serious subject and words can have shock value.
The mother of a 15-year-old girl consulted me for her daughter. Following are the main clinical features of this case: the patient developed ear infections as a toddler and was administered multiple courses of antibiotics. The pediatrician did not think it was necessary to order allergy testing even though the mother suspected their presence. A surgeon removed her adenoids (protective lymph tissue in the back of the throat), also without considering allergy testing. More antibiotics. She became tired. At age ten she began menstruating and developed severe PMS symptoms. She was given potent synthetic hormones to control PMS.
Within months, she became irregularin menstruation and missed her periods for up to three months at a time. She suffered abdominal bloating and cramps. Next she developed chest pain. A pediatric cardiologist could not find anything wrong and prescribed medication which the mother refused. Next disturbing symptom was dizziness, for which her mother consulted a pediatric neurologist at a New York University hospital, who diagnosed dysautonomia (a derangement of the autonomic nervous system which controls heart rhythm, blood pressure, and temperature). More prescriptions folloed. She developed facial acne and facial hair. Within some months, she grew hair on her chest, abdomen, thighs, and legs. That led to severe mood shifts for which she was referred to a psychotherapist. The “talk therapy” proved to be a cruel joke.
For continuing menstrual and pelvic pain, a gynecologist ordered a pelvic ultrasound and rewarded her with the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Blood testosterone and insulin levels were not done (the two tests that would have revealed the heavy metabolic price she had paid as she continued to “take it on her ovaries” from a marching army of doctors. Why did the doctors not see what is so self-evident?
A 16-year-old accompanied her mother arrived to our Institute with a diagnosis Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The mother recalled that her pediatrician had prescribed steroids for persistent cough (nearly always a clear clue to mold allergy). She was chronically constipated and listless. Food and mold allergy test were not performed. Her mother also recalled that she received six to eight courses of antibiotics “for years.” Allegra and mucinex for allergic symptoms were freely used. She suffered disabling menstrual cramps at menarche and within months developed menstrual irregularity, missing periods for up to three months at a time. Some months later, she developed numbness in her fingers and toes (usually signs of insulin toxicity in such clinical setting) and irritability. When she developed facial and bodily hair, the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome was made with a pelvic ultrasound. Her blood testosterone level was high at 57.8 ng/dL. I learned that her mother was also diagnosed with PCOS, and was one of her older sisters.
Not surprisingly, she and her family did not know how she “took it on her ovaries” from her doctors. Why did the doctors not see what is so self-evident? Because they believe there is no science behind integrative therapies for reversing PCOS? Why is that so? Because the editors of their journals on the payroll of men of money in medicine told them that is so? What is the real science behind such therapies? In 1998, I as the editor of The Journal of Integrative Medicine devoted the entire hormone issue to this problem.
The third case is of a 21-year-old student who consulted me with the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.dhood, she suffered frequent ear infections and received multiple courses of antibiotics. Later she developed most of the clinical features of the illness of the two teenagers described above. Like the doctors of the other two, her doctors had not bothered to diagnose and treat mold, food, and pollen allergies. The test performed at our Institute revealed high levels of allergy.
Is PCOS and loss of menstruation in young women reversible? In most cases, absolutely yes. In 1998, my colleagues and I published conclusive evidence for this in The Journal of Integrative Medicine.
The day I saw the 15-year-old girl with PCOS (Case 1) I wanted to coin a provocative diagnostic label for PCOS to warn the unsuspecting parents of teenagers and young women who are mindlessly drugged for PCOS by their clueless doctors. Real causes of PCOS remain undetected and untreated. Their mold and food allergies, yeast overgrowth, addressed: gut fermentation, mold toxins that poison mitochondrial ATP energy-producing enzymes, the development of leaky gut state, and impaired liver detox remain unsuspected and un-addressed. The words “taking it on the ovaries” sprang up. I asked a man what “taking it on the chin” means. “Taking the punches and staying up,” he explained. I knew “taking it on the ovaries” was the right label for PCOS.
Later I told a woman about my intention of writing an article entitled “Taking It On the Ovaries” and explained why the words seemed appropriate to me. She listened, chuckled, then turned somber and said, “My God, my sister went exactly through the problems you described and was later diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.”
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder of young women and comprises high blood insulin and testosterone levels, inability to have babies, weight gain, and facial hair. The syndrome is spreading like an epidemic.
In 1968, as a pathology resident I began to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in biopsy and surgical specimens. Our whole department saw ten to twelve cases in a hospital that delivered more than 2,000 babies. A 2010 report cited an incidence of PCOS of up to 20 percent among U.S. women between 20 and 45 years of age. Why?
Chemical Chicken Coming Home to Roost
PCOS, of course, is not a new problem. What is new is its epidemic spread. The rate of increases in its incidence in every region of the world correlates well with the use of two types of synthetic chemicals: synthetic hormones and industrial pollutants with hormone-like effects (xenoestrogens and xenoandrogens). The greater the mounts of these chemicals in water, food, and air, the higher the incidence of PCOS. Simply stated, the epidemic of PCOS is caused by the chemical chicken coming home to roost. What might be the underlying mechanisms of disruption of hormonal pathways which set the stage for PCOS? A study of evolution provides the answer.
PCOS: Evolution in Reverse
Nature evoloved two separate genders among humans, slowly over hundreds of millions of years. In a thought experiment, suppose we abolish the evolutionary influences which were responsible for creating women and men. What can we expect? How will the genes responsible for keeping women “women-like” and men “men-like” respond to such a change? We can reasonably expect to see a weakening of these genetic pathways. With time, there will be a loss of gender differentiation, such that women and men become “gender-skewed”—females would become “male-like” and males would become “female-like,”so to speak. If some consistent patterns of such gender-skewing caused by specific environmental or genetic factors could be recognized, can a unifying model of “gender devolution”—evolution in reverse, so to speak—be proposed to explain a vast array of seemingly disparate observations concerning gender differentiation?
With incremental load of xenoestrogens and xenoandrogens, little girls will be expected to have precocious development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics, such as the premature appearance of pubic hair, breast enlargement, and menarche. In older girls, one would expect phenotypic changes to include hirsutism, male-pattern baldness, alopecia, acne, anovulation, oligomenorrhea, and amenorrhea. Other expected changes in this context would be higher incidence of premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, and the Stein-Leventhal syndrome (polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS). In older women, we may anticipate rising incidences of cancers of the breast, ovary, and other related organs. Now, let us consider the published data on these subjects.
The age of menarche (onset of menstruationaturation) has been dropping in European countries. The downward trend has essentially leveled off in recent years. The European trend contrasts sharply with that seen in the U.S, with the onset of puberty (as determined by age at breast development) occuring much earlier than it did 20 years ago.27-30 For example, in a study of 17,077 American girls, at age seven, 27.2% of African American and 6.7% of white girls showed such secondary development; at age eight, the corresponding numbers were 48.3% and 14.7%.27 Amazingly, at age three, 3% of African-American girls and 1% of white girls showed precocious development with breast enlargement and/or appearance of pubic hair. These data concerning precocious pubertal development in U.S. girls contrasts sharply with that concerning Danish girls. From an epidemiologic study based on national registries, only 0.2% of all Danish girls had some form of precocious pubertal development.30
In 2007, Time magazine reported that 3 million U.S. citizens were gender- variant—children and adults who do not identify with their biological sex. The gender-variant adolescent were two-to-three times as likely to attempt suicide as children without gender identity issues. In February of that year, Boston’s Children’s Hospital opened the first U.S. clinic for gender-variant children. The treatment plan includes injections of a puberty-delaying hormone to regulate gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH)—a treatment that carries increased risk of infertility when injection therapy is discontinued and puberty allowed to occur. Not unexpectedly, the Boston hospital showed no interest in crucial subjects of liver and bowel detox procedures and the special nutrient requirements of children.
Diagnostic Criteria for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
In 1968, when I began my work as a pathologist, the diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of PCOS included: (1) bilateral symmetrical enlargement of the ovaries; (2) ovarian stromal cortical hyperplasia; (3) multiple cysts formed by arrested Graafian follicles; and (4) absence of microscopic evidence of ovulation failure. By these diagnostic criteria, PCOS was a distinctly uncommon disorder, seen less often than once monthly. Currently reported incidences of PCOS are sharply higher. Estimates of the prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in the general population have ranged from 2–20%.31-34 According to a December 2005 report of the CDC’s National Survey on Family Growth (NSFG), U.S. women under 25 years of age comprised the fastest-growing segment with impaired fecundity, as defined by the capacity to conceive and carry a child to term. The report identified obesity as an important characteristic of such women. Based on the 2005 NSFG report, approximately 12% of American couples experienced impaired fecundity in 2002, a 20% increase from the 6.1 million couples who reported an inability to have children in 1995. I return to the crucial subject of PCOS to illustrate core aspects of the gender devolution model, as well as to show the folly of using drugs to treat the disorder, as regrettably recommended by The New England Journal of Medicine.
The incidence of endometriosis is rising in most regions of the world. One line of evidence for this trend is drawn from prospective studies on asymptomatic women undergoing tubal sterilization, who have markedly higher than expected frequency of endometriosis lesions.
Endometriosis affects all races, personalities, and socioeconomic groups as well as all ages of women, from girls as young as 10 or 11 to women in their 60’s and 70’s.1 The terrible impact on young women is evident in the dramatic 250% increase in hysterectomies for endometriosis for women aged 15 to 24 between 1965 and 1984. The same period saw an increase of 186% for women aged 25 to 34.
Whhy do gynecologists remove uteri of teenagers for endometriosis without searching for factors that cause endometriosis? I consider it a serious ethical lapse—an intellectually inexcusable and morally regrettable acts of professional misconduct. Strong words! Yes. Later in this chapter, I present a careful review of available scientific facts concerning endometriosis that shed as much light on my gender devolution model as do considerations of PCOS. I will let the readers decide whether or not my words are unjustifiably strong.
My patients in good health in the ninth and tenth decades of life have revealed something important to me. They have sharp memories of the years of menarche, first meeting their future husbands, and events related to the birth of their children. Nearly all report little or no symptoms attributable to menstruation, endometriosis, or ploycystic overy syndrome. This contrasts sharply with my patients in the second or third decades of life who in nearly all instances report moderate to severe menstrual symptoms. How may this sharp difference be explained? It seems to me that the pandemics of disabling premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and related menstrual derangements are varying clinical expressions of gender devolution.
An important issue here is the delayed consequences of exposure to minute quantities of gender twisters, including the well-recognized endocrine disruptors. Specifically, I proposed that the pandemic of cancer of the breast is unleashed by synthetic hormones and exobiotics, which simulate the effects of gonadal hormones.
Significant evidence of gender-skewing has also been observed in animal kingdom. For example, female-to-female pairing and other changes in reproductive behavior have been reported in gulls exposed to higher amounts of DDT and DDE in Santa Barbara as well as in Roseate terns exposed to PCBs in Massachusetts.
● Hormones Seminar 5 – Menstrual Disorders
In this 40-minute video seminar, Professor Majid Ali, M.D. presents the causes, signs and symptoms, clinical course, and consequences of menstrual disorders. He focuses on issues of untreated mold allergy, adverse foods reactions, and sugar and antibiotic abuse, and stress.
Hormones Seminar 7 – Receptor Restoration Before HRT
In this 30-minute seminar Professor Majid Ali, M.D. Explains that hormone receptors are proteins embedded in cellular and nuclear membranes that serve as binding sites for hormones. He then explains his guidelines for restoring hormonal health and focuses on issues of bowel, blood, and liver detox, mold allergy and food allergy, sugar and antibiotic abuse, and stress.
● Estrogens, Progesterones, and Testosterone Are Health Hormones
About this item: In this 25-minute video seminar, Professor Majid Ali, M.D. informs us that gonadal hormones should not be considered merely as sex hormones. Rather, they must be recognized as “health hormones.” He defines the body’s own hormones, bio-identical hormones, and synthetic hormones and looks at their clinical uses looking them through the holistic prism of oxygen signaling.
● Hormones Seminar 2 – Estrogens and Progresterones Working Together
In this 40-minute video seminar, Professor Majid Ali, M.D. teaches not to think about estrogens without thinking of progesterones and not to think of progesterones without considering estrogens. He considers estrogens as “gas pedals” and progesterones as “brake pedals,” not only for reproductive health but health of the brain, bones, muscles, and other organs.
● Hormones Seminar 3 – Gender Devolution
In this 30-minute video seminar, Professor Majid Ali, M.D. explains why he coined the term gender devolution, a state in which girls become boy-like and boys become girl-like, and women become men-like and men become girl-like. It begins with hormonal disruptions caused by synthetic hormones and synthetic chemicals with hormone-like effects (xenoestrogens and xenoandrogens