Did you know that there are a variety of natural PCOS supplements that can help lessen your pain and even help balance your symptoms?
Growing up I just thought painful periods were part of life. I mean, spending hours in bed in withering pain is normal right?
The truth is PMS shouldn’t be that bad. Of course, you’ll experience light mood swings and some minor cramping, but if your hormones are adequately balanced, it shouldn’t be a debilitating problem. If you balance your hormones, you can even be symptom-free.
Today I want to talk about a disorder that took 7 years for doctors to diagnose me with. I spent years thinking that the pain, hair loss, random weight gain, and then weight loss was normal. Only to learn it isn’t.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is commonly experienced by women during their reproductive ages. It’s estimated that 5-10% of all females have PCOS, whether it’s been diagnosed or not. One common symptom that signals you may have PCOS is infrequent or longer menstrual periods compared to your average menstrual period of 3-5 days.
What Causes PCOS?
Nobody quite knows what causes PCOS, partially because there hasn’t been much funding allocated towards it. But one thing is for sure: PCOS, if untreated, can cause major problems for females. Aside from the present-day pain, one of the largest is infertility. Therefore, it is important to address your PCOS issues and get to the core of the problem.
Many women try to fix their PCOS via prescription drugs or birth control. Unfortunately these don’t necessarily get to the root cause of the problem. In fact, it can worsen your symptoms during or if you stopped taking the medicine. As a result, you will be forced to depend on something else to help manage your pain. You might even have to face worse symptoms as your body withdraws when you stop taking the medicine.
Luckily, there is a lot you can do holistically to help lessen the blow of PCOS. Aside from eating a nutrient-dense diet, participating in aerobic, low-impact exercise, and getting your external stressors under control, you can also add supplements to further aid in your treatment of PCOS.
In this article, I will go over 9 natural supplements that can help you manage and treat your PCOS. As always, I like to point out that I am not a doctor, nor is this medical advice. I am a certified holistic nutritionist. This information is based on my studies and research both as a student and in my personal life.
9 Natural PCOS Supplements That Can Help You Manage and Treat Your PCOS
According to research, zinc helps women with PCOS with balancing out their hormones. Zinc plays an important role in the metabolism of hormones, including androgen, estrogen, and progesterone. This supplement plays a role in the secretion of insulin, the regulation of thymus hormones, and helping regulate the immune system.
Zinc can help reduce DHT levels, helping women with PCOS reduce their mood disturbances, weight gain, and acne. All of these are typically caused by excess testosterone, which contributes to PCOS.
The recommended amount for taking zinc is around 10 mg. You can also find zinc in many foods. These include oysters, beans, nuts, certain types of seafood, whole grains, and even dairy products.
Check out my favorite zinc product here or here.
Inositol is one of the most commonly used supplements by women with PCOS – and for good reason.
This supplement, known as vitamin B8, is capable of helping women with PCOS in a variety of ways. This includes regulating your menstrual cycles, reducing blood sugar levels, helping infertility, and improving one’s ovary function. Inositol is such a powerful supplement that it can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
According to one study, Inositol can aid in improving cholesterol levels (by raising HDL or “good” cholesterol) and help in weight loss.
This is the brand of Inositol I have used in the past.
Just like Inositol, magnesium is another super supplement that doesn’t only help women with their PCOS, but also with their overall health.
For one, low magnesium is linked to major diseases like diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke, and other major diseases. Getting a proper amount of magnesium can reduce, if not prevent, your risk to such diseases.
Magnesium can go further than helping you reduce those diseases. Getting a sufficient amount of magnesium can help you with your energy levels, hormonal balance, and mood. Hence, magnesium can help you with PCOS as well.
Magnesium is one of the few supplements I take routinely. This is the brand I trust.
4) vitamin D
Vitamin D is another important vitamin and supplement not only for women with PCOS but for the general population. This is another common deficiency found in Americans, both male and females.
Low levels of vitamin D are often associated with low mood, but it can go beyond that. Vitamin-D deficiency can lead to health problems like increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, insulin resistance, and weight gain. These things are linked and amplified by PCOS. Lastly, vitamin D is helpful for the female reproductive system and fertility in both the short term and the long term.
All in all, vitamin D is a powerful aid against PCOS and a powerful vitamin for one’s overall health.
Almost every time I get my vitamin panel done, I am deficient in vitamin D.
It’s only in the summer months I don’t need to supplement with vitamin D. This is the supplement I take.
I typically do a vitamin D test through Everlywell bi-annually, when I’m heading into winter (October) and coming out of winter (March). This helps me see how much vitamin D I should be supplementing with.
They have me a 15% code to get you started: https://refer.everlywell.com/s/hello0.
5) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found and are abundant in oily fishes like tuna and salmon. Other omega-3 rich foods include walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, oysters, soybeans, eggs, and leafy greens. This is convenient because often time you can get all the omega-3’s you need from your diet, instead of taking a supplement.
While omega-3s are great for your body in general, it’s great in helping lessen symptoms for women with PCOS. According to studies, Omega-3 helps women with PCOS by helping them with their menstrual cycle and in reducing testosterone levels in their bodies.
If I find that I am not getting enough omega-3’s from my food, then I’ll take this supplement.
Chromium is a mineral that can help improve the function of your insulin product. This can help your insulin work more effectively, and this, in turn, can help you regulate your hormonal balance.
One study shows that chromium aided women with PCOS in reducing their insulin and blood sugar levels. What’s more, chromium can help reduce glucose levels in your blood – too much glucose causes weight gain and hormonal imbalances as well.
Chromium is one great natural PCOS supplements that can help lessen your symptoms, this is one I recommend.
7) Vitex (Chasteberry)
The power of chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) is gaining popularity in the West, but was used in both early European and Chinese medicine. Chasteberry or vitex, known as the fertility plant, has a range of benefits.
While it was untested for years, modern research has concluded that chasteberry has a positive effect on the female reproductive system. Specifically, it affects the master pituitary gland – the gland that tells your ovary what to do and how much of each hormone to make.
Some studies demonstrate that chasteberry can balance your testosterone level and increase your progesterone level, helping you deal with symptoms of PCOS.
This is the chasteberry that I take.
8) N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
NAC is an antioxidant-amino acid that specifically serves our endocrine health. According to one study, NAC can significantly decrease the following:
- Free testosterone (good for women with PCOS)
- Fasting insulin
- Hirsutism (or hairiness)
- BMI level (increased BMI levels meant obesity (or increased risk of), unless you are an athlete and clearly in good shape)
Note that they also found that NAC had similar results to metformin, a pharmaceutical that is used to treat high blood sugar. That doesn’t mean you should quit your Metformin if you’re taking it. That’s a conversation for your doctor.
To point out, some research studies show that NAC is good for pregnancy and ovulation rates for women with PCOS.
I have not personally tried this supplement, but there is a lot of research backing up the benefits. Here is a great option from a brand that I love.
9) Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto can help in regulating estrogen if your estrogen is way too much in your system. Generally, saw palmetto can help in regulating your hormones, making it a good supplement to treat PCOS.
What’s more, when you combine saw palmetto with zinc, together they can both significantly decrease your symptoms with PCOS.
Check out this brand if you want to give it a try!
These are the 9 best natural supplements you can take when you are suffering from PCOS, both dietary or synthetically. Of course, there are more supplements out there as well, but these are great ones to start with.
Again, an adjusted lifestyle can also help lessen the blow of PCOS. A nutrient-dense diet, proper sleep, and working on your gut health are of utmost importance. After working on these, adding natural PCOS supplements might be a good choice for you.
I did my job if you leave this article feeling even just a little more in control of your health. Feel free to shoot me an email or a message on Instagram if you have any questions or just want to talk.
P.S. If this is a topic that hits close to home, check out some of my other articles on hormone health:
- Post-Birth Control Syndrome: 10 Symptoms & How To Heal From It
- Gut Health And Hormones: The Relationship That You Should Know About
- Post-Birth Control Syndrome: 10 Symptoms & How To Heal From It
- Cycle Syncing: Improving Your Health By Getting To Know Your Menstrual Cycle