4 Types of PCOS – and how to know which one you may have

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Click on buttons to first read what is PCOS and how to manage PCOS

How to treat PCOS

When it comes to PCOS, the usual medical prescription is often a one size fits all approach.

My clients often tell me they were told to lose weight and go on the pill to regulate their hormones. I was told this too. I know the feeling and it drives me crazy because weight loss in PCOS is hard, without the right approach, because weight gain is one of the symptoms of PCOS.

Taking the pill is like putting a band aid on the problem, it doesn’t truly regulate the hormones it just makes the symptoms easier to deal with. Which is of course great, for any PCOS suffer, just dealing with the long list of symptoms is already a struggle, so taking the pill eases that burden but it doesn’t fix the problem, once you stop the pill the symptoms will come back and often times 2x worse. Doesn’t it make more sense to treat the underlying cause of PCOS rather than using a band aid?

There a 4 types of PCOS drivers and each affects you differently. It is so empowering to understand which you have so that your treatment can be tailored to you to treat your symptoms successfully.

What type do you have?

  1. Insulin resistant PCOS, is known as the most common type. Insulin resistance is a resistance to the hormone insulin, resulting in increasing blood sugar. The hormone insulin helps control the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. With insulin resistance, the body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin. Glucose can’t enter the cells as easily, so it builds up in the blood. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes. With this type, the symptoms may include weight gain, weight loss resistance, sugar cravings, fatigue, brain fog and feelings of fatigue and “low energy/drive”: especially after eating. The increase in insulin drives imbalance in hormones leading to excess hair loss and acne. To treat insulin resistant PCOS, the key is to improving your insulin sensitivity.
  2. Post-pill PCOS, occurs in some people after they stop taking the oral contraceptive pill. In this type they would not have had any PCOS symptoms prior to using the pill. What happens after stopping the pill in some women is that there is a surge in androgens which can cause typical PCOS symptoms, however there is no insulin resistance involved. Typically this happens in a few short months after stopping the pill – 2-6 months. This type does take time to heal but is easier to heal compared to the other PCOS types. To treat this there are various protocols to follow and success in treatment is often very good.
  3. Adrenal PCOS, is due to an abnormal response to stress in the body. Women with adrenal PCOS are either experiencing high levels of stress, or their bodies are reacting abnormally to stress. In either case, they will have high levels of DHEAS—an androgen produced in the adrenal glands— and normal levels of other androgens produced in the ovaries—such as testosterone and androstenedione. If you have ruled out insulin-resistance and post pill PCOS and testing shows only your DHEAS is elevated and not your other androgens, then you are most likely dealing with adrenal PCOS.
  4. Inflammatory PCOS, chronic inflammation causes the ovaries to make excess testosterone, resulting in physical symptoms and issues with ovulation. The symptoms of this type of PCOS is headaches, joint pain, unexplained fatigue, skin issues like eczema and bowel issues like IBS. Typically, you will see raised inflammatory markers on a blood test, such as a high CRP (C reactive protein) above 5. Other tests such as fasting glucose and insulin are in the normal range, but can sometimes be affected as inflammation can affect these numbers.

Look out for my next post about how to manage each type of PCOS.

Working with a qualified professional will always bring you faster results, if you are interested in learning about my specific programs created for women with PCOS please get in touch.


Published by Marizelle

Hi! My name is Marizelle. I am a Biokineticist, Sports Scientist, Sports massage therapist, trained Specialized Kinesiologist, passionate about Movement, Nutrition and Mindset. I am dedicated to helping and guiding individuals to become the best version of themselves - Mind, Body, Spirit. Thank you for checking in, and welcome! I am all about living a health focused lifestyle, I encourage creating long lasting sustainable habits which lead to living your best life. My mission is to enlighten you about the effects of movement, nutrition and a healthy mental state on well-being. There is no 'one size fits' all approach to living optimally, we are all individuals, but I can guide you in a way that works best for you, your lifestyle and needs. My special interests are educating and helping my patients to better help themselves, I have a huge passion for woman's health and helping woman with hormones issues as well as rehabilitation required for chronic diseases and transforming lives through mindset, movement and nutrition. Get in touch if you would like to learn more.

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