The anti-inflammatory diet and Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

A photograph of a woman holding a glass of milk.

Just a quick note for people with poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

These anti-inflammatory dietary recommendations are perfect for you, especially in relation to stabilising your blood sugar levels, increasing your intake of high quality protein and keeping control of weight gain. This definitely isn’t a diet which aims at weight loss. You probably will find that, if you have a bit of weight to lose, it will gradually drop away, but don’t restrict your food intake – you’ll probably find that you need to eat much more than you’re used to.

There is lots of research showing that protein is important for egg development and quality. Milkis often recommended because the whey protein has the added advantage of boosting glutathione production (an important antioxidant). If you find that you don’t react to cows milk then you could try a small glass of milk a couple of times a day as part of a between meal snack, or you could try whey protein powder. I tend to prefer using foods as close to their natural state as possible, so perhaps try the milk first.

Acupuncture for breech babies

I’ve been doing a lot of work this week with the whole range of fertility and pregnancy treatment.

Some women have been coming with no obvious clinical problem, but wanting to maximise their health and fertility, perhaps after finding that a couple of years have gone by and no pregnancy.

Other women come with problems like polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis.

I also get a lot of referrals for acupuncture support through IVF treatment.

I’ll write in more detail about the acupuncture approach to each of these in later blogs as there’s so much to unravel in each case from a Chinese medicine point of view.

Meanwhile I’m soaking up some warm sunshine in the World Peace Cafe, one of my favourite places in Ulverston for lunch.

My last client was a lovely lady who I’ve supported at various stages through  her pregnancy. We were doing one of my all time favourite treatments; using moxa on Bl67 to help turn her baby from a breech position.

Fingers crossed, but in 15 years of acupuncture I truly can’t remember a single baby who hasn’t turned after this treatment!

Another moment of just loving my work!

The TCM Spleen and fertility

Problems with the Spleen, as it is meant clinically in Chinese medicine, has involvement in a whole range of conditions.

I’ve been talking to patients today about fertility, both male and female, miscarriage, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It might come as a surprise to find that the TCM Spleen has a role to play in all three of these.

In terms of miscarriage, this involvement is to do with the Spleen’s function of containing and holding in place. Long term Spleen deficiency weakens this ability and the clinical result can be bleeding, and risk of miscarriage.

Another outcome of a chronically weakened Spleen function is that Damp and Phlegm can accumulate. Again these are very much TCM terms which I’ll talk about more another time. The relevance here is that these conditions can cause obstructed functioning. In PCOS we often see weight gain, delayed or missing periods and a failure of the ovaries to reliably release an egg. Obstructions may also involve blocked fallopian tubes or poor sperm production or release.

From a Chinese medical point of view other factors are often involved too in these conditions and, again, I’d like to cover these in future posts.