Polycyctic Ovary Syndrome, often abbreviated PCOS, is a hormonal disorder commonly diagnosed in young women. It was named for multiple cysts seen on the ovaries of patients diagnosed with PCOS, although this is a bit of a misnomer as many patients with PCOS will not always have cystic ovaries.
When we think of the female hormonal system, we often associate it with estrogen and progesterone. Females also produce small amounts of androgens, like testosterone. These androgens are greatly elevated in PCOS which often leads to unusual hair growth, acne, and decreased fertility. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Patients diagnosed with PCOS are more likely to be insulin resistant leading to elevations in blood sugar. Progesterone is a female hormone that is often decreased in PCOS, this can affect your menstrual cycle, leading to irregular or missed periods and decreased fertility. LH and FSH are also hormones involved in a women’s menstrual cycle
Currently, the most widely accepted way is by using something called the Rotterdam criteria:
Two of three are needed to make the diagnosis:
Conventionally PCOS is treated with The Pill, which is a hormonal contraceptive. This regulates your cycle and decreases androgens. Additional medication, such as metformin and spironolactone, may be used for insulin resistance and for symptoms of high androgens such as acne and unwanted hair growth.
For many women conventional treatment is adequate but side effects from the pill (weight gain, mood changes, or breast tenderness) or from other medications can be undesirable or unmanageable. For others, they do not wish to take medications or the medications are not working as anticipated. Lastly, for women trying to get pregnant the pill is not an option.
Dr. Burke provides both conventional and alternative treatment options that are effective for PCOS.
At your initial one-hour appointment, Dr. Burke will go through your current concerns, medical, family, and social history. She will also perform any indicated physical exams and provide ample time for questions. At the end of your visit she will provide any indicated treatment options and will order specific comprehensive lab work for your health concerns and goals. After your lab work is received, Dr. Burke will interpret your labs using optimal reference ranges and the context of the values in relation to each other, prior to your next appointment.
At your thirty-minute follow-up appointment Dr. Burke will provide a comprehensive individualized treatment plan – including dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplemental/ herbal support, and, if appropriate, will discuss pharmaceutical options.
After your initial and first follow-up appointment, Dr. Burke may recommend regular lab testing and check ins to provide safe, individualized, and effective care!
Dr. Burke is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor with a focus in endocrinology and Women’s Health. She is an advocate for your health and well-being, looking beyond labs that appear to come back “normal” and conventional care options. Dr. Burke looks at the body as a whole, looking at all components of well-being. Of utmost importance to her is research based ethical medicine, keeping up to date with the latest in conventional and alternative medicine.
Absolutely! Dr. Burke often blends conventional and alternative medicine to provide comprehensive care. She can provide information on various options to help you make an informed treatment choice.
This is very dependent on the individual, health factors and diagnosis, medication, and other additional health concerns you may have. In general, once symptoms have stabilized follow ups will be at minimum every six months to one year, or more frequently as desired
Depending on your health concerns, Dr. Burke will recommend Serum (Blood), Salivary, and/or Urine Testing. Dr. Burke can discuss various insurance and cash-pay lab options to best fit your needs.
Please use the online appointment scheduler, contact the doctor via the form below, or call the office at 480- 702-1445. We would love to see how we can help you feel optimal!
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