As a stay at home mother of two young, energetic boys I always thought that constantly being tired was just part of the job. By two o’clock each afternoon, all I wanted to do was get them to nap and lay down on the couch to regroup. Often, by the time I fell asleep, they were ready to get up so I was operating on automatic pilot, barely able to play with them outside, get their dinner on the table, and do their baths before collapsing myself.
Then finally, after a conversation with my doctor, I realized that my constant and debilitating fatigue was not normal. Neither was my adult acne problem, hair loss, and weight problem. My symptoms, I learned, were a result of a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
As it turns out, PCOS and fatigue are both linked to an imbalance of the endocrine system and are characterized by an excess of male hormones. Fatigue, a symptom commonly associated with PCOS, is also closely linked to the thyroid and adrenal glands. At the heart of both of these issues, however, is a disorder known as Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance, a condition that vastly reduces the insulin sensitivity of cells, impairs the processing of glucose through the cell wall for conversion to energy. As a result, glucose remains in the blood stream, causing elevated blood sugar, which is sent to the liver. Once there, the sugar is converted into fat and stored via the blood stream throughout the body. This process can lead to weight gain and obesity, also key factors in women with PCOS.
To add insult to injury, fatigue frequently causes women with PCOS to treat their low energy with carbs and caffeine, which dumps more glucose into the blood in a never-ending spiral of weight gain and increasing insulin and glucose levels. As fatigue and insulin resistance worsen, excess fat cells produce too much of another hormone, estrogen.
Stress is another contributor to both fatigue and PCOS. Although the original purpose of the stress response was to provide a momentary burst of energy in order to fight or run away, stress has become a continual presence in our lives today. Cortisol, the hormone produced by the adrenal glands when we are stressed, is vital to our functioning as long as it is in appropriate amounts. During stress, excess cortisol causes an increase in glucose and insulin to enable our muscles and heart to handle the stress. But with today’s stressors we don’t respond like early humans. We don’t utilize the glucose by running or fighting and so the glucose stays elevated. Excess levels of cortisol can contribute to Insulin Resistance as well as other hormonal imbalances.
Because I was always so embarrassed to talk about what I classified as “failures” as a mother and adult woman, I never thought that I might actually have a condition that I could reverse. As it turns out, there are several things I could do, the most effective of which was to try Insulite Laboratories’ 5 Element System to reverse the symptoms caused by PCOS. Combining nutrition, exercise, vitamins, support and awareness programs, Insulite Labs works with you to make the changes necessary to create a whole new you … one with lots of energy and renewed outlook on life.