Adrenal PCOS: Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Hormones

An interesting guest post on Chris Kresser's website written by staff dietitian, Laura Schoenfeld. PR

"It’s now estimated that up to 10 percent of reproductive-age women in the US have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a health condition that not only affects a woman’s fertility, but also causes frustrating changes to her physical appearance, including weight gain, male-pattern hair growth, acne, and water retention.

Women with PCOS also have higher rates of anxiety and depression, either caused or exacerbated by the embarrassing physical changes that often occur with the condition."

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  • Thanks PRNOW for your link. Dr John Lowe also mentioned that it can be due to undiagnosed hypo: I don't have the link but the excerpt:

    Multiple Ovarian Cysts as

    a Major Symptom of Hypothyroidism

    The case I describe below is of importance to women with polycystic ovaries. If

    they have evidence, such as a high TSH, that conventional clinicians accept as evidence

    of hypothyroidism, they may fair well. But the TSH is not a valid gauge of a woman's

    tissue thyroid status. Because of this, she may fair best by adopting self-directed

    care. At any rate, for women with ovarian cysts, this case is one of extreme importance.

    In 2008, doctors at the gynecology department in Gunma, Japan reported the case

    of a 21-year-old women with primary hypothyroidism. Her doctor referred her to the

    gynecology department because she had abdominal pain and her abdomen was distended up to the level of her navel.

    At the gynecology clinic she underwent an abdominal ultrasound and CT scan. These

    imaging procedures showed multiple cysts on both her right and her left ovary.

    The woman's cholesterol level and liver function were increased. She also had a

    high level of the muscle enzyme (creatine phosphokinase) that's often high in hypothyroidism. Blood testing also showed that the woman had primary hypothyroidism from autoimmune thyroiditis.

    It is noteworthy that the young woman's ovarian cysts completely disappeared soon

    after she began thyroid hormone therapy. Other researchers have reported girls with

    primary hypothyroidism whose main health problems were ovarian cysts or precocious

    puberty. But this appears to be the first case in which a young adult female had

    ovarian cysts that resulted from autoimmune-induced hypothyroidism.

    The researchers cautioned clinicians: "To avoid inadvertent surgery to remove an

    ovarian tumor, it is essential that a patient with multiple ovarian cysts and hypothyroidism be properly managed, as the simple replacement of a thyroid hormone could resolve the ovarian cysts."[1]


    1. Kubota, K., Itho, M., Kishi, H., et al.: Primary hypothyroidism presenting as

    multiple ovarian cysts in an adult woman: a case report. Gynecol. Endocrinol.,

    24(10):586-589, 2008.


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