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The Honest, Hairy Truth Part 2: Natural ways to manage your PCOS and Hirsutism

Earlier this week I posted Part One of the Honest, Hairy Truth, a look at hirsutism and PCOS. This is an issue that so many of us have, to varying degrees, and it really knocks our self-esteem and femininity. Part one looked at how we can manage hirsutism from a medical perspective but you knew I’d incorporate diet into this discussion, didn’t you? Well, that’s because I think diet is crucial in managing all aspects of PCOS, including hirsutism. Let’s have a look at why this is the case:

Insulin and Testosterone

We know that high insulin levels work on our ovaries to create testosterone. The more insulin you have, the more testosterone you have. The more testosterone you have, the more unwanted hair you have. You see where I’m going, right?

We have to manage our insulin levels in order to manage our hair growth. I’ve written a couple of previous articles that can guide you in terms of what your PCOS Diet should look like and how you can get started on your PCOS diet.

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IGF-1 and Hirsutism

pcos no diaryI’ve also written about why your PCOS Diet needs to be dairy free. Well, here’s another reason: Research has shown that the growth phase of the hair follicle is strongly influenced by IGF-1 (that pesky hormone found to be in dairy products). The more IGF-1 you have, the more likely you are to develop hisutism. On a side note, IGF-1 has also been linked to acne. (1)

I know many women have been in contact with me regarding giving up dairy. I really believe that it is crucial in managing your PCOS. Dairy is simply not helpful for you or your body. There are many dairy alternatives out there so give it some thought.

Spearmint tea

Recent research shown that women with PCOS who drank 2 cups of spearmint tea per day for 1 month showed much lower testosterone levels than the control group. The study concluded that spearmint tea is a helpful natural treatment for hirsutism in PCOS. (2)

Supplements

pcos diet supplementsThere are some supplements that have been shown to aid in the metabolism of glucose and are therefore often used in the management of PCOS. Please note that I am not a doctor and you should check with your doctor before starting on these supplements, particularly if you are already taking insulin sensitizing drugs like metformin.

Myo-Inositol

Myo Inositol was once thought to be one of the B vitamins and is a carbohydrate. It’s really important in signaling messenger cells, in particular, insulin signals. So, it is involved in insulin and the way that glucose is managed in the body.

Studies have shown that after 6 months of taking myo-inositol, hirsutism was dramatically improved, along with many other symptoms of PCOS. (3) Another study concluded that “Myo-inositol is a simple and safe treatment that is capable of restoring spontaneous ovarian activity and consequently fertility in most patients with PCOS.” (4) Sounds promising for those of us who are trying to conceive!

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

NAC is an important antioxidant and is also involved in insulin response and action. One study found that women who were treated with NAC had improved peripheral insulin levels as well as decreased free testosterone. Decreased testosterone will help to decrease hirsutism. (5)

If you do decide to take NAC, you need to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day to prevent Cysteine renal stones.

Omega 3

I have already written an article on the impact that Omega 3 has on testosterone. You can read it here.

Let’s sum it up

Hirsutism is an unpleasant symptom of PCOS that knocks our femininity and self esteem. It can be treated in a number of ways:

 

  • Medical drugs
  • Hair removal – shaving, waxing, electrolysis or laser hair removal
  • Diet – lower your insulin levels, ditch the dairy and have 2 cups of spearmint tea a day!
  • Supplements – Myo-inositol, N-acetyl cysteine and Omega 3

 

pcos and hirsutism Hirsutism is one of the PCOS symptoms that will take a while to go away. Sticking to a good diet, exercising and taking supplements will all help so don’t feel despondent if you don’t see results straight away. Give it some time and use the Ferriman-Gallway Score to monitor your progress.

I’m currently taking myo-inositol, Omega 3, drinking loads of spearmint tea and being really careful with my diet. What are you doing to manage your hirsutism? Leave me a comment below!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

Table of Contents

123 Responses

123 Responses

  1. Hi, I am 21 and was diagnosed with pcos. Currently takin yasmin but I would also like to introduce something that can help pcos long term..as I dont want to be on yasmin forever.
    I will buy the inositol from amazon. I wanted to know which folic acid you would recommend and what amount.

    Thanks for everything your doing you are giving so many women hope and guidance.
    God bless you
    Thanks
    Faiza

  2. Hi Tarryn,
    I recently tried getting inositol for hirsutism but I’m not sure if I have the correct type. The type I got simply says Inositol 500 mg. Its the GNC brand. Is this the same as Myo-Inositol?
    Also I have heard so much about spearmint but I hate tea! Would it still be beneficial to take spearmint in capsule form, if they have it?

  3. Dear Tarryn,

    New to this forum, great info!! Quick question for you about MI. Did you notice that you felt incredibly drowsy after taking it? I have barely reached 1 gm per day due to that and headaches? Wondering of these adverse reactions pass, also wonder if it would be beneficial to take the MI at night?

    Thanks,

    Liz

  4. I just wanted to share my story as I have finally started to see positive results with managing my PCOS symptoms. I suffer from hirsutism, insulin resistance, infertility, and high levels of testosterone as a result of PCOS. After trying to get pregnant for 5 years, I had a miscarriage, which led me to a wonderful doctor who finally gave me a correct diagnosis. This was after years of telling doctors that something was wrong with me. I was diagnosed as having PCOS, then told I did not have it, then told I did. Geez, I felt like every doctor was giving me different answers and how do you deal with that??? This doctor told me I did indeed have PCOS and insulin resistance/high testosterone. She put me on Metformin, 1500mg daily. I started tracking my ovulation using ovulation testing and found that I was not ovulating as I should. Actually quite infrequently. How frustrating. With the correct diagnosis, I started doing my own research as well. I started a low carbohydrate diet (about 20 net carbs a day/basically Atkins). Within the last year I have lost 80 lbs!! After 6 months of starting low carbohydrate, I started taking fish oil and Pregnitude (which is folic acid/inositol). Then I stumbled upon research about spearmint tea and started drinking two glasses a day. I have noticed a HUGE difference in my hair growth on my chin and upper lip. Heck, I am not going to call it hair growth, I am going to call it a full on goatee if I don’t pluck/shave. It has significantly thinned. I notice what is there now is much more tolerable. I still pluck and shave, but the growth rate is much much slower and the hairs are much finer. No more five o’clock shadow 🙂 In fact, I have started to notice they are turning from dark to light as well. How exciting after years of dealing with this problem. The most exciting thing however, is that after a few months of taking Pregnitude, it appears by the ovulation tests that I am ovulating every month. My period has also been absolutely regular for months now! It went from skipping months all together, and never knowing when it would come, to being every 28 days on the dot. I have not been this happy with my body for years. I hope this helps someone else. It takes time though, so don’t give up! Crossing my fingers that one of these months I will be able to say I am pregnant. But, if that does not happen, then at least I can be confident that I am living without the stress of all the symptoms that can so often make us all feel depressed. Much love to you all, it is good to feel like I am not alone in this struggle.

    1. Dear Shea-
      Thank you so much for your comments on the hair growth and the spearmint tea. I have struggled with hair on my chin and lip since the day I turned 20 (Currently 29), and every year it gets worse and worse, and it took 3 primary care and 2 endocrinologists to finally diagnose me with PCOS about 4 years ago. I am definitely going to try to this new diet, and going to pick up some spearmint tea today! Good luck with your journey, thanks for sharing 🙂

      Elizabeth

  5. Hey Tarryn,

    Your site is very useful. I have been diagonized with pcod in April 2013. I have been trying to conceive and not able to due to this problem. I have put on some weight but am not over weight for my height. I exercise regularly thirty minutes of walking and jogging , yoga, abs exercises, control on food, etc. but still I don’t c an improvement in my condition. What is it that’s going wrong? My doctor gave me oosure plus tablets with folic acid. Kindly help me. We have been eagerly waiting for a baby. And this issue has been a major concern for me now. Kindly help me.

  6. Hi Tarryn

    You have talked a lot about supplements and I already take a multivitamin but should I be taking a prenatal vitamin instead? It has ore folic acid. I am not trying to get pregnant but I have never had a natural period I was first diagnosed at 17 over 12 years ago but the only thing my doctor had me do was put me on birth control pills and I have gained 10lbs. A year since being diagnosed so I now weigh 260lbs and have hair on my face so I am so glad I found your site thank you.
    Ashley

  7. Hi Tarryn,

    Thanks for this website. I have been struggling with my weight and PCOS since I was 17 (16 years). I lost 40 kgs by near starving myself and working out like a demon because I wanted a baby and had tried for 5+ years with no success. Whilst pregnant I just ate crap and a lot of it and piled on 40 kg which now 3.5 years later I just cannot shift. I need to lose at least 30 kg all up and am now trying for my second child. I have just started paleo this week, but finding it hard giving up milk in my coffee and god help me when my chocolate cravings kick in! After reading through your website I am determined to totally cut out dairy and kick this PCOS in the butt once and for all. Thanks again x

  8. Dear taryn,
    I am taking evening primrose oil and agnust castus i have read many reviews in theese for ocos and helping menstural cycle inhavent had a period in 6 to 8 months should i also taky myo inostol i also suffer from excess hair its realy getting me down 🙁

  9. Absolutely LOVE this website!! I too have PCOS and although im only slim, hair is an issue for me!! Ive been takibg inositol powder 4g for just over 2 weeks now and im going to add omega 3 and N-acetyl cyestine in the mix too 🙂 i truly believe i can achieve pregnancy without the use if drugs im only 21 so feel i have a few years to experiment with natural methods before i have to resort to fertility meds! But with your help i feel this is possible your an inspiration to all us ladies eith pcos so thank you for sharing your knowledge and hopefully ill be able to report back one day with a success story 🙂

  10. Hi Tarryn! I was diagnosed with PCOS today and came across your website and I am so excited to start the diet and the supplements! Quick question though (since it is a lot to take in 🙂 ) what are the recommended supplement dosages for omega 3, folic acid, and inositol? Thanks again for creating this site!

    1. Hi Joanna,

      I’m sorry you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS – it’s never easy getting the diagnosis!

      Here are the recommended dosages:
      Inositol – 4g per day
      Folic acid – 400mcg per day
      Omega 3 – At least 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA (check your bottle to get the right quantities of EPA and DHA).

      Tarryn

  11. I understand fat and proteins (from all sources, not reducing red meat) are really important for your daughter.
    My 20-yr. old daughter (diagnosed with PCOS in June) lost a lot of weight since she has been at home (not having the University-cafeteria food) and she eats lots of fruit, proteins (from red/white meat, fish and from veggies), veggies (she does not like all of them), and she cannot have any gluten/dairy due to her thyroid condition. Since we kind of follow Paleo, we use coconut oil and various kinds of fat (bacon, pork, etc) to cook her food. We also use corn oil, but much less.
    If a person is forced too much to stay away from too many things, it becomes difficult. Maybe allowing her to have fruit is fine while she adjusts to the new diet! I believe it is refined sugars that are not so good…
    Our physician is an osteopath/homeopath in MN. He is not only an “angel”, but he stays up-to-date and does a lot of research. So we are lucky that way!
    My daughter is not taking any trad. medicines, but does take supplements indicated by Tarryn and homeopathic meds prescribed by our doctor.
    Although I understand she needs to exercise, she has not done any sports lately. It is important, but it is her decision.
    Good luck!

  12. Hi Tarryn, my daughter was diagnosed 3 months ago and we started following your diet plans almost straight away. Although she has lost a little weight I would have expected a bigger weight loss. She has cut out dairy, gluten, reduced carbs and now eats brown rice not white when she does have carbs and reduced her red meat intake. I was wondering if fruit could be the problem due to the sugar content? Fruit is pretty much the only thing in her diet to remain the same and she really enjoys it. She has 2 or 3 pieces a day, is this the weight loss problem?
    Thank you for all your amazing information

    1. Hi Tarryn,

      Great site! My daughter is 15 and is borderline insulin resistant with possible PCOS, although her ultra sound came back normal. We are working on weight. She does like dairy, so, sounds like we need to cut that out. She does suffer from Facial hair. We do Nair 2 times a week. I can make the spearmint tea. I do have her taking Maca Root, which is supposed to help with hirsutism. Have you had any experience with Maca?

      Monica

      1. Hi Monica,

        Sounds like you’re doing some good things to help your daughter! I haven’t taken Maca root myself or done any research on it. It does seem to be fairly popular in the PCOS community though. I do think that Inositol and Folic acid, Omega 3 and Vitamin D are essential for your daughter, though. They will help with her insulin processing issues and her increased hair growth. Also, she needs to follow a good PCOS diet.

        Hope that helps!

        Tarryn

        1. Hi Tarryn,

          Thank you for the information. I will definitely check into the Inositol and folic acid. She does take Fish Oil and Vitamin D. Also, have you heard of Saw palmetto in helping with increased hair growth? Thanks so much.

          Monica

    2. Hi Cath,

      Just make sure she balances the sugars in her fruit by adding some protein. She should have her fruit with nuts or a boiled egg or some cooked meat. I also agree with Ana-Carolina’s comments and suggestions.

      Good luck!

      Tarryn

  13. hi Tarryn! this is so awesome. We all can talk about what we’re going through in a positive way. It feels good that you know you’re not in this journey alone. I would just like to ask if it’s okay to take metformin and inositol? or should i stop taking metformin?
    thanks!

    1. Hi Marj,

      Inositol and Metformin can be used together. You may want to double check with your doctor though…

      Tarryn

  14. I have been struggling with PCOS for over ten years. Through out last year I didn’t get any period and none this year also. I have got hair on my chin and legs which I find very embarrassing. I also want to get pregnant. Am working out alot and stop taking milk and soft drinks. What more do I have to do?

    1. Hi Ossy,

      Sounds like you’re having a hard time but that you are ready to take charge of your PCOS.

      It’s really important that you follow a good PCOS friendly diet and that you take supplements like inositol, Folic acid, omega 3 and vitamin D.

      I hope you get some amazing baby news soon!

      Tarryn

  15. I’ve been dairy free, since switching to vegan oil-free diet 5 months ago (for other cardio health related reasons) … so it’ll be interesting to add these other diet changes (spearmint tea) and see if there’s any reduction! What supplements do you suggest?

  16. Hi Tarryn,

    Thank you for sharing this information and I too have PCOS. For many years I have struggled to understand my condition and know what will help me. Although I am not over weight, I do have an excessive hair problem. I’m definitely going to cut out dairy and gluten from my diet.

    I was wondering about the Myo-Inositol, would this one be ok??http://www.netpharmacy.co.nz/solgar-inositol-500mg-50-vegicaps

    Can’t wait to see the changes 🙂

    Thanks again xx

  17. Hi Tarryn,

    Firstly, thanks a lot for such a wonderful site with very useful information. I’ve had PCOS for a few years now and do experience unwanted hair growth as well. My hubby and I have been trying for a baby for 2 months now. I know that while it’s not long, I always have this feeling that my PCOS is not going to make it any easier. I’m considering going off dairy and taking supplements. Would you recommend Myo-Inositol while trying to get pregnant, I mean, would that be a problem?

    Thanks,
    Madhu

    1. Hi Madhu,

      I would absolutely recommend eliminating dairy and taking Myo-Inositol and Folic Acid. I think they are key to managing PCOS and have been shown to stimulate spontaneous ovulation.

      I hope you get some amazing baby news soon!

      Tarryn

      1. Hi Tarryn,

        I started on Inositol and Folic acid supplements since Aug 2013 and also have been exercising regularly and avoiding dairy as much as I can. I’m late by 6 days. I took a test at home 2 days ago and to my disappointment, it was negative.
        I don’t have any symptoms either ways of my period approaching or pregnancy. I’m worried and I hope this isn’t an anovulatory cycle or PCOS trouble(I’ve been very regular for over a year now with my periods). I plan to take another test at home in a few days if I have a period by then. Fingers crossed!

        Thanks,
        Madhu

        1. Hi Tarryn,

          I started on Inositol and Folic acid supplements since Aug 2013 and also have been exercising regularly and avoiding dairy as much as I can. I’m late by 6 days. I took a test at home 2 days ago and to my disappointment, it was negative.
          I don’t have any symptoms either ways of my period approaching or pregnancy. I’m worried and I hope this isn’t an anovulatory cycle or PCOS trouble(I’ve been very regular for over a year now with my periods). I plan to take another test at home in a few days if I don’t have a period by then. Fingers crossed!

          Thanks,
          Madhu

  18. Question about dairy free: what about goat milk and cheeses? I understand that is ok.

    1. I would avoid all forms of dairy, to be honest. Cheese and goats milk will cause your testosterone levels to rise.

  19. Hi Tarryn i have had pcos for years now and have had no help from doctors etc in controlling it, i have done some research to try and help myself but i just gave up and was overwhelmed with it. I came across your site and i havent felt this positive for ages, i have not had gluten or dairy for two weeks and I FEEL GOOD, my bloating has gone down loads, i would say to anyone give this a try please, i am so grateful to you Tarryn i will let you know how its all going, thanks again x

    1. Hi Dawny,

      That’s amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I love hearing how women are taking control of their PCOS and it makes the work on the blog so worthwhile.

      Thanks again,

      Tarryn

  20. Hi i’m diagnosised with PCOS and i started to lose soo much hair on my crown..
    Can you tell me if i correct my PCOS , is there any possibility that my hair can go back?

    1. Hi Poornima,

      If you can get your testosterone under control, your hair should start to grow back. Also, I would check your thyroid levels as thyroid problems can also lead to hair loss.

      Tarryn

  21. Is there a particular brand of spearmint tea that you drink? I love the Tazo Refresh, but don’t know if it counts.

  22. Hi I have been diagnosed with pcos for 2 years now and only just opened up to the doctors about my hirtism I am currently on metformin but does this help hair growth and what other options is there to help me. It is getting me real down and hoping that metformin helps as I have a low self esteem snd hate how noticeable it is becoming . Thanks

  23. Dear Tarryn
    Hi,
    Thanks a lot for this site and great information you share with us.
    I’m 31 years old and I’ve diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20.
    My biggest problem now is that my hairs are getting thin more and more. of course I’m using products like Revivogen, but is there any natural way to manage this problem?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mehrnoush,

      Hair loss and thinning can be caused by high testosterone levels so make sure that you are following a good diet that manages your insulin levels (high insulin causes high testosterone). Also, make sure that you have your thyroid checked because thyroid issues can also lead to hair loss.

      Tarryn

  24. Hey Tarryn

    Thanks for all this information!
    Do you think it’s possible to be vegetarian, while having PCOS?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Hi Caroline,

      It’s important to make sure that you’re eating lots of good quality plant-based proteins with every meal. Vegetarian diets do tend to be quite high in carb which impacts on your insulin and testosterone levels. It is possible but you need to be really careful about what you eat.

      Tarryn

  25. Taryn,
    I was just ding research about PCOS today and your site came up. I have been feeling really sad lately because I’m struggling with my weight and the unwanted hair. I was put on metformin and those side effects were horrible so I just gave up because I didn’t like to feel sick. Your website has given me so much hope! I am eager to try some of the things you’ve talked about!!!

    1. That’s great, Trinity! A lot of us have seen really wonderful results using diet, supplements and exercise so I hope you see the benefits as well!

      Tarryn

  26. Hi Tarryn,

    Your site is very informative, thnx for sharing
    Am 27 years old and since 18 I have been diagnosed for PCO. Now I have stopped taking medicines and just trying to control the symptoms naturally by diet and exercise.
    Its difficult for me to loose weight, I am 5’3” and weight is 60 kgs. My main concern is I have irregular menses and hirustism (unmanageable). Trying to understand how to regularize my periods and reduce hirustism. By reading your articles I got lot of new information about being gluten free and to avoid diary products. Thnx for sharing its very inspiring to know you got positive results.

  27. I’m barley finding out to have this andhave this problem with embarrassment for myself I’m 20 now… The supplements you mentioned, can they be bought like in the pharmacy section or do they have to b given by doctor?

  28. I have PCO as well as hypothyroid currently on 50 mcg of thyronorm. I have 2yr-old kid. I had more than two-months’ gap between the menses. After taking cinnamon powder(about 1 1/2 tsp per day) for about 20 days I got my period just a week late in time. For hirsutism and hairloss I have started taking Trichoton.

  29. Hi Tarryn,

    My name is Nikki and I’m from the States. I hadn’t had a period in 2 years and I was finally diagnosed with PCOS. My doctor prescribed me with VIctoza I took it for a few months and finally got my period. I stopped taking the Victoza on my own, I did some reading on it and it has very serious potential side effects including cancer. Now I have almost completely changed my eating habits, started drinking green smoothies and started taking supplements from articles I had found online. I am taking Vitamin D since I have a vitamin D deficiency, Evening Primrose Oil, and up to a few days ago I was taking Hair, Skin and Nails Vitamins. I suffer from terrible migraines and I noticed that not only did I get more frequent migraines after taking the Hair, Skin and Nails vitamins but I’m almost sure my hirsutism worsened. So I stopped taking the HS&N Vitamins. My question to you is I would like to incorporate Myo-inositol, N-acetyl cysteine and Omega 3 into my daily supplement intake. How much should I take of each and will they interfere with the Vitamin D and Evening Primrose Oil? I hope to walk down the aisle soon and I want to look and feel beautiful in my wedding dress, I know you are not a doctor but any help and answers would be greatly appreciated. You have an amazing blog and I’m so happy I found it 🙂
    -Nikki

  30. Hello its me again,sorry for being a nuisance.but i have an unusual question if you or anyone can answer.As i mentioned i have mild acne and because of this i also have acne scars.I read on many websites that lemon juice will help reduce the appearance of scars.So i applied it daily.As i am also blessed with hirsutism,i have fine hairs in the scar affected areas.Now i dont no if it is me just being paranoid, but the fine hairs seem to be growing longer and darker than usual. Please could someone help me as i want the scars gone but at the same time i dont want the hairs to grow longer.Can my theory be true.I have tried searching for an answer but had no luck.So thanks to anyone who will kindly shed some light on this .

  31. Hello tarryn,some great advice for all of us.I have idiopathic hirsutism and mild acne however i have normal weight and my menstrual cycle is regular.Do you think a healthy diet along with exercise will reduce my hirsutism and acne.I would be very grateful for your opinion and advice as my situation is worsening daily.I have started taking vitamin b complex,do you think this will help and what other vitamins would you recommend.I do take in account that you are not a doctor but as you have done alot of research on this your information will be well appreciated thankyou.

  32. Hi again,Please could you also tell me what are the best vitamins for hirsutism.
    Thankyou very much

  33. Hello tarryn, some great advice for all of us.I have idiopathic hirsutism and mild acne,do you think a healthy diet along with exercise will reduce my hirsutism and acne.
    As i have gotten older my condition has gotten worse,but so did my eating habbits.However i am not over weight and my menstrual cycle is normal.I would be ver greatful for your opinion and advice .Thankyou

  34. HI Tarryn
    just recently started following your site. I DO love all the helpful info you post on PCOS
    I have acne and hirsutism i have been suffering from now for years without rhyme or reason. I would like to know what daily supplements would be best to take . A multivitamin with A,D,E,C,B1,B2,B3,B6,B12,folic acid,magnes,iron,zinc,chromium,selenium,
    along with
    B-complex
    Inositol 4gs
    folic acid 400ug
    calcium with vita D 1000-2000IU
    fish oil
    are these all the supplements good to take together for PCOS or do i need to cut back on some? I recognize you are not a doctor, just thought id ask for your opinion
    thank you

    1. Hi Amanda,

      From that list, it looks like you’re taking all of the right things. The only thing I would maybe think about dropping is you B-complex because you’re getting folic acid from 3 sources (multivitamin, b-co and folic acid) and you’re getting a lot of the vitamin B’s through your multivitamin. Otherwise I think it looks good.

      Tarryn

      1. I’m also suffering from acne, hirusutism, wight gain and irregular menstrual cycle!
        Please post a reply and help me out.
        Il be waiting

        Jeena

  35. hi,
    hirsutism is my biggest concern. in the last 4 months, i step by step changed my entire lifestyle. i learned transendental meditation, and practice 2 times a day, became gluten free, and in the last month started exercising 6 days a week. (last week i joined your diet support group and realized i was supposed to be dairy free, which i have cut out now. i also started with the vitamins, and omegas last week. im 26, and i have a progesterone only birth control iud (intra-uterine device) which i have had for four years and must take out soon. i just read our article on insitol, and wanted to try it. i noticed it raises proesterone levels. could this be dangerous for me to take while i still have the progesterone brith control?
    -sarah

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your question and for sharing your story! Also, well done on all of your lifestyle changes! Sounds like you’re doing really well!

      Women with PCOS tend to have low levels of progesterone so I’m sure you’d be safe with Inositol and the IUD. The Inositol may just bring your progesterone up to normal levels. Please remember that I’m not a doctor so you should double check with them before starting Inositol if you’re unsure.

      Tarryn

  36. Hi! I just came across your website, I was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of 17 with pcos.. I gained so much weight with the contraceptive tablets etc so my mum recently got me tablets from India that don’t cause any side effects and they work amazingly. and got to the point where I was really stressed about my weight, so started dieting I’ve cut down on dairy! And noticed the dramatic weight loss. Also, should I cut gluten completely out of my diet, what does gluten to?

    Hope to hear from you, thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Sand,

      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your story. Your weight loss is great – well done! I have not yet done a proper article on Gluten but I think that taking it out can be really helpful. A lot of women with PCOS are also gluten intolerant leading to further hormone imbalances and bloating. Why not try it for a month and see how you feel?

      Tarryn

  37. Hi Tarryn,

    So glad I found your site. I’m a pcoser. Been on BC since I was 23 except to have my two children (with help of course) I eat extremely low carb. No grains, little fruit, but the one thing I have a hard time with is dairy. I LOVE my coffee with cream…and I love cheese. What to do about cheese? Bc I eat virtually no carbs…I just feel like what else can I cut out of my life that I love? I gave up diet coke a year ago, my artificial creamers and substitutes except truvia. Now I need to get rid of that. I desperately want to get off the BC pills bc of the risks, etc. I mean I’m trying to be healthy, eat organically and then I take artificial hormones. Doesn’t make sense. So…cheese? And it’s impossible for be to take off this last 20 pounds of baby weight even on the pill. I’m so worried about going off. Anyone here go off and have success controlling acne, weight and hair?? Thanks for The input and your blog!!

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      I understand the pain of having to give up so much but I also like to focus on the amazing foods that I can eat. And I get your logic regarding BC. To answer your question, I went off BC 4 years ago and apart from my daily supplements, I take no meds for my PCOS. I do have some extra weight that I would love to lose (about 10lbs) and my hair growth is not normal but not unmanageable.

      Now, I know you don’t want to hear this but the cheese is not doing you any favors. Although it is low carb, for some reason it causes a huge insulin response which will cause an increase in your testosterone. Before you get off BC, get rid of the cheese. You could also try going without it for 30 days and see how you feel. What have you got to lose?

      Good luck!

      Tarryn

  38. I have PCOS and Tpye 1 Diabetes. I take insulin shots every time I eat. We have been TTC for 2 years with no success. I’m already so limited at what I can eat because of the diabetes, and I have no idea what I shouldn’t be eating because of the PCOS. I am trying to cut out diet drinks (diet coke is my weakness). I thought this might help with the infertility. I’m only on day 3, but you gotta start somewhere. Any help with what foods I CAN eat that won’t mess with the PCOS would be great. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Nichole,

      My husband is a Type 1 also so I know exactly where you’re coming from. I would highly recommend reading a book called Paleo Solution by Robb Wolfe and looking into the Paleo lifestyle. Hubby started on a Paleo diet in January and his sugars are much better. His avg BG went from 14 to 7.7 in the first two weeks. Also, the foods recommended in the Paleo lifestyle will really help with your PCOS as well. In the meantime, cut out gluten and dairy and focus on LOADS of green vegetables, some fruit and lean meat. Also, make sure you’re taking Omega 3 and Inositol along with Folic Acid. Also, the meal plans that I provide are designed for PCOS and manage insulin levels (I give carb values for each meal as well – Hubby carb counts).

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Tarryn

      1. Above it says that Myo-Inositol is a carbohydrate. Do you know if this will raise my blood sugar?

        1. Hi Nichole,

          It shouldn’t raise your sugar levels. Its a small dose and shouldn’t have any significant impact.

          Tarryn

  39. Excuse me so much, one another question do the dairy. What about goat dairy? Thanks so much for your response…

    1. Hi Dita,

      All dairy will have IGF-1 and tends to cause a big insulin response. I’d stay away from all forms of dairy.

      Tarryn

        1. Hi AnaC,

          All forms of animal milk contain IGF-1 which will cause your testosterone levels to rise. I would just avoid all forms of dairy.

          Tarryn

          1. Thank you for such a complete website! I would like to know of I can take colostrum pills from gnc, I’m struggling with acne, hoping it will help with it. I understand that you are not a doctor, but it seems you’ve done detailed research on this subject.

            Thank you!!

  40. Thanks so much for your website. I apologize fot my english, i am from the Czech republic :-). I would like to ask, what about ORGANIC dairy products? Are these harmloss? Would you recommend these to eat or not?
    Thanks a lot again…

    1. Hi Dita,

      Thanks for your question.

      Organic dairy products are better than non-organic products as they’re not likely to contain the hormones and other antibiotics. They still cause a big insulin response, though, and as a result will probably impact on your testosterone levels. I’d avoid all dairy if possible.

      Tarryn

  41. I have been struggling with PCOS for several years. I have made huge diet changes but I am still struggling to lose weight. I have stopped taking metformin and birth control pills (almost a year ago) as I wanted to be drug-free. Can I still take inositol even though I am not trying to get pregnant just for the weight loss?

    1. Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing some of your story.

      You can definitely still take Inositol, even if you’re not trying for a baby. Inositol helps to make your insulin more effective which will in turn impact on your other hormone levels. It may not have a direct effect on your weight loss but should help your body cope more effectively with carbohydrates and metabolism in general. You may also want to think about checking your thyroid function if you haven’t done that recently.

      Hope that helps!

      Tarryn

  42. A great site if only the go could have been half as informed as this….

    Where do you recommend buying myo insolitol and the other suggested supplements from. Is myso insolitol the same as insolitol?

    1. Hi Becs,

      To be honest, I get a lot of my supplements from Amazon. Also, Myo-inositol is commonly referred to as inositol.

      Tarryn

  43. PS:

    maybe you could tell more about the inositol you are taking? I am from Germany, so was wondering what kind of inositol I should get? a powder or tablets? How many mg per capsule?

    Thanks a lot again!

    1. Hi Lucy,

      Thanks so much for your comment and questions. Sounds like you’re having a rough time with PCOS and hirsutism in particular!

      I really believe that diet, supplements and exercise can go a long way in managing our PCOS symptoms, including hirsutism. Make sure that you have cut out dairy and consider eliminating gluten. Also, in terms of Inositol, I take the powder as I find it easier to manage. It dissolves in water and has a slightly sweet taste but I was surprised by how nice it is – I was expecting the worst. Research studies have been based on 2-4g of Inositol, combined with Folic acid. I am currently taking 2g Inositol with 400mg Folic Acid. I currently use the Jarrow Inositol powder.

      Just please remember that I am not a doctor and you may need to check that taking these supplements is okay as Inositol can make you more sensitive to insulin and may impact to severely on your blood sugars, particularly if you are also taking metformin.

      Hope that helps!

      Tarryn

  44. hi Tarryn! thank you for your website! I’ve been struggling with my hair since I am 14, unfortunately I’ve started to shave my belly, arms.. Now I have to shave every day if I want to wear a t shirt, or just in the summer time. It’s really embarrassing, as I’ve started seeing someone about 4 months ago, it is still really hard to talk about it with him, but I guess he’s noticed my intense hair growth already. Still it is something I am really somehow ashamed of and been always trying to repress it in myself. I have a very high levels of testosteons and androgens, and I am only 19.. So it has been a big challenge to me always realizing that other girls do not really have to worry about if their arms or belly are shaved or if they have hair (I’d really call it mustache) on the upper lip.. However I’ve recently got into alternative medicine and I am trying to control what I consume. Your website has been very inspiring and motivating to me, I am going to change my diet and hopefully I will get some results in few months! I really wish I could control my hormones and hopefully one day I will not have to struggle with my extreme hirsutism!

    1. I have PCOS and I have added 2 cups of Speriment tea a day to my diet, along with no sugar, dairy, or wheat and I just want to say wow!!!! No need to pluck or wax or anything, my annoying lip hair seems to be gone! As well my hair on my head is staying there now! haha I have also lost 20 pounds in 1 month with not very much exercise either! DIet is key. I have 1 natural born child and trying for #2 🙂

      1. That is very encouraging. Thank you for sharing that. Are you also going crazy with supplements or is it all due to the tea, the diet and maybe a multivitamin? I’m waiting to be diagnosed with pcos very soon. Testing at the doctors tomorrow to see how my hormone levels are. But I’m really hoping to reverse this lip and neck hair naturally. It’s not too severe YET. So I’m hoping to turn it around before it gets worse.

      2. I’m very appreciative of this site. I am a 23 year old woman who has never been able to talk or even read about my condition and it has been very stressful for my life. I have always been comforted by the fact that I am an educated individual who should be blessed that a hairy belly is all I have to worry about, but it still gets you down. Thank you to all the woman who share here for people like me, like us, and the world wide web to read and hear. It means a million <3

      3. Hi joelene,
        Thanks for the comments. Even am suffering from hair all over. Am planning for laser hair removal, could it the hair growth be reversed naturally without going through the laser treatment, if so please tell me in detail about your diet

        1. Be cautious with laser hair removal it doesn’t always work with pcos as the hormone I balance encourages the re growth again, check it out before you spend lots!

      4. When you say that you have taken sugar out from your diet, does that include natural sugar such as from fruit? What food do you eat?

  45. HI Tarryn, well done for doing this website, so helpful! I was diagnosed nearly 7 years ago, it has certainly been a long journey in relation to diet and finding what works. I completely agree about Gluten and Dairy, I stopped eating them about a year ago and my hair growth has greatly reduced and my symptoms (ance, mood swings, weight) are very much improved so much so I was able to come off the antibiotics I was taking for 7 years for my acne! It takes a lot of discipline but you feel great, what you put in you definitely get out!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Jane. It is really amazing how much the food we eat affects us and our bodies. I think dairy and gluten can have a profound effect on our PCOS symptoms. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

      Tarryn

  46. Hi there I have cut out gluten dairy and soy for a few months nw and I instantly lost 10kg it was so noticeable I have been VERY strict with it too as I know this isn’t just a diet it’s going to be my lifestyle change forever .
    I have a slight dilemma though I have just started a training routine and plan which requires me as part of the diet plan is to have alkaline protein shake after my exercise and it says protein derived from skim milk – will this be a problem? Will it still contain the hormones?

    1. Hi Katie,

      You’ve responded so well to cutting out gluten and dairy! Well done! Whey protein shouldn’t have the hormones as only the protein will be extracted. Also, there is currently some research o whey and PCOS and so far it looks promising. Here’s an article: http://bit.ly/Yae3yi Hope that helps!

      Tarryn

      1. I really eagerly want to lose wight bu my problem is that i cNt give up eating all the chocolates n ice creams n that is the biggest weakness i have aginst food! 🙁
        But i really want to be slim n smart like the other girls 🙁

  47. Ok thanks Tarryn! i am going to give these supplements a try! I have also been doing a charting method for my doctor for about 2 years and love it! It tells me so much about whats going on with my cycle. Thanks again for a great article:)

  48. I am so glad I have found your site!! It has such awesome information. I completely agree with everything you say about milk and how it is bad for pcos. I have given up milk for about 3 months now and gone gluten free and feel that my symptoms have improved. I do have a question about myo-inositol. Have you heard of Pregnitude? I did take it for a few months but did not notice any improvements. Maybe I need to give it longer. What are your thoughts on this supplement? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Megan,

      It’s great to heat that going dairy and gluten free have improved your symptoms so much. It’s amazing how much our diet impacts on us!

      Pregnitude has had some very promising reviews and research. I am taking Myo-Inositol and Folic acid suuplments (in the same quantities found in Pregnitude). I think you need to give any supplements at least 6 months to really gauge it’s effectiveness. You could also try fertility charting to monitor your ovulation as Pregnitude has been shown to cause spontaneous ovulation in a lot of women with PCOS.

      Tarryn

      1. Hey Tarryn im so happy to read your blog! Im also suffereing from pcos and im only 16 yrs old.
        I was diagnosed about a year ago. My doc prescribed me with metformin 250g for 3 months then a break and then so on… There were positive symptoms till then but since that i havent lost even an inch 🙁
        N im really weight concious as i go to college and i have to face evryone. My weight is 80kg n my height is 5’7.5. Please help me out
        As i cant just figure out a right excercise an diet routine for myself according to my college routine.
        Ill be waiting for your reply. Thanks 🙂

        1. My daughter was in similar situation. My dauther had lots of problems and gained weight the first year and a half of college. She also was diagnosed with Hashimoto/hypothyroidism. The osteopath treating her asked her to stop having gluten and dairy, have very little carbohydrates, have good and plenty of fats, and do not have any processed food. That seems to have helped her quite a bit. The problem in college is that their food is not prepared to help students who need to have this kind of died nor do they offer enough salads,gluten-free food, nor a variety of fruit, and carbohydrates are served all over! So it is difficult to eat only food from there. Then, my daughter learned she had to supplement her cafetería food with her own, had to cook her own food, and could only eat very little found at the cafetería. It takes a lot of discipline, time, and effort but she finally lost over 17 pounds after becoming very serious about her diet in the last year and a half.

  49. I’m so interested to find someone talking about this so earnestly. I’ve not heard anything of Myo-Inositol and would be very interested to know how much it helps you.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Danielle. The research seems promising so far so I’m also interested to see how it impacts on me. I’ve only been taking it for a week so it’s too early to tell but I will keep you posted!

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