⬇️ How Stress Affects PCOS ⬇️
Sometimes people with PCOS continue to struggle with symptoms even when they’re following a healthy diet, exercising, and taking supplements.
Because of stress.
On a biochemical level, the culprit is cortisol—the hormone we pump out in response to stress. Cortisol is useful in the short term (to give us energy to respond to stress) but damaging if produced too much for too long.
In PCOS, cortisol can:
❌ Worsen insulin resistance
❌ Increase testosterone even more
❌ Interfere with thyroid function
❌ Decrease progesterone even more
This last point is key. Did you know that cortisol is made from the same precursor as progesterone? That means that stress actually robs the raw material needed to make progesterone. Since progesterone is already low in PCOS, this can make things worse.
It may seem like a small and insignificant thing, but managing stress is an extremely important part of feeling good and thriving despite a diagnosis of PCOS. Small habits every day add up to make a big difference. Things like:
✅ Getting enough sleep
✅ Moving your body
✅ Drinking plenty of water
✅ Taking time to relax
If you’ve missed my recent posts about PCOS myths, facts, and metabolism, be sure to check those out. I have one last post coming your way—all about key foods to avoid.
Drop me a message if you have any questions about the way we treat PCOS with functional medicine 📩