What is the relationship between your hypothalamus and polycystic ovary syndrome? Let’s talk about it.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic condition rooted in hypothalamic dysfunction. Eight percent of women of childbearing age are affected by PCOS and commonly present with menstrual irregularities and difficulty conceiving.
The androgen excess of PCOS contributes to hirsutism and acne. In addition, women with PCOS are at increased risk for endometrial cancer, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disorders.
Healing PCOS is crucial for fertility, health, and longevity.
Hormonal miscommunication of PCOS begins at the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. Hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulates pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) production.
FSH and LH work in synergy to stimulate follicle development and ovulation.
The ovarian follicle is made up of different layers which produce different sex hormones.
The theca cells of the ovarian follicle form an envelope of connective tissue surrounding the granulosa cells. Theca cells are stimulated by LH to produce androgens which then, under the influence of FSH, are converted by aromatase in granulosa cells into estrogens. Insulin factors influence theca cell hormone production. Therefore, the theca cells of women with PCOS tend to be insulin resistant.
Abnormal activation of hypothalamic GnRH neurons plays a vital role in PCOS development.
Hypothalamic GnRH neurons not only control the reproductive axis but also are the central connection point to metabolic regulation. Metabolic factors, such as insulin resistance and obesity in women with PCOS, regulate GnRH neuron activity, and ultimately reproductive function.
If you want to learn more about PCOS and your hypothalamus please join our free Hormone Reboot Training.
Excerpt from Hypothalamus Handbook