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Insulin Resistance PCOS Treatment

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) frequently have insulin resistance, meaning their bodies do not respond as efficiently to the hormone.

Insulin Resistance PCOS Treatment

PCOS and Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance (IR) impacts around 65-80% of women with PCOS, regardless of their weight. It reduces the ability of cells to process glucose normally, resulting in an accumulation of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia). The body compensates by secreting more insulin, resulting in elevated levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia).

Insulin is a hormone with several different functions, particularly on the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Understanding these may help you understand your symptoms and treatment.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It works particularly on the liver and muscle cells, causing them to absorb more glucose from blood, where it is either broken down to produce energy or converted to long-term energy stores.

When someone is resistant to the effects of insulin, the blood sugar lowering action does not work properly and the body produces extra insulin.

Insulin has another effect; it causes the ovaries to produce testosterone, a male hormone or androgen. In most women this is within the normal range, but women with PCOS who have too much insulin may also produce too much testosterone. The raised levels of testosterone can give rise to some of the symptoms associated with PCOS, such as acne, excess hair growth and head-hair loss.

High levels of insulin and testosterone may also prevent the normal development of follicles in the ovaries, with many not developing fully. This causes problems with ovulation, so many women have period problems and reduced fertility.

How to lose weight with insulin resistance and PCOS

If you are overweight and are looking to shed a few pounds it is important to note that many diets offered by weight loss organisations are low calorie/high carb. If your diet is primarily comprised of carbs, this can be problematic with regard to insulin resistance. This is because carbs are broken down into glucose and released straight into the bloodstream – raising blood glucose levels, and as mentioned above, PCOS women struggle to manage their glucose levels, which in turn leads to raise insulin in the blood. This causes an increase in androgen production, which will only exacerbate your PCOS symptoms. This is why it is important to be careful when selecting what types of food to include in your diet when trying too lose weight.

Top foods for male fertility diet

What is the best diet for insulin resistance and PCOS?

Slow-carb not low-carb – As with most things in the body there is a balance which needs to be struck. Omitting carbs from your diet is not a sustainable or healthy long-term practice. Instead, you should be looking for slow carbs, not low carbs. The slower release of energy from slow carbs, also known as low Gi (Glycaemic index) carbohydrates, will help to stabilise blood glucose levels and insulin production.

Some slow-carb foods to consider:

  • Rolled oats porridge, Quinoa, Kidney beans, Pinto beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Apples, Plums, Peaches, Carrots, Sweet potato, Sweetcorn
How to get pregnant with polycystic ovaries

How does metformin work for insulin resistance?

Metformin is a prescription medication, it works by decreasing the production of glucose in the liver, a common problem for ladies with PCOS. It should decrease insulin resistance and therefore help to manage the symptoms of PCOS. Although metformin has a role in reducing insulin resistance, it does not normalise insulin resistance in PCOS and has limited efficacy in infertility and can have unpleasant side-effects that may limit compliance. it’s important to speak to your doctor before managing your PCOS with metformin. Many women choose to use Inofolic Alpha as a natural way to manage their PCOS symptoms without the side-effect or need for a prescription.


Inofolic® Alpha 3-way combination helps control:

  1. Insulin resistance – This affects 65-80% of PCOS women. This is the primary cause of increased male hormones, which negatively impact fertility. Myo-inositol has been shown to reduce the impact of insulin resistance. However, 38% of PCOS women cannot absorb myo-inositol efficiently enough for it to help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. This is where alpha-lactalbumin comes in to increase the absorption of myo-inositol.
  2. Microbes in the gut – Women with PCOS have a different balance of gut bacteria that can reduce the absorption of nutrients, including myo-inositol. Inofolic® Alpha improves gut bacteria, increasing absorption of myo-inositol for better control of insulin levels and hormone balance and messaging.
  3. Chronic inflammation – If you have high inflammation markers it is likely that you will have higher testosterone levels. A key contributor to the development of PCOS. Inofolic® Alpha reduces inflammation.

PCOS Insulin Resistance FAQs