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insulin resistance in pcos

Chinese Medicine Solution for Insulin Resistance in PCOS

Insulin resistance is a common diagnosis experienced by many women. Insulin resistance is one of the major pathological changes in PCOS. In other words, there is a strong relationship between PCOS and insulin resistance and can the root cause of PCOS for many.  The relationship between PCOS and insulin resistance can be tied back to the metabolic effects PCOS has on the body among other things. In fact, insulin resistance (IR), the most common metabolic feature, is found in almost 35%-80% of PCOS women.

With that being said, recent studies conclude that many women with PCOS experience insulin resistance completely independent of factors related to obesity. Both PCOS and insulin resistance can be difficult diagnoses to navigate. This article details the many ways one might go about addressing insulin resistance in conjunction with PCOS.

Understanding the Causes and Risk Factors of Insulin Resistance in PCOS

PCOS can be a difficult diagnosis to narrow down the causes for, but doing so can go a long way in finding the right treatment. The underlying causes of insulin resistance often vary on a case-by-case basis. Here are a few of the most commonly accepted causes of insulin resistance in PCOS:

Genetic factors
Lifestyle factors
Hormonal Imbalances

PCOS has been tied to numerous other metabolic conditions alongside insulin resistance, including general obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. This correlation does much to show the relationship between insulin resistance PCOS and certain lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity. Insulin resistance will eventually lead to diabetes if left untreated.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s View on Insulin Resistance with PCOS

How does TCM view insulin resistance and PCOS? Chinese medicine views PCOS as a result of imbalances within the body’s energy systems. In Chinese medicine, insulin resistance can be associated with:

Yin-Yang Imbalance

Insulin resistance in PCOS is often associated with an imbalance between yin and yang energies. Yin represents the nourishing, cooling, and moistening aspects, while yang represents the active, warming, and transforming aspects. In PCOS, there is often an excess of yang energy, leading to symptoms such as hyperactivity, heat, and excessive androgen production. Hyperandrogenism (hormonal imbalance related to androgens) – can cause acne, hair loss, or excessive hair growth on the face and body.

Kidney and Spleen Imbalances

In Chinese medicine, the kidneys and spleen play crucial roles in regulating metabolic processes. Kidney yang deficiency or spleen Qi deficiency are commonly observed patterns in PCOS. Kidney yang deficiency can lead to poor metabolism, while spleen Qi deficiency can disrupt the transformation and transportation of nutrients, including glucose, resulting in insulin resistance.

Qi Stagnation

Qi is the vital energy that flows throughout the body. In PCOS, the stagnant Qi may disrupt the proper functioning of the spleen, which is responsible for the transformation and transportation of nutrients, including glucose. Qi stagnation can hinder the transportation of glucose into the cells, leading to insulin resistance.

Blood stasis

Blood stasis refers to the sluggish or stagnant circulation of blood in the body. In PCOS, the presence of blood stasis can interfere with the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the cells, including the insulin receptors. This can contribute to insulin resistance.

How Does PCOS And Insulin Resistance Affect Ovulation and Pregnancy?

Getting pregnant with PCOS is a challenge that many women face. Women with PCOS will have higher levels of both luteinizing hormone (LH) and reduced levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Add to that increased levels of both insulin and androgens, and the result can be periods that are either infrequent or absent. These hormone imbalances will have an impact on ovulation, many women with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly; some don’t ovulate at all.

A study conducted on women with PCOS reported that increasing serum insulin levels were significantly associated with decreased cycle ovulation. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from ovary and into fallopian tube. In order for conception to occur, sperm needs to fertilize the egg before it moves on down the fallopian tube. If the body is not ovulate, there will be no egg waiting in fallopian tube for sperm to fertilize—and pregnancy can’t happened. 

Insulin Resistance in PCOS Treatment with Chinese Medicine

A Chinese medicine professional is able to help address insulin resistance with PCOS via an holistic approach that considers more than just basic symptoms. TCM values bringing balance back to the body’s key organs in order to promote proper kidney, liver, and ovary function. Here are a few of the most common TCM treatments for insulin resistance in PCOS.


Multiple recent studies have also shown the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for PCOS. Acupunctures can evaluate the body as a whole and target key areas to relieve hormonal and energy imbalances.

In helping PCOS and insulin resistance, acupuncturists will often focus on bringing balance back to key reproductive organs such as kidney, uterus. The process of acupuncture can invigorate the blood and restore energy to the reproductive parts of the body. Acupuncture therapy is also currently being studied for its profound effects on facilitating natural ovulation in women who are hoping to become pregnant.

The same studies are showing that acupuncture has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity in the body for the long term. This means that acupuncture may also prove to be a suitable treatment for other metabolic conditions such as obesity, hyperphagia, general inflammation, and more.

Herbal Supplement

PCOS & Weight imbalance Kit: This specialised kit was designed by Ginsen professional TCM experts to support optimal PCOS and weight management. PCOS. While weight gain is a common side effect of PCOS, experts believe that insulin resistance is the key cause of weight gain in PCOS patients, GinSen’s PCOS & Weight imbalance Kit have helping insulin resistance balance  through to nourish Spleen Qi and Yang, strengthen Liver Qi, get rid of Dampness and address the root cause of PCOS and help you regain control insulin level.

Buy here

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

While acupuncture and herbal treatments are certainly effective, most healthcare professionals agree that diet and lifestyle changes will help PCOS and insulin resistance symptoms no matter their cause. Moderate regular exercise in combination with a healthy diet can bring insulin levels back to normal and improve reproductive health.

The ideal diet for treating insulin resistance in PCOS will include a lot of high-fiber foods like kidney beans, pears, oats, and carrots. Lean proteins and healthy fats (fish, turkey, chicken) are also essential. As always, it’s recommended to cut back on processed foods and added sugars as much as possible.

Related: 5 Natural Ways To Manage PCOS

Final Look at Managing Insulin Resistance in PCOS

PCOS can be a difficult diagnosis to deal with by itself. The added ailment of insulin resistance (which impacts between 35% and 80% of women with PCOS) can make dealing with the diagnosis unbearable at times.

While it can be difficult to navigate, it’s more than possible to find positive results through combining the recommended TCM treatments. The most effective results often come through instilling a healthy lifestyle, taking herbal supplements, and undergoing acupuncture. The combination of treatments can speed up the recovery process and offers the best results in improving PCOS, insulin resistance, and overall reproductive health.

For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with insulin resistance in PCOS, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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