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  • Infant Girls of Moms with PCOS Show Signs of Syndrome

    A new study conducted at Northwestern University found that the infant daughters of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) show markers of the disease. In this study, data revealed that baby girls born to moms with PCOS produce higher levels of an enzyme that activates the hormone testosterone. Previous studies in animal models have shown that exposure to testosterone in early infancy increases the risk of developing PCOS-like symptoms like insulin resistance in exposed animals.

    These findings open new opportunities for treatment of this complex disease, which places women at risk for obesity, pre-diabetes, infertility and other chronic health conditions like heart disease. Currently, PCOS cannot be diagnosed prior to puberty, when it manifests in different ways, including delayed or irregular menses, acne and excess hair growth on the face and body. PCOS also increases the risk of depression and anxiety, which coupled with the physical symptoms, create social and emotional challenges. PCOS is often underdiagnosed because symptoms mirror many of the changes associated with puberty. Many women do not learn they have PCOS until they try unsuccessfully to become pregnant.

    Proactivity is key with PCOS. Once diagnosed, PCOS responds extremely well to lifestyle interventions like diet and exercise, which are often enough in themselves to improve insulin sensitivity and jumpstart ovulation and menstruation. Understanding the genetic link to PCOS represents a giant leap in our understanding of this condition and the potential to manage, and even prevent, serious health consequences in a generation of young women.

  • Hands On Women’s Wisdom: Hormone Imbalance

    In my practice over the last 12 years, I’ve seen hormonal imbalance in many forms, time and time again. Whether manifested as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, amenorrhea, or simply irregular cycles, this condition plagues more of us than you’d think. But what causes these imbalances?
    There’s no one answer, but a major contributor is the stew of chemicals in our environment that can accumulate in our bodies. Toxicity is on the rise: it’s estimated that today’s average newborn body is dealing with more synthetic chemicals than a senior did in our grandparents’ day. As new chemicals are introduced into our food and cosmetic supply, and as pollution increases, our bodies have a greater influx of contamination to deal with. This buildup in our systems, complete with endocrine disrupters and reproductive toxins, create inflammation in the body and interrupt its ability to regulate hormones.
    So how can we help our bodies get rid of these unwanted substances? In addition to making better nutritional choices like eating organic where possible and cutting back on inflammation-promoting foods, I’ve seen a type of massage known as lymphatic drainage produce wonderful and immediate results. Lymph is a milky fluid in our bodies; it’s main function is to deliver hormones and nutritive substances, while simultaneously removing waste. Think of lymph as the body’s sanitation system, recovering trapped toxins around your cells and sending them through lymph vessels to your lymph nodes (garbage dumps and recycling centers) to be filtered and purified. Unlike blood, our body’s other nourishing fluid, lymph is not actively pumped through vessels. Lymph is essentially static, pooling within our tissues until muscle movement or gravity push it towards lymph vessels and nodes. Massaging the lymphatic system with the lymphatic drainage technique quickens these actions by up to four times their normal speed, which can improve fluid movement in the body, reduce bloating, enhance liver function, and help to release the excess hormones that can be causing disruption.
    So, today’s piece of wisdom: lymphatic drainage, it does a body good! Learn more about our massage protocols by visiting our website

    – Meredith
    Welcome to our new regular feature, Hands-On Women’s Wisdom. In this feature we will be bringing you the learned wisdom from the amazing practitioners in our massage department. Today’s feature is from our Massage Director and creator of Pulling Down the Moon’s Fertility Enhancing Massage (FEM) Protocol, Meredith Nathan, LMC. Meredith has worked at Pulling Down the Moon since we opened the doors of our first center – so there is a LOT of wisdom in her hands!