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3 Different Types of PCOS

types of PCOS, PCOS, women's health, holistic nutrition, hormonal imbalances, hormone balance, functional medicine

3 Different Types of PCOS

If you have PCOS or think you might have PCOS, this resource will be really helpful for you to navigate and understand the different types of PCOS. Because YES, there are different types of PCOS. This is where individuality shines – one diagnosis, but different reasons on why it’s happening. When you learn about what type of PCOS you have, you are able to make changes in your diet and lifestyle to support you best!

And if you still need help, well you know where to find us!

What Is PCOS?

PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome. When you think of PCOS, you’ll often think of having cysts on your ovaries. This is one of the characteristics of PCOS, but technically there are women who have PCOS who do not have cysts on their ovaries. Other major criteria for being diagnosed with PCOS are:

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

There may be a lack of ovulation or having irregular cycles, where you have no idea when your period is showing it’s face every month (or maybe skipping months all together!). Can we all agree that irregular cycles are the worst? I know you just want to have a cycle that you can depend on.

Excess Androgen Production

Another symptom that goes along with PCOS is when there are too many androgens in the body. You’ll know these things as “male hormones”, such as testosterone. Common symptoms you’ll hear from PCOS patients are….

  • I have so much acne.
  • I’m growing hair like a gorilla. (I know, you want to pass on the chin on your hair. Nothing makes you feel so sexy. Ugh)
  • You’re losing hair on your head (+ secretly wondering why it’s trading places with your chin hair! AH!)

Don’t get me wrong, women should have androgens in their body too. Harm can come from too little of it, but excess androgens are tied to PCOS.

3 Different Types of PCOS

Insulin-Resistant PCOS

This is one of the most common types of PCOS – heelloooo blood sugar imbalance. Women can have full-blown diabetes or just insulin resistance (which is the start to diabetes + why I’m SOOO anal about ordering insulin level). With insulin resistance, your body isn’t able to utilize the insulin you are making properly and the demand for it just grows and grows until your pancreas is like PEACE. ✌🏼

Behind this PCOS type, we want to ensure that we’re focusing hardcore on blood sugar balance. Supplements may come in handy to help increase insulin sensitivity, BUT it’s not just about getting your cells to respond to the insulin better. We have to take a step back + ask “why does my body think this is a good idea?” I promise your body is always fighting for you.

Even when it doesn’t feel like it. Medications, like Metformin, are given by doctors for this type of PCOS, but we’ve seen success in women doing it naturally with diet, lifestyle changes, + supplement support.

Labs for Insulin Resistant PCOS

  • Fasting Glucose
  • A1C
  • Insulin

Inflammatory PCOS

The second type of PCOS is PCOS that is driven by inflammation. Inflammation = ovaries create more androgens. In most chronic disease, inflammation is almost always a part of PCOS (regardless of type), but if inflammation is the major thing, then it’s considered this type of PCOS.

Now, you have to ask yourself – what is causing the inflammation?

  • Food sensitivities or allergies?
  • Gut imbalances? (Almost all PCOS women have some type of gut imbalance)
  • Environmental toxins? (Yup, your environment and the toxins in it can create chaos in the body!)

Lab for Inflammatory PCOS

  • hs-CRP (Shows systematic inflammation in the body)
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • Stool Testing
  • Environmental Toxin Panel (done via urine!)

Adrenal PCOS

Yeah, you know I can’t leave a conversation with bringing stress levels into consideration. When your adrenals are working on overdrive, this can begin the start of blood sugar imbalance and stimulates your ovaries to create more testosterone (yup, double whammy with PCOS). Plus, your body is going to say HELL NO to reproduction in a stressful environment, so there goes your ovulation. Ugh!

If your androgen DHEA-S is higher, this does lean your type of PCOS into an adrenal-driven PCOS because DHEA is made in the adrenals.

Labs for Adrenal PCOS

  • DHEA-S
  • Cortisol

I would highly recommend a DUTCH panel to assess adrenal function.

I’m not mentioning it here, but another type of PCOS is post-pill PCOS. If you’re coming off hormonal birth control, this could happen and it should be temporary once your body starts to recalibrate.

Needing help with your PCOS? Tired of trying to DIY and see what you should be focusing on? Head over to our Services page and book a free discovery call with our team! We’ll help you with a 1:1 approach – no guesswork. Let’s get down to business!

Lahana Vigliano, CCN

Avatar for Lahana Vigliano
Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).