PCOS: Why Black Women Choose Natural Treatment - Word In Black
Despite the stigma towards holistic healthcare, some women turn to nutrition and exercise to manage polycystic ovary syndrome.
The Causes and Symptoms of PCOS
Common symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, infertility, unexplained weight gain, insulin resistance, and unwanted hair. Women with the condition may have cysts on their ovaries, but this is not the case for everyone.
PCOS is the most common endocrine system disorder among premenopausal women. Nationwide, 6% to 12% — or as many as five million — women of reproductive age in the United States are impacted by it. “But it’s a lot more than that,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition can continue beyond childbearing years and raise the risk for other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Although little is known about racial disparities in PCOS, research shows that Black people are disproportionately exposed to endocrine disruptors — chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones.
Jonene Ford, a clinical nutritionist based in Rockville, Maryland, who treats PCOS, says endocrine disruptors can be anything from chemicals used to treat water to plastic food packaging.
“It could also be the skincare products that we use. There’s been a lot of more recent research about Black hair care products containing endocrine disruptors,” Ford, 43, says.