Chronic Stress Can Elevate a Woman's Male Sex Hormones
It has been my clinical experience that insulin resistance plays a major role in PCOS, and that restriction of nonfiber carb to less than 50 grams per day can dramatically help. Nevertheless, stress also has an important role.
As noted in the featured article:
"[W]omen who are under chronic stress not only have more opportunities for elevated ACTH and thus elevated androgens, but their hormones may also start to react more severely to stressful situations.
Don't get me wrong: there are plenty of women whose PCOS is caused by a poor diet, inadequate exercise, too many refined carbohydrates and sugars, and a generally unhealthy lifestyle.
But if you're breaking your back trying to follow the perfect low-carb Paleo diet, going to CrossFit five to six days per week, and finding yourself gaining weight, losing your menstrual function, growing hair in weird places, developing adult acne ...
[O]r simply feeling like a truck hit you every morning you wake up, it may be chronic stress causing your physical symptoms and hormonal imbalances."