Author Topic: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?  (Read 32531 times)

Offline DHW

  • Adept
  • Posts: 712
Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« on: October 14, 2008, 05:16:13 PM »
I saw a segment on TLC (Mystery Diagnosis, "The Bearded Lady") that described the differences between non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). 

The two look very much alike on the surface because they both cause high testosterone: facial hair, weight gain, acne, body odor, insulin resistence, dark skin on elbows, fingers, nape of the neck, irregular or missing menstruation, infertility,....

The difference between the two is the source of the testosterone: ovaries (PCOS) or adrenals (CAH).

A drug like Metformin will lower both insulin and testosterone in PCOS; it will only lower insulin in CAH.  Also, high DHEA will be present in CAH, but not in PCOS.

CAH is due to an enzyme deficiency which inhibits the body's ability to regulate testosterone production.  According to the TLC show, a 3-month trial of a prescription steroid (sorry, I didn't catch it) will reduce testosterone levels if the problem is with the adrenals.

If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, and you are not having very good results with standard treatment (your testosterone levels are still high), then you might ask your doctor to rule out CAH.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 05:19:30 PM by DHW »

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 06:45:15 PM »
Something that might tie in with this is Spearmint tea and it's affect on angrogens -- particularly testosterone.

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,1368.msg110916.html#msg110916

There must to be more research out there on Spearmint and testosterone. But I'm too tired to Google it right now.
 
WR
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 06:53:05 PM »
Found this about Spearmint...

Quote
Its anti-androgenic properties reduce the level of free testosterone in the blood, while leaving total testosterone and DHEA unaffected.

WR
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline DHW

  • Adept
  • Posts: 712
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 06:20:22 PM »
I think the spearmint tea might not be strong enough to reduce high testosterone levels.  Am thinking spearmint extract (tincture) might work a little better. 

Also it is probably important to avoid food sources of male hormones (animal products from male animals) and other endocrine disrupters - a strategy similar to combatting estrogen dominance.  And lots of liver support.

I have not researched this enought to know if the enzyme deficiency causing CAH can be treated.

Offline amy3js

  • Master
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2008, 10:37:48 AM »
Well this is a subject near and dear to me as I have a brother and sister who both have classic (salt wasting) CAH. And since I have been diagnosed with PCOS, I have always wondered if I had non-classic. I asked the endocrinologist who diagnosed me and he said it was possible that I had non-classic (I didn't want to pay for more blood tests, so I haven't gone back to find out for sure). However, from my understanding of classic CAH, there isn't a way to make your body start producing the right hormones as the problem is congenital. I assumed then that this "rule" would apply to non-classic. Is this not true?
You get what you get, what matters is what you do with it.

Offline amy3js

  • Master
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 12:17:01 PM »
http://www.endotext.org/pediatrics/pediatrics8a/pediatrics8a.htm

Here is the link to an article that discusses all forms of CAH, including the causes, symptoms and treatment.
You get what you get, what matters is what you do with it.

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2008, 09:26:59 AM »
This is so interesting!

It seems that whether or not the problem with testosterone production remains, Spearmint still helps reduce the affects of the hormone by causing it to bind with a "carrier protein" and become inactive.

I don't know if it has the same affect for both the classical and non-classical forms of this condition, but I would assume so since it is working on the testosterone after it's produced, instead of the bodies ability to produce it.

Here's a quote from http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/news42.html

Quote
Spearmint Tea May Reduce Hirsutism in PCOS

Researchers at the Suleyman Demirel University Medical School in Isparta, Turkey had been receiving "major complaints" from the local men that drinking mint tea was interfering with their libido and reproductive function.

To find out what might have been the problem, the medical school added peppermint to the drinking water of rats. The rats drinking the peppermint had a significant reduction in their testosterone and an increase in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Bear in mind that elevated testosterone and disordered FSH and LH levels are primary sources of difficulty for women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Just recently, the medical school completed a study of 21 women who had excessive hairiness. Twelve of them had PCOS and the other 9 had hirsutism of unknown origin.

The women took a cup of spearmint tea twice a day for 5 days in the follicular phase (first half) of their menstrual cycles. The tea was made by pouring boiling water on 1-2 teaspoons of dried spearmint and leaving it for 5-10 minutes, then straining and drinking the tea.

After treatment with the spearmint tea, the women had a significant decrease in free testosterone and increase in LH, FSH and estradiol hormones. There were no significant decreases in total testosterone.

The distinction between "free" and "total" testosterone is important. Testosterone hormone is either bound to a carrier protein, or it is not. The unbound testosterone is biologically active while the bound hormone is not active. "Total" testosterone includes both bound and unbound hormone.

The interesting point about this study is that the spearmint tea reduced the "free", biologically active testosterone. It is the free testosterone that contributes to hirsutism, acne and other PCOS problems. If free testosterone can be reduced, the symptoms will tend to diminish.

The researchers state that "spearmint can be an alternative to antiandrogenic treatment for mild hirsutism."

Although we haven't yet seen the details of these studies, it wouldn't hurt to drink spearmint or peppermint herbal teas to see if they have any beneficial effect on your symptoms.


Sources:
Akdogan M et al, Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism, Phytother Res. 2007 Feb 20; [Epub ahead of print]
Akdogan M et al, Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats, Urology. 2004 Aug;64(2):394-8
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline amy3js

  • Master
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 05:07:20 AM »
That is incredible! But I thought spearmint and peppermint were different plants? So does that mean any mint will work?
You get what you get, what matters is what you do with it.

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 09:54:32 AM »
They are different plants. Although I have read that peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and some other plant - but I'm sceptical about that.

Either way, I would just stick with the Spearmint, 'cause it tastes better.  ;)  But then again, if I wasn't getting the results I wanted I guess I would try peppermint.

WR
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 10:04:56 AM by Whiterock »
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline omglookitsagoat

  • Wide Eyed
  • Posts: 2
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 06:03:31 PM »
Well this is a subject near and dear to me as I have a brother and sister who both have classic (salt wasting) CAH. And since I have been diagnosed with PCOS, I have always wondered if I had non-classic. I asked the endocrinologist who diagnosed me and he said it was possible that I had non-classic (I didn't want to pay for more blood tests, so I haven't gone back to find out for sure). However, from my understanding of classic CAH, there isn't a way to make your body start producing the right hormones as the problem is congenital. I assumed then that this "rule" would apply to non-classic. Is this not true?

take a look at this web page. it has some good info on non-classic pcos and classic pcos.

Offline omglookitsagoat

  • Wide Eyed
  • Posts: 2
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 06:03:43 PM »
Well this is a subject near and dear to me as I have a brother and sister who both have classic (salt wasting) CAH. And since I have been diagnosed with PCOS, I have always wondered if I had non-classic. I asked the endocrinologist who diagnosed me and he said it was possible that I had non-classic (I didn't want to pay for more blood tests, so I haven't gone back to find out for sure). However, from my understanding of classic CAH, there isn't a way to make your body start producing the right hormones as the problem is congenital. I assumed then that this "rule" would apply to non-classic. Is this not true?

take a look at this web page. it has some good info on non-classic pcos and classic pcos.http://www.infertilityphysician.com/androgen/pcos.html

Offline amy3js

  • Master
  • Posts: 1255
Re: Non-classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or PCOS?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2011, 10:58:36 PM »
Well this is a subject near and dear to me as I have a brother and sister who both have classic (salt wasting) CAH. And since I have been diagnosed with PCOS, I have always wondered if I had non-classic. I asked the endocrinologist who diagnosed me and he said it was possible that I had non-classic (I didn't want to pay for more blood tests, so I haven't gone back to find out for sure). However, from my understanding of classic CAH, there isn't a way to make your body start producing the right hormones as the problem is congenital. I assumed then that this "rule" would apply to non-classic. Is this not true?

take a look at this web page. it has some good info on non-classic pcos and classic pcos.http://www.infertilityphysician.com/androgen/pcos.html
Thanks I will check that out!
You get what you get, what matters is what you do with it.