Book An Appointment



Addressing PCOS with Functional Medicine From Toronto


Our Toronto functional medicine patients are shocked to learn how many Canadians are affected by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – almost 1.4 million women in the country are suffering from this health challenge.

PCOS is not the same as endometriosis and fibroids, which are different health issues for women. PCOS is a health condition that tends to be diagnosed in child-bearing ages. Fluid-filled sacs (cysts) form on the ovaries, which can be caused by a hormone imbalance. Scientists have not determined how this imbalance is instigated, but past issues with hormones and family histories with PCOS or diabetes seem to increase your risks. 

PCOS can cause weight gain, acne, additional face/body hair or thinning hair, unsteady periods, insulin resistance, anxiety and depression, and breathing troubles due to insulin resistance/obesity. It also increases your chances of forming type II diabetes

Clinical symptoms should be addressed to prevent complications down the road. Some health issues that can form when PCOS is left untreated include: 

  • Infertility, miscarriages, gestational diabetes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Giving birth prematurely
  • Heart disease (atherosclerosis, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels)
  • Increased risks for uterine cancer

Though it’s common in North American women, PCOS continues to be misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) explains why some patients opt for the functional medicine approach to PCOS, examples of related therapies, and how to reach us for consultations.  

How functional medicine can work for PCOS

Diagnosing PCOS in a timely manner and tackling it with personalized treatments could diminish your risks for long-term health issues. Hence, afflicted females must find strategies to help manage chronic symptoms, such as digestive issues, fertility issues, acne and weight fluctuations.  

Functional medicine treatments are designed to accommodate a patient’s biology. This health care model scrutinizes uniqueness to understand how a patient’s body works. Your medical history, current lifestyle, environment, and health goals are deliberated for determining therapies. This means that functional tests may be applied to quantify constituents, such as dietary habits, nutrients or hormone levels. Knowing these core components allows functional medicine health providers to tailor treatment plans for your unique situation. 

The functional medicine approach may come with beneficial effects, especially since each woman’s PCOS symptoms can manifest differently. “PCOS is a complex disorder in which the interaction between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors initiates and perpetuates the syndrome,” explains a review from Reproductive BioMedicine Online. Due to the fact that functional medicine recognizes a patient’s unique expression of health, PCOS symptoms can be managed with tailored health strategies. This may not only encourage symptom relief, but also help prevent additional chronic conditions down the road.  

How we apply health tools and lifestyle modifications 

If you were to visit the TFMC for symptoms linked to PCOS, you can expect discussions with our health care providers regarding these topics:

  • Lab tests: Functional medicine testing could help pinpoint the root causes of symptoms. DUTCH testing is available at the TFMC, which measures dried urine tests to quantify hormone levels. These test results could help us arrange therapies to promote a hormonal balance. We may also talk about testing your blood sugar levels. In particular, we would analyze your fasting insulin and fasting glucose levels, as well as hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), which is the measure of average blood sugars over a three-month range. A gut health assessment may be suggested, too, to search for bacteria that affects your current gut health and reproduction. 
  • Dietary changes: A healthy diet must be in place when struggling with obesity and insulin resistance. Scientific evidence has confirmed that you can consume “… the inclusion of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean sources of animal proteins including low-fat dairy products in dietary therapies for insulin resistance,” explains a review from Current Opinion in Lipidology.
  • Supplements: Depending on your symptoms, supplements may be advised. MDI (myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol taken together) are examples, which are known inositols (or  a type of sugar created in the body). According to a piece from the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, “Inositols act as second messengers for insulin, and their deficiency contributes to the various features of PCOS.” It’s been shown that MDI can promote the balance of bodily chemicals, while reducing insulin resistance and androgen levels linked to PCOS. 
  • Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy: Women with PCOS overproduce androgens, which affects the overall balance of your other hormones. Plant-based ingredients may be mentioned to correct this imbalance, which are called bioidentical hormones. These ingredients can be compounded to simulate female sex hormones. For PCOS, bio-identical hormones can help boost progesterone levels, which tend to be low in women with this condition, while helping to maintain a healthy uterine lining.  

If you have PCOS or related symptoms, there’s promise in improving your quality of life. Health benefits may arise with functional medicine education and a personalized approach to health! Become a new TFMC patient to start shifting towards optimal wellness. 

Access our functional medicine testing and treatments

Integrative medicine can lead to various health benefits – this is why we adhere to the integrative functional medicine model. This approach to wellness is sometimes known as a personalized approach to health care, as it considers your individuality for tackling and preventing chronic disease. 

Next to PCOS, the TFMC can modify treatments for different health concerns, including chronic disease conditions, acid reflux, digestive issues, nutritional deficiency, menopausal symptoms (i.e. night sweats), immune function, autoimmune disease, and more.  

A customized, proactive, long-term health plan can guide you towards optimal function. Tailored treatment plans may include multiple modalities, such as Western medicine, naturopathic medicine, herbal medicines, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, intravenous therapy, NAD+ IV therapy, hormone optimization programs, and other conventional or natural therapies. Each modality is amended for your needs, and we’re able to fulfill this with the functional medicine approach. 

You should know that we consider your comfort when it comes to your health experiences. This is why you can collaborate with us in building a distinctive health care plan! Taking an active role in your health can be an empowering sensation. We help you work towards a healthy lifestyle through guidance and education, which can inspire you to stick to your treatment plans.  

If you’re struggling with women’s health issues, our compassionate health providers are available to help. Learn how to ease your individual symptoms with functional medicine from our Toronto practitioners – request your consultation today

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



Akre S, Sharma K, Chakole S, Wanjari MB. Recent Advances in the Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Review Article. Cureus. 2022 Aug 4;14(8):e27689. doi: 10.7759/cureus.27689. PMID: 36072214; PMCID: PMC9440853.

Artini PG, Di Berardino OM, Papini F, Genazzani AD, Simi G, Ruggiero M, et al. Endocrine and clinical effects of myo-inositol administration in polycystic ovary syndrome. A randomized study. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2013;29:375–9.

Engmann L, Jin S, Sun F, Legro RS, Polotsky AJ, Hansen KR, Coutifaris C, Diamond MP, Eisenberg E, Zhang H, Santoro N; Reproductive Medicine Network. Racial and ethnic differences in the polycystic ovary syndrome metabolic phenotype. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 May;216(5):493.e1-493.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Jan 16. PMID: 28104402; PMCID: PMC5420474.

Khani B, Mardanian F, Fesharaki SJ. Omega-3 supplementation effects on polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms and metabolic syndrome. J Res Med Sci. 2017 May 30;22:64. doi: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_644_16. PMID: 28616051; PMCID: PMC5461594.

Lujan ME, Chizen DR, Pierson RA. Diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovary syndrome: pitfalls and controversies. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2008 Aug;30(8):671-679. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(16)32915-2. PMID: 18786289; PMCID: PMC2893212.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)” from HealthLink BC, posted November 22, 2021, viewed on July 30, 2023. 

Schwenke DC. Insulin resistance, low-fat diets, and low-carbohydrate diets: time to test new menus. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2005 Feb;16(1):55-60. doi: 10.1097/00041433-200502000-00010. PMID: 15650564.

Tremellen K, Pearce K. Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota (DOGMA)–a novel theory for the development of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Med Hypotheses. 2012 Jul;79(1):104-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.04.016. Epub 2012 Apr 27. PMID: 22543078.

Wilcox G. Insulin and insulin resistance. Clin Biochem Rev. 2005 May;26(2):19-39. PMID: 16278749; PMCID: PMC1204764.


CALL US TODAY (416) 968-6961