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Adrenal PCOS - What is it, causes, symptoms, blood tests, treatment

Adrenal PCOS

We have 2 adrenal glands on top of each kidney. These produce stress hormones - cortisol and adrenaline, and sex hormones - DHEA and testosterone.  An increase in cortisol and DHEA-S causes an imbalance of hormones and leads to PCOS symptoms(Title:- Symtoms of PCOS). This is known as Adrenal PCOS.

But what causes this, what are its symptoms, how can you detect this kind of PCOS and is there any treatment for this? We’ve explained all this and more with 4 songs from our playlist.

P.S. These also make up for a great period mixtape.

Stressed Out

#1. Stressed Out  - What causes Adrenal PCOS?

by twenty one pilots

Any kind of stress causes the adrenal gland to release more cortisol (remember ‘fight or flight’ mode?), which increases DHEA-S levels. DHEA-S (aka androgen) is a hormone (like testosterone), produced by the adrenal glands. This includes both emotional stress caused by work, family, finances, and life in general or physical stress caused by unhealthy eating habits, poor diets, overeating or undereating.

While such stress is inevitable, this short-term stress becomes chronic stress leading to increased cortisol production. And high cortisol levels suppress your immune and digestive systems, interfere with normal metabolism, thyroid function, reproductive functioning, and more. Which then leads to weight gain, elevated blood sugar, mood, and gut disorders.

mood swings

#2. Hot N Cold - What are the symptoms of Adrenal PCOS?

by Katy Perry

Stress, mood swings, fatigue and sleep issues could be a sign of Adrenal PCOS. This is accompanied by weight gain, one of the most likely symptoms of  Adrenal PCOS. And some may also face acne, hair growth/loss, irregular periods.

detect Adrenal PCOS

#3. Levels - How to detect Adrenal PCOS?

by Avicci
1. 17-Hydroxyprogesterone Test
This is used to detect Aka 17-OHP, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands involved in the production of cortisol. The test is used to determine the presence of late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia, another medical condition that can mimic the symptoms of PCOS(Title:-Symptoms of PCOS).

2. DHEA Sulphate Test
This is used to measure the levels of DHEA-S in your blood. DHEAS stands for dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, a male sex hormone found in both men and women. DHEAS is responsible for making the male sex hormone testosterone and the female sex hormone estrogen and is also involved in the development of male sexual characteristics at puberty.

3. 8 A.M, serum cortisol

The test screens for diseases that affect your pituitary and adrenal glands by measuring the blood levels of cortisols

#4. Catch & Release - How to treat Adrenal PCOS?

by Matt Simons

 resistance exercise

1. Exercising in moderate levels

As per a recent study high-intensity, short-rest, resistance exercise can cause an increased adrenal response. Workouts like Crossfit have shown higher levels of cortisol production. That’s why, if you’ve got adrenal PCOS you should avoid high-intensity cardio that lasts for over an hour and try circuit training, resistance training or lower-level cardiovascular training. Mike T. Nelson recommends using a heart rate monitor to help you stay between 120 and 140 beats per minute, and sometimes even lower than that

2. Get enough sleep

7-8 hours of sleep will help stabilise your HPA axis and cortisol. And it also improves insulin sensitivity. To help improve sleep, switch your electronic devices to night mode and switch to yellow lights. That’s because blue light from devices and tube lights interfere with a sleep hormone called melatonin.

3. Manage stress

Use de-stressing techniques like walking out in nature 3 times a week, reduce your caffeine intake, try one-on-one therapy or group therapy.


Ashwagandha - for reducing anxiety and countering long term effects of stress

Magnesium - to calm your nervous system and regulate your HPA axis

Maca Root - to stabilise your HPA axis and reduce stress levels

B-vitamins - to improve anxiety, reduce stress and calm your nervous system

Lastly,  we hope our period mixtape helps you de-stress too!


Spearmint leaf (Mentha Spicata), Stinging nettle leaf (Urtica Dioica), Lemon grass
(Cymbopogon citratus), Ginger root (Zingiber officinale), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita),
Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum cassia), Ashoka (Saraca Asoca), Lodhra (Symplocos),
Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Daruharidra
(Berberis Aristata)


Akdogan M, Tamer MN, Cure E, Cure MC, Koroglu BK, Delibas N. Effect of spearmint (mentha spicata labiatae)
teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytother Res. 2007;21(5):444–7. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2074.

Rogerio A. Lobo, Columbia University. (n.d.). Cinnamon extract on menstrual cycles in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- full text view. Full Text View -

Najafipour F, Rahimi AO, Mobaseri M, Agamohamadzadeh N, Nikoo A, Aliasgharzadeh A. Therapeutic effects
of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) in women with Hyperandrogenism. Int J Current Res Acad Rev. 2014;2(7):153–160.

Salve, J., Pate, S., Debnath, K., & Langade, D. (2019). Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults:
A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Cureus, 11(12), e6466.

Kumarapeli M, Karunagoda K and Perera PK: A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of satapushpa-shatavari powdered drug with satapushpa-
shatavari grita for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Int J Pharm Sci Res 2018; 9(6): 2494-99. doi: 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.9(6).2494-99.

Grant P. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2010;24(2):186–8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2900.