The Best Medicines are Free (or Almost)

In my prior post about the field of nutrition psychology I wrote that:

With lifestyle changes, the mental health profession could fix everything from depression to schizophrenia.

Beyond lifestyle, therapists could also leverage cheap and readily available supplements to help patients.

For example, high dose vitamin B1 can be used as a mood stabilizer, to reduce anxiety, and for concentration. Inositol, a sugar molecule made in the body, can be supplemented to reduce depression, rage, and tension. A month’s supply of inositol is available on Amazon for under $30.

Inositol is also very good at stabilizing blood sugar and lowering insulin levels. In fact, if you’re going to supplement with inositol, you need to pause after a few months, otherwise you’ll end up with low insulin and thyroid problems.

Interestingly, only a few studies have been conducted to study the impact of inositol on diabetes, the obvious application. Strange that such a promising, inexpensive, and non-patentable intervention would be ignored by the medical/pharmaceutical industry.

In any event, besides diabetes, another metabolic disorder treatable by inositol is PCOS. PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting up to 20% of women. Put another way, 90–95% of anovulatory women seeking treatment for infertility have PCOS. If you google “Inositol and PCOS,” you’ll find pages and pages of results explaining the interaction between PCOS, infertility, and inositol.

Twenty years ago, I learned firsthand what infertility treatment for PCOS looked like: Drugs. The side effects of these drugs include deep, scarring acne, and the risk of release of multiple eggs. If your doctor moves you from the clomid pill to hormone injections, a woman faces the ordeal of having to jab herself, or have her husband stick her with the daily dose.  

Today, I visited the website of the Mayo Clinic to check on the current standard of care for infertility. According to the website, step one is: Drugs. “Fertility drugs are the main treatment for women who are infertile due to ovulation disorders. These medications regulate or induce ovulation.”

I have no formal medical training in female reproduction, but here is my bold, low-cost plan for women struggling with infertility due to ovulation disorders:

  2. Toss a heaping tablespoon of inositol into your coffee every day for three months and come back for a pregnancy test.

Inositol as a tool to reverse PCOS-related infertility has been known since at least 1999. We’re now more than a generation later. Still, I don’t know how many gynecologists are aware of this treatment, or care.  

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