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Women are becoming stronger and standing up for themselves in every field of human life to secure higher goals. But there are still conditions stopping them from doing so. Reproductive diseases are sometimes the biggest obstacles in their path. Amongst them, PCOS seems to be one of the most disturbing. The incidence of PCOS appears to be rising in India day by day. What we need is a way to manage this?
Here we have discussed the main causes, symptoms, diet, panchkarma therapies & ayurvedic treatments to manage PCOS naturally.
Getting to the Root: What is PCOS?
Don’t be baffled with its name! Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine system disorder. It simply means that it is a problem created by hormonal activity. Most women with PCOS have small cysts in their ovaries. Even though these cysts do not harm them directly, they create hormonal imbalances in their blood. One hormone’s change triggers another, which changes another – likewise, forming a troublesome cycle. It is this cycle that creates pain and menstrual issues.
Where Lies the Suspect: Causes of PCOS
As per modern science the causes of PCOS are not fully understood. But that does not mean every woman is at risk. PCOS patients usually have some common traits. They are led to the disease by poor lifestyle practices, pollution and diet. So, here’s your opportunity to find out if you’re making the same mistakes.
It is interesting to see that PCOS seems to run in families. So, your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family had it anytime in their youth. PCOS can be passed down from either your mother or father.
Poor Sleep-Wake Routine
PCOS is characterised by an abnormality in the secretion of hormones like androgens, luteinizing hormone (LH) etc. This happens if your diet is less nutritious and you spend most of your nights awake which causes your hormones to go into a spin. If prolonged, these habits make you prone to PCOS/PCOD.
Your body may have problems using insulin leading to abnormal blood sugar levels. This increases the levels of insulin in your body, which aggravates androgen secretion and hormonal fluctuations. The exact reason why these hormonal changes occur isn’t known.
Signs and Symptoms of PCOS
Every time your hormones are affected by a disease, your body produces many kinds of symptoms. From sudden obesity to shedding of hair, lack of sleep or infertility – PCOS can wreck your life in more than one way. But that’s not all, here’s a list of its other effects on your body!
Irregular or No Periods
This is the most common characteristic of PCOS. Your menstruation dates may see a delay of more than 5 days or recur in less than 28 days. What’s worse, you may also experience absence of menstruation for four months or longer.
Variation in Menstrual Bleeding
It is common for PCOS patients to experience prolonged periods that may be scanty or heavy flow with clots. Sometimes, the bleeding may extend to more than 9 days. A few women with PCOS experience dull aching pain in the lower abdomen as well.
When your hormones are insufficient, the fertility of the uterus is adversely affected. So, you may find it hard to conceive despite trying really hard.
What do you think would happen if your body had more male hormones? Of course! They will lead to growth of male characteristics like hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs or toes. Increased androgen levels may cause male-pattern baldness due to excessive hair fall too.
Your radiant skin takes the heaviest blow during PCOS. You may get excess acne, oily skin, or dandruff. Patches may also appear on the skin of the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick, velvety, dark brown or black.
It might take longer for this symptom to become obvious, but it is sure to follow PCOS! You may see an abnormal weight-gain, usually with extra weight around the waist and difficulty in reducing weight.
Disturbance in Mental Health
There may be anxiety or depression, low level of confidence due to change in your physical appearance. Since, breathing stops for short periods of time while sleeping, you may feel tired even after sleeping.
Long-Term Health Risks of PCOS
Don’t be mistaken in thinking that PCOS only disturbs your present! In fact, it can cause more serious problems for you in the future. You may develop lifelong illnesses that make you dependent on chemical medicines.
Women with PCOS appear to be at an increased risk of developing cancer of the endometrium. Because of their irregular menstruation, their uterine lining is not sufficiently shed. So, they experience the monthly build-up of the endometrial lining. As the lining continues to build, it increases their risk of endometrial cancer.
Surprised to find that your PCOS and diabetes could be linked? Unfortunately, they can be! Insulin resistance in PCOS builds up insulin levels in the body. It, in turn, stimulates the production of testosterone, which aggravates the PCOS symptoms. This is why, by the age of 40 years, up to 40 percent of women with PCOS develop either diabetes or poor glucose metabolism.
Wondering why PCOS makes you put on weight? Blame it on the testosterone! Increased levels of this hormone can lead to accumulation of fats and cholesterol in your blood. In some women, it can also reduce the amount of good cholesterol and create an imbalance in the metabolic system. This imbalance increases the risk of cardiovascular disease too!
PCOS women being obese are at increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. The risk of heart attack is 4 to 7 times higher in women with PCOS than women of the same age without PCOS.
The stress of daily life might not harm you as much as PCOS! We say so because women with PCOS develop a greater risk of having high blood pressure.
Complications in Pregnancies
When your reproductive health is poor, you might face many pregnancy issues. And women with PCOS suffer all the more for it! They have higher chances of miscarriage, premature delivery, gestational diabetes and even multiple pregnancies!
Management of PCOS in Modern Medicine: Diet & Lifestyle Advice
Even when you are managing your PCOS troubles with modern medicine, you still have to face many side effects like nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbance, unusual vaginal bleeding apart from menstrual problems. Fortunately, Ayurvedic medicine for PCOS does not produce such issues. In fact, it promotes your overall health by suggesting healthy practices!
There is not a health issue in the world which cannot be controlled with physical exercise. In the case of PCOS, it can reduce body weight and prevent insulin resistance. You can also try meditation and yoga every morning.
Keep that Stress Away
Make sure that the professional pressures and personal life do not affect each other. Low stress and anxiety can go a long way in ensuring good mental health for you, especially when you are fighting off PCOS!
A good diet during PCOS can solve most of your problems. Be it weight management or reducing blood sugar levels – right foods can make everything right! So, you should eat light, vitamin rich foods that are low on sugar.
Foods to Eat
Learn to embrace high fibre, protein rich and vitamin powered diet. Add nuts, green vegetables, berries, dark chocolate, spices and olive oil to your everyday foods.
Foods to Avoid
Sugary beverages, fast foods, all forms of meat and refined carbohydrates are a big NO for PCOS patients! They can increase your risk of obesity and diabetes.
Panchkarma Therapies which Help in the Management of PCOS
The best thing about Ayurveda is that it gives you different paths of treatment to choose from! So, you don’t have to solely rely on Ayurvedic medicines for PCOS to be cured. Panchkarma therapies are an alternative for you which can treat hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance and metabolism issues to get you healthier – faster!
This is a detoxifying procedure which removes toxins from your body by inducing vomiting. It is best conducted in the spring season, so don’t forget to book your appointment with the doctor in time!
If the previous procedure depended on induced vomiting, Virechana uses excess bowel movements to achieve the same results. This is a good procedure to bid goodbye to your skin pigmentation woes as well!
If you haven’t heard of Basti, you have missed much from Ayurveda’s end! It’s a painless procedure that can increase your fertility and improve your reproductive health.
While the above were internal action therapies, this is an external solution for you! You can enjoy the Udvartana massage as your blood circulation and skin quality improve gradually. What can be better than this?
Your PCOS treatment cannot be complete without the healing touch of Ayurveda’s herbs. Nirogam’s Picoshunya tablets contain many natural compounds that enhance your fertility, eliminate the cyst and correct your menstruation cycle. Surely, a small pill couldn’t perform as many wonders as this!
PCOS treatment in Ayurveda is therefore all about managing it well with natural remedies and lifestyle changes and thus, minimizing all the side effects slowly.
Disclaimer – The above information is purely for the sake of guidance and can in no way be substituted for the advice of a medical practitioner. Please do not take any medication without the expert advice of an Ayurvedic doctor. Any changes in lifestyle and medication that you are already taking should be done only after consulting a qualified doctor. The products recommended should be taken after a proper consultation with a certified physician.
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