Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects the way the ovaries work. It is a hormonal disorder among women of child bearing age. It is one of the most common causes of female infertility. And, is usually detected when a woman is trying to get pregnant.
Diagnosis of PCOS
No single test can diagnose PCOS. The doctor will discuss regarding previous medical history, do a physical exam, USG and a couple of blood tests.
Once diagnosed, appropriate treatment with recommended lifestyle changes can help manage PCOS.
Recommended Diet for Women with PCOS
Women with PCOS should focus on balance and moderation. Most of the women with PCOS are resistant to insulin. This results in the pancreas producing more insulin to become effective. Weight gain with PCOS can be linked to abnormalities in insulin and glucose metabolism.
- Eat a balanced meal with a wide variety of whole foods – Fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, fish, lean meats, nuts, and seeds should be eaten daily.
- Add fiber – Eat fresh fruits such as strawberries, apples, cherries, pears, and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, radish, spinach
- Avoid processed foods – Refined carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin levels and should therefore be avoided. Cut out foods like white bread, mashed potatoes, donuts and processed breakfast cereals.
- Avoid sugar and syrup-sweetened beverages – These drinks cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels which in the long term may result in insulin resistance.
- Limit salt intake.
Exercise is Crucial for Women with PCOS
Exercise has been shown to improve
- Insulin Sensitivity
- Ovulation frequency
- Cholesterol levels
Women with PCOS are prone to have heart attacks; therefore having a good warm-up is a must.
- Aerobic exercise, Yoga, Zumba, cycling – Doing any exercise at a moderate pace for long enough will help in weight loss.
- Doing a combination of strength and cardio training. Cardio workouts reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in women with PCOS. It causes your heart rate to rise and increases total calories used which will help with weight loss. Strength training helps build muscle. This is important in raising your basal metabolic rate so that you burn more calories while at rest and while you are exercising.
- Interval Training – adding interval training to your workout regimen can maximize fat loss while reducing the amount of time you exercise. For ex., alternating between hard pedaling and light pedaling on a cycle, walking with intervals of jogging in between.
Natural Herbs to Treat PCOS
1. Aloevera – Having fresh aloe vera juice every morning works very effectively for PCOS.
2. Fenugreek – Soak fenugreek seeds overnight and take them along with honey the next morning on an empty stomach.
3. Basil or Tulsi – Having 8-10 leaves in the morning helps to reduce the symptoms of PCOS.
4. Flax Seeds – Include flax in the diet as they contain omega 3 fatty acids that help to reduce the intensity of PCOS.
5. Cinnamon – Taking cinnamon supplement everyday is found to treat PCOS as cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar and reduces insulin resistance.
Reminder – Bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle are the prime reasons behind PCOS. So, make it a point to exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet if you want to get rid of the condition.