Trying to maintain a healthy diet with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? Here are a few Diet Do’s and Don’ts that can help!
Before diving into the diet, let us first understand what PCOS is and how it affects a person. Did you know PCOS is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders affecting 1 in every 10 women, many of whom do not have a diagnosis. It might also interest you to know that this ratio is increasing with changing modern lifestyle and lack of awareness. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which in a lay man’s language means a hormonal disorder that affects women in their reproductive years.
PCOS is also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome – a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant.
Most women with PCOS grow a number of small cysts or fluid-filled sacs on their ovaries. The cysts are not harmful, but they can lead to an imbalance in the hormone levels. Women with PCOS tend to develop excessive facial hair, oily skin, acne, male pattern balding, type 2 diabetes, depression, irregular menstruation, etc.
Unable to lose those extra pounds? Well, maybe it’s not that tiny piece of cake causing it after all. Women with PCOS are more inclined to be obese or overweight. In addition to the many health conditions associated with PCOS, it is the most common cause of infertility in women – because it can prevent ovulation.
What are the Common Symptoms of PCOS?
After reading the above paragraph, you might be wondering “Okay? What do I do now? How do I know if I have it?” Well, we have the answer right here! Here are a few common symptoms of PCOS which can help you detect it at an early stage:
- Irregular Menstruation cycle: A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women with PCOS get fewer than eight periods a year.
- Heavy bleeding: The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you do get can be heavier than normal.
- Hair growth: More than 70 percent of women with this condition grow hair on their face and body. Excess hair growth is called hirsutism.
- Acne: Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.
- Weight Gain: Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese.
- Male-pattern baldness: Hair on the scalp gets thinner and falls out.
- Headaches: Hormone changes can trigger headaches in some women.
What are the causes of PCOS?
“What did I do to cause this?” Well, nothing in particular.
There is no defined reason for the cause of PCOS but doctors found that if your mother or sister suffers from PCOS, you have a higher chance of suffering from it as well. Besides that, a high level of insulin and high levels of androgen (male hormone) production are all linked with the causes of PCOS.
What are the Do’s and Don’ts
Living with PCOS can be a challenging task, more often than not, you find yourself wondering should I be doing this? Is this healthy for me? So here we are to make this task a little easier by listing a few Do’s & Don’ts of PCOS:
- Follow a Proper Diet Plan- Following a proper diet plan can help with a PCOS condition. Try to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Exercise – Exercising and meditating regularly can help with PCOS. A small 30 minutes walk or a 15 minutes meditation in the morning can help keep the body working. You can also go for lifting some weights as it helps in improving metabolism and insulin levels.
- Sleep – Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and let your body relax. A full 8-hour sleep is recommended for people with PCOS. Getting a proper amount of sleep can help you feel better and refreshed as well as it can help in reducing weight if you are facing the issue of obesity.
- Keep a track of your Period – Keep a thorough track of your menstrual cycle because irregularity in periods or missing periods can be a matter of concern for the people suffering from PCOS. It can lead to endometrial cancer or other major complication and if you keep track of your periods, it will be easier to report such problems to the doctor and it will help the doctor to deal with it more efficiently.
- Eat small meals – Eat small but frequent meals. This helps in building up metabolism.
Bonus Tip: Try to add seafood, flaxseed, and green leafy vegetables in your PCOS diet plan.
- Avoid Smoking & Drinking – When you are suffering from PCOS, you are prone to develop new and severe disease. Smoking and drinking can increase your risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, etc.
- Don’t Skip Meals – People suffering from PCOS need to maintain a proper diet plan. This is essential to maintain a healthy metabolism level.
- Avoid food with high sugar – One of the major symptoms of PCOS is resistance to insulin hence eating sugar-rich food can become an easy cause for the development of type 2 diabetes in women.
- Do not skip the doctor’s Appointment – If you are undergoing treatment for PCOS or infertility, it is very important to get yourself monitored by the doctor at regular intervals or as scheduled by the doctor.
- Do not neglect symptoms of Depression – It is known that women with PCOS are significantly more likely to have problems with depression. If you think you might be depressed and are experiencing symptoms like sadness, difficulty in eating or sleeping weight loss or weight gain, or sleeping and eating too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or make an appointment with a counselor.
Bonus Tip: Try to remove dairy products and red meat from your PCOS diet plan.
What are the treatments for PCOS?
There is as such no proper cure for PCOS because the cysts in your body are functional cysts and can recur again even after they are removed by surgery. There are though, several treatments of PCOS which depends on if an individual is trying to get pregnant or simply trying to reduce the risk of secondary medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. As women who can conceive with PCOS have a higher incidence of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and premature delivery. That being said you can still get pregnant, both naturally or after fertility treatments.
The good news is that women living with PCOS can effectively manage PCOS by adopting a healthy lifestyle, diet and treating the underlying hormonal imbalance naturally. Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve PCOS symptoms. Weight loss can also improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Obviously changing your lifestyle immediately can be a hassle and sometimes become so overwhelming that you might want to give it up altogether. For this very problem, Nirogam has come up with an Ayurvedic Treatment For PCOS/PCOD.
The Nirogam’s PCOS kit treats precise symptoms of PCOS and is specifically designed to cater to women suffering from PCOS.
Few of the things it tries to target are as follows:
- Nirogam’s PCOS kit helps to reduce male hormones in the female body, which is the leading cause of PCOS and it also treats hormonal imbalance
- The kit comes with tablets infused with Ayurvedic herbs which helps in optimization of ovarian functions and also promotes ovulation
- It helps to enhance female reproductive health and fertility
- It also works to improve the endocrine functions – all of which are responsible for PCOS
The kit also comes with Kanchanar Guggulu which is a proven remedy to remove growths, swelling and lumps like fibroid and cysts.
Any diet that helps you lose weight and keeps your metabolism running can help your condition. Although PCOS is a condition where an individual sometimes has to use hit and trial method that aims to manage the symptoms that affect an individual.
If you suffer from PCOS, let us know in the comment section below the different diets plans & home remedies you follow to improve it!