PCOS: MORE THAN JUST A MENSTRUAL PROBLEM
Posted By: Stella Pike | October 1, 2021
There are many medical conditions that take time to get diagnosed by the health professionals, but once it does you want to learn more about it, one of those conditions is PCOS. You probably know about PCOS, if you don’t then this article will help you out and if you know then it is better to re-read it again.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is caused due to hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems in women at their childbearing age which affects their health.
The female reproductive system produces estrogen and progesterone hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. It also produces a small amount of androgens (male hormones). If male hormones level is higher in females then it can lead to infertility. Here are three symptoms of PCOS that affects ovaries and ovulation.
- Irregular or skipped periods
- High level of Androgens
- Cysts in ovaries
Common Symptoms of PCOS
Up to 70% of women with PCOS haven’t been diagnosed yet. They only discover it when they have trouble getting pregnant or gained a lot of weight. Here are some common symptoms of PCOS:-
- Irregular periods
- Heavy Bleeding
- Hair Growth
- Weight Gain
- Male Pattern Baldness
- Darkening Patches on the Skin
- Depression and Anxiety
Causes of PCOS
There is no exact reason what causes PCOS, it is believed that it is caused due to high levels of androgens in the body. Insulin resistance, genes and inflammation can be the reason behind a high level of androgens.
- Insulin resistance – In the body when cells cannot produce insulin properly the body demands more insulin, the pancreas creates more insulin which triggers the ovaries to make more male hormones. Another cause of insulin resistance can be due to obesity which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Genes – There is a high chance that PCOS can run in families. Many genes can contribute to the risk of getting syndrome.
- Inflammation – Excessive inflammation in the body leads to PCOS in women. Being overweight can be one of the reasons for getting a high level of inflammation.
Cure for PCOS
Well, there is no cure for PCOS, but with the change in lifestyle, you can control your symptoms. With the combination of a healthy lifestyle and medication, you’ll have no problem controlling PCOS. Two things that can affect diet in PCOS is weight management and insulin resistance. Women with insulin resistance can get pre-diabetes by the age of 40. Following a diet that meets the nutritional value, maintains good health and has good insulin levels can help with PCOS.
Foods to eat for PCOS diagnosed women
There is no specific diet for PCOS. But there are some foods that can be beneficial for women to manage PCOS conditions. Here are three diets that can help to manage the condition:-
- Anti-inflammatory diet – Foods such as berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, extra virgin olive oil, turmeric, kale, spinach, tomatoes, almonds and walnuts may reduce the inflammation symptoms in the body.
- Low glycemic diet – This particular diet does not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods in the body. It includes whole grains, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables and other unprocessed low-carbohydrate foods.
- Dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet – This particular diet will reduce the risk of heart disease and manages PCOS symptoms. Foods such as fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. This diet doesn’t include any kind of high saturated sugar and fat.
The list of other food that you probably want to include in the diet
- Green and red bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans and lentils
- Winter squash
Foods to avoid or limit for PCOS diagnosed women
- Refined carbohydrates – This causes inflammation and bad insulin resistance, so it is better to avoid foods that have refined carbohydrates in them such as pasta noodles, white bread, muffins, sugary desserts etc. A high level of insulin can create many problems for women with PCOS, so it is better to switch to a low glycemic diet.
- Sugary snacks or drinks – Sugar is carbohydrates and avoiding them is the best solution, as sugar contains high insulin and it makes it difficult to lose weight. Food that contains labels named sucrose, dextrose and high fructose corn syrup should be avoided. Sugar is now added even in sodas and juice, so stay away from them is advisable.
- Inflammatory foods – The inflammatory response can cause different symptoms such as swelling, fatigue and headaches. To lower the risk of inflammation in your body the start to avoid foods like Red meat and processed meat such as hotdogs, sausages, luncheon meats, hamburgers, steak etc. It is better to shift to an anti-inflammatory diet if you are suffering from inflammation.
If you or your close ones are suffering from PCOS then it is better to adopt a healthy lifestyle such as eating nutritious foods and being physically active which can help you stay well and strong for many years to come.
It is necessary to exercise or have a physical movement to reduce insulin resistance and shed the intake of unhealthy carbohydrates from your body. Exercising 150 minutes per week is ideal it can be either walking, cycling, dancing or whatever you enjoy.
Yoga and meditation can be big stress relievers for PCOS diagnosed women, these techniques can help to calm one’s mind and let them connect with the body.
Being obese or overweight can lead to pregnancy complications in women, so lower sugar intake and a low-inflammation diet can lead to weight loss. With this women may experience improved ovulation and have a high chance of getting pregnant.
One of the biggest misconceptions women have is that PCOS will go away even after menopause, sorry to rain on your parade but it doesn’t. PCOS is not concerned only about periods but it is a part of big metabolic syndrome. PCOS symptoms such as weight gain, pre-diabetes, diabetes, androgenic symptoms may continue despite the absence of periods which can confuse the diagnosis.
A combination of the right healthy diet, physical exercise, good quality of sleep, stress-free life and use of supplements and medications can help to manage your PCOS symptoms and you can live a long and healthy life.
There are many women out in the world who are suffering from PCOS. If you or your close ones are having this syndrome doesn’t mean you need to be embarrassed about it. Sharing your thoughts and struggles can help someone else who is going through the same.
And remember you are not alone. You will be okay.
The above-listed information is only for educational purposes. The information that is presented in this blog is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, you should not solely rely on this information. Always consult with a professional in the area for any sort of particular needs and circumstances to make any health-related decisions.