PCOS or often known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is becoming more and more common in the US. Almost 12% of the population of females at a reproductive age suffer from this complex disease. If we talk about numbers, 5 million ovulating women suffer from PCOS around the country. Doctors say that this is an irreversible health condition that can only be managed by making relevant lifestyle changes.
Many people think that only weight-related issues can trigger PCOS, but this is nothing but far from the truth. Most women suffer from PCOS due to:
- Genes (if your mother, aunts, or grandmother had it, you could have it too)
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Sedentary lifestyle
Initially, you may feel a disturbance in your period. This is one of the initial symptoms. However, you need to get yourself checked by an OBGYN to confirm the diagnosis. They will perform a pelvic ultrasound to determine the condition of your uterus. Women with polycystic ovaries can have a single cyst in the ovary or multiple that completely cover them. It depends on the complexity of your case.
Other than changes in your cycle, most women go through a life-changing phase with the following conditions:
- Difficulty maintaining a regular period.
- Difficulty losing weight quickly.
- Having an insulin-resistant bloodstream that leads to prediabetes and type-2 diabetes.
- Problems conceiving a child.
- Excessive blood loss (Abnormal bleeding).
- Stress and depression.
- Thinning of hairline
- Excessive facial hair
- Deepening of voice
- Unnecessary and extreme cravings for certain foods
Multiple ways can help you manage your PCOS in a much better way. Doctors prescribe medication, but that is only a temporary fix. You may want to live a healthy lifestyle, start a family or control your condition. Here are some tips for managing PCOS in a much better way:
Women diagnosed with PCOS need to understand that their body functions differently than a woman without PCOS. Eating the right food while avoiding processed carbs and fats will help you get down numbers on the scale while regulating your hormonal system. More than half of PCOS-diagnosed women suffer from obesity which can lead to further health complications.
The secret to successfully managing this condition lies in unprocessed whole foods. Eat foods that are unprocessed and in their most natural state. You should have leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet. Eating whole foods will regulate your blood sugar.
Carbs are also an essential part of your diet if you have PCOS, but you need to remember that they can impact energy and hormones. When choosing a carb, we suggest that you opt for healthier variants like oats, multi-grain bread, or cashew flour instead of white flour. Avoid starchy carbs like potatoes.
A protein-rich diet will help you reduce the effects of cysts and boost fertility while giving your body adequate mass to make up for lost blood. Lean meats like poultry and fish have enough protein to help you manage the hormone levels.
An inflamed uterus is quite familiar with PCOS. Some women also suffer from severe inflammation due to an unhealthy diet. Therefore, adding anti-inflammatory foods like nuts, leafy greens, and fruits can help you get over the inflammation.
Abnormal bleeding or constant bleeding for a long time is usual in PCOS. They are a continual reminder that your body is not ovulating correctly. With excessive blood loss, most women suffer from anemia even before giving birth. Adding iron-rich foods like spinach, broccoli, and eggs to your diet will help you maintain normal hemoglobin levels. You also need magnesium from healthy sources like cashew nuts.
Many of us suffer from indigestion or constipation, so adding healthy fibers like lentils, avocados, broccoli will help you maintain healthy bowel movements.
Reducing caffeine intake will improve your estrogen levels while lowering stress. You can boost energy with decaf drinks like green tea, cinnamon tea, or any other caffeine-free variant. Soft drinks are not only rich in processed sugar, but they also have a large amount of caffeine. One word about soft drinks is to avoid them altogether.
If your body has major deficiencies, the doctor may suggest dietary supplements. Make sure that you don’t take them without a proper prescription. Zinc, iron, turmeric, cod liver, Intosil, and chromium are prescribed medications.
We understand that it is a bit tough for women with PCOS to manage a healthy weight. Insulin resistance makes it harder to break the fatty tissue. However, being difficult does not mean that it is impossible. Managing a healthy weight with PCOS is possible with a healthy diet.
Now your body needs load of nutrition, so getting on a fad diet like keto is not recommended. If you want to come on a healthy weight, we suggest a gradual weight loss with dietary options like:
- Mediterranean diet
- Low-calorie diet
- High protein diet
- Non-dairy diet
Since your body is resistant to insulin, you need to exercise to burn that unabsorbed sugar and extra fat. Some exercises that you should include in your daily routine are:
- Low-impact activities such as walking, jogging, and meditation.
- Yoga and Pilates.
- Strength training.
Sleep reduces stress and helps to control cortisol, which helps to balance your hormones. Sleep problems, on the other hand, are twice as prevalent.
Women with PCOS must improve their sleep quality by doing the following:
- Aim for a minimum of eight to 10 hours of sleep every night.
- Establish a consistent nighttime routine.
- Avoid going to bed straight after a heavy meal.
- Have a cleanroom that is ideal for a stress-free night of sleep.
- Do not use your phone before bedtime.
- Read a book or perform a relaxing activity before sleeping to release endorphins.
- Stay active throughout the day.
- Do not take any stress to bed with you.
- Overworking may disrupt the quality of your sleep, so only work according to your stamina and capabilities.
- Eat healthy snacks like cashews instead of processed sugars if you are up late with cravings. You can easily buy cashews online and keep them stored.
- Having an uncompromising, rigid sleeping schedule.
If you are contemplating any of the natural therapy options for PCOS listed above, consult with your doctor to develop a treatment strategy. While herbal supplements and other treatments can aid PCOS therapy, they are not a replacement for a personalized, ongoing discussion with your doctor about your symptoms.
This is extremely important, especially if you are planning to start a family soon.
- Your doctor will check the condition of cysts and evaluate the severity of PCOS.
- They will determine a plan that is best for you.
- Doctors will understand your condition better and prescribe any necessary medication.
- They can help you follow a diet plan and stay on top of your health.
PCOS has affected many women across the world. If you want to improve your condition, making these relevant and mandatory changes to your overall lifestyle is extremely important.