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An Unconventional Guide to PCOS

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PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women during their reproductive years (ages 15 to 44). PCOS is a condition that affects a woman’s ovaries, which are reproductive organs that generate estrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle. Normally, the male hormones termed androgens are also produced in modest amounts by the ovaries. The ovaries produce eggs that are fertilized by sperm from a man. In short, the polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterized by:

  • cysts in the ovaries
  • high levels of male hormones
  • irregular or skipped periods

Many tiny, fluid-filled sacs form inside the ovaries as a result of PCOS. The term “polycystic” refers to a person who has a lot of cysts. Each of these sacs is a follicle, which contains an immature egg. Ovulation is never triggered because the eggs are never developed enough. Ovulation deficiency affects estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH level. The levels of progesterone are lower than typical, while the levels of androgen are higher than usual. Extra male hormones cause the menstrual cycle to be disrupted, resulting in fewer cycles for women with PCOS.

Causes of PCOS

  • Excess insulin is a problem. Insulin is a hormone generated by the pancreas that helps cells to consume sugar, which is your body’s main source of energy. Your blood sugar levels may rise and your body may create more insulin if your cells grow resistant to the effects of insulin. Excess insulin may boost testosterone production, making ovulation problematic.
  • Low-grade inflammation. Inflammation at a low level. The synthesis of chemicals by white blood cells to fight infection is referred to as this phrase. Women with PCOS have a form of low-grade inflammation that causes their polycystic ovaries to create androgens, which can cause heart and blood vessel problems, according to research.
  • Excess androgen. Hirsutism and acne are caused by unusually high quantities of androgen produced by the ovaries.

Common symptoms of PCOS

  • Irregular periods. The uterine lining is not shed every month due to a lack of ovulation. PCOS causes some women to have fewer than eight periods per year, or none at all.
  • Heavy bleeding. Because the uterine lining develops over a longer length of time, your periods may be heavier than usual.
  • Hair growth. Hair grows on the face and body of more than 70% of women with this disorder, including the back, belly, and chest. Hirsutism is the term for excessive hair growth.
  • Acne. Male hormones can induce breakouts on the face, chest, and upper back by making the skin oilier than usual.
  • Weight gain. Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity.
  • Male pattern baldness. Hair on the scalp gets thinner and may fall out.
  • Darkening of the skin. In bodily creases such as the neck, groin, and under the breasts, dark patches of skin can appear.
  • Hormone changes can trigger headaches in some women

Complications of PCOS

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression, anxiety and eating disorders
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer)

Dietary and lifestyle tips to treat PCOS

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression, anxiety and eating disorders
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer)

Dietary and lifestyle tips to treat PCOS

PCOS treatment usually begins with a change in lifestyle, such as weight loss, nutrition, and exercise.

Losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. Weight loss can also:

  • improve cholesterol levels
  • lower insulin
  • reduce heart disease and diabetes risks

Any diet that aids in weight loss can aid in the treatment of your disease. Some diets, on the other hand, may have advantages over others.

  • Low carbohydrate diets are helpful for both weight loss and reducing insulin levels, according to studies comparing PCOS diets.
  • A low glycemic index (low GI) diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains regulates the menstrual cycle better than a traditional weight-loss diet.
  • Women with PCOS can reduce weight by doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least three times a week, according to a few studies. Exercise-induced weight loss enhances ovulation and insulin levels.
  • When exercise is combined with a balanced diet, it is even more helpful. Diet with exercise aids weight loss more effectively than either intervention alone.

Process of Seed Cycling:

Seed cycling, often known as a seed rotation diet, is a natural remedy for balancing women’s hormones. It is thought to be particularly useful in the treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS) and irregular menstruation cycles.

It is actually used to remedy infertility and symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, etc. However, there is no scientific proof or approval to back this up.

Women must consume 2 tablespoons of seeds such as pumpkin, flax, chia, sunflower, and sesame seeds when using the seeds cycling method. These seeds have hormone-regulatory qualities and can aid in the body’s maintenance of oestrogen and progesterone levels.

Raw and freshly ground seeds are ideal. You may also include them into other foods, such as oatmeal, milkshakes or cornflakes.

Foods to Eat and Avoid:

Food to Eat:Food to avoid:

High-fiber fruits and vegetables (apples, plums, broccoli, cauliflower)

Leafy greens

Root veggies

Red berries and grapes

Beans, legumes, lentils

Whole-grain or multigrain bread, crackers, pasta, tortillas

Brown rice, quinoa

Oats, rye, barley

Flax, chia, and sunflower seeds

Cottage cheese

Lean chicken or turkey (without the skin)

Fatty fish (salmon, tuna)

Veggie burgers

Eggs, egg whites, egg substitutes

Low-fat and Greek yogurt

Non-dairy milk alternatives (almond, rice)

Avocado

Hummus

Coconut and coconut oil

Nuts and nut butters

Olive oil, flax seed oil

Fresh herbs and spices (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger)

Dark chocolate (in moderation)

Green tea

Bread, baked goods, crackers, pasta, and cereals made from refined white flour

Starchy vegetables (white potatoes, corn, peas)

White rice

Red meat

Full-fat dairy

Processed meat (lunch meat, hot dogs, sausage, bacon)

Fried food, fast food

Potato chips, microwave popcorn, salted pretzels

Dried fruit

Packaged snack foods

Frozen meals and snacks

Artificial sweeteners

Granola, cereal bars

Margarine, shortening, lard

Instant noodles, packaged pasta/soup mix

Bouillon cubes, broth, stock

Commercial salad dressing, marinades, seasonings

Milk/chocolate, candy

Ice cream, pudding, custard

Pastries, cake, cookies, pies

Soda

Sugary fruit juice

Energy drinks

Gluten and wheat

Soy products (tofu, soy milk)

Medical treatment

Birth control pills and other drugs can help treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne by regulating the menstrual period and regulating the menstrual cycle.

Birth control

Taking progestin daily can:

  • restore a normal hormone balance
  • regulate ovulation
  • relieve symptoms like excess hair growth
  • protect against endometrial cancer. These hormones come in a pill, patch, or vaginal ring.

Metformin

Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet) is a type 2 diabetes medication. It also aids in the treatment of PCOS by lowering insulin levels. Metformin, when combined with dietary and activity adjustments, promotes weight reduction, reduces blood sugar, and restores a normal menstrual cycle better than diet and exercise alone, according to one study.

Clomiphene

Clomiphene (Clomid) is a fertility drug that can help women with PCOS get pregnant. It’s important to note that, as you’re discussing family planning, to keep in mind that clomiphene increases the chances for twins and other multiple births.

Surgery

If alternative therapies fail to increase fertility, surgery may be a possibility. Ovarian drilling is a technique that uses a laser or a thin heated needle to create microscopic holes in the ovary to restore regular ovulation.

Dn.Sadia Fatima is Director and Co-Founder of SDNO. She is a great nutrition entrepreneur and leader. Her actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. She can be reached at @nutracare21_.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended as sound medical advice for your particular illness; rather, it is meant to increase awareness of common health issues. Before implementing any recommendations made in this article or choosing a treatment plan based on its contents, you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional.

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