PCOS or Polycystic ovarian syndrome is quite common these days among women of child bearing age. Those suffering from PCOS have an estrogen and progesterone imbalance. Due to this imbalance there is a growth of cysts in the ovaries that leads to issues with the menstrual cycle, the women’s fertility, looks and also cardiac function.
So many women worldwide suffer from PCOS. According to medical professionals, women have higher chances of developing the condition if their mother and sister too have suffered from it.
It is of prime importance to consult your doctor but there are some diet and lifestyle changes that can help in bringing down the severity of PCOS symptoms.
Changes To Manage PCOS
1) Balance protein and carb intake
Excess production of the hormone androgen is a contributing factor to PCOS. This affects the development and release of eggs when a woman ovulates. Too much of insulin is linked to the above normal androgen levels.
Consuming equal amounts of protein and carbs helps in keeping your insulin levels even and thereby maintaining a healthy hormonal balance. The type of carbs you eat are also an important factor. Consume more of wholegrain or sprouted grain products as they contain more protein and fibre. Avoid refined flours and white rice as they spike insulin levels without having any nutrients to offer.
To manage PCOS, you need fibre as it slows down the digestion of sugars in the body. It brings down the severity of an insulin spike and promotes the healthy metabolism of estrogen, which lowers androgen levels.
2) Choose food wisely
Consume organic animal proteins as much as possible because commercial products contain high amounts of added growth hormones (estrogens). This can turn out to be very damaging if you have PCOS.
Be careful of endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA in your water and food. They are often found in plastic containers and wraps. Studies show that endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause symptoms similar to the ones that occur with PCOS.
3) Eat food low on GI and GL
Low GI or Low Glycemic Index foods are carbs that get absorbed slowly by the body and hence do not cause a dramatic spike followed by a subsequent drop in blood sugar levels. GL or Glycemic Load refers to the amount of food consumed and the way it affects the blood sugar levels
Reduce eating foods with high GI such as refined sugars, simple starches, white bread and processed foods. This way your blood sugar will be balanced and there will be less of cravings and mood swings. Also, the hormone androgen gets stimulated with high blood sugar, so a diet low in GI will keep things in check.
4) Stay active
To treat PCOS, you need to exercise. It improves insulin sensitivity improves metabolism and helps shedding excess weight which might be due to hormone imbalances. You should do a variety of exercises right from aerobics to resistance training. However, don’t go over-board with exercises as it can irritate your PCOS even further. Brisk walks, light weight lifting, Pilates and yoga are apt. Carry out 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week.
5) Reduce coffee
According to health experts, caffeine intensifies PCOS. A study shows that drinking 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day increases estrogen by 70%. This can affect hormonal balance significantly.
Manage your PCOS well by following the right kind of diet and lifestyle.