You may have heard females asking, ‘Is there any cure for PCOS?’ The answer is no. There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms by making some lifestyle changes, along with the proper medication by your doctor.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome) is a condition seen in women that includes infertility, enlarged ovaries, menstrual problems, high levels of male hormones, excess body hair, acne, and obesity.
The prevalence of PCOS is between 5% and 10% in women between 15 and 44 or during the years when you can have children. Women in their 20s and 30s discovered PCOS when they have difficulties getting pregnant. However, PCOS can occur at any age after puberty.
Causes of PCOS:
PCOS’s exact cause is unknown. Most experts believe that a variety of factors, including genetics, are at work:
- Androgen levels are high– We know androgens as “male hormones,” although all women produce those androgens in small amounts. Androgens regulate male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Androgens regulate male traits, such as male-pattern baldness.
Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens than other women. Higher androgen level in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, as well as cause extra hair growth and acne, both of which are symptoms of PCOS.
- Insulin levels are high– This hormone converts into energy food. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells do not respond to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels rise above normal.
Women having PCOS often have insulin resistance, are overweight, have poor eating habits, lack physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes (type 2).
We can see its effects as:
- Menstrual cycle irregularity: Women with PCOS experience missed periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Their periods may occur every 21 days or more frequently. Some PCOS women experience a pause in their menstruation.
- Excessive hair on the face, chin, or other areas of the body where men have hair. We know this as “hirsutism.” Up to 70% of PCOS women suffer from hirsutism.
- Face, chest, and upper back acne
- Scalp thinning or hair loss are symptoms of male-pattern baldness.
- Gaining weight or having difficulty losing weight
- Skin tags are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.
- Depression: Hormonal changes and symptoms such as unwanted hair growth can have a negative impact on your emotions. Many people develop depression and anxiety because of this.
- Multiple small cysts (Fluid-filled sacs or pockets in an ovary or on its surface) on the ovaries.
Presence of ovarian cysts alone does not make up a diagnosis. Many women with this syndrome don’t have cysts on their ovaries. While others have it.
Therefore, it is very important to consult with your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms,
Medication for every woman will be different, but bringing some lifestyle changes can help you manage your PCOS to a great extent and prevent its complications.
- Exercise: Exercise not only aids in weight loss, but may also lower testosterone levels in the blood.
Most of the females are overweight in this case. Short-term weight loss can help to restore fertility and ovulation, as well as improve insulin resistance.
According to the researchers, intense exercise has the greatest impact on BMI, fitness, and insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
- Mind-body workouts: Exercises improve our mental health too. Exercises that engage both your mind and body can be beneficial. Yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and Pilates are examples of these.
Till now, researchers haven’t identified a specific type of exercise that is best for females with PCOS.
Instead, they claim that many types of exercise can benefit people with PCOS. Regular exercise is the best type of exercise.
Including aerobic exercises like brisk walking, biking, swimming, and other activities can be helpful along with resistance training that increases endurance and muscle strength, such as sit-ups, push-ups, leg squats, and weight lifting.
- Herbs: Two out of five women with PCOS consume herbal medicine. According to a review of scientific research on herbs and PCOS, data shows that herbal medicine may help regulate ovulation and improve fertility.
A study of 122 women with PCOS, who took herbal medicine along with lifestyle modifications, had better symptoms than those who only made lifestyle changes.
A well-balanced diet and at least 150 minutes of exercise per week are some of the lifestyle changes. Cinnamon and licorice (Mulhatti) roots are among the herbal remedies which you can use.
To understand the effects of herbs, we need more research.
- A well-balanced diet: Maintaining a healthy weight, maintaining a well-balanced diet, and maintaining good insulin levels can help people with PCOS feel better.
A PCOS diet should focus on whole grains, fresh produce, and plant-based proteins while limiting sugar, processed foods, and trans fat.
As I mentioned above, every woman is different, so depending on your overall health need and body type, you need to adjust your diet and consult your health care provider from time to time.
You can use this general list as a starting point, but you must consult your dietician, as they will help you or may recommend bringing some changes as part of your specific PCOS diet plan.
- A low glycaemic index (GI) diet: Foods with low GI level means they do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods, such as some carbohydrates. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods are all part of a low-GI diet.
- An anti-inflammatory diet: Anti-inflammatory foods like berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil may help with inflammation-related symptoms like fatigue.
- The DASH diet: Doctors recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet to reduce the risk or impact of heart disease. It may also help with PCOS symptoms. A DASH diet is high in fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
We know PCOS can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycles and make it challenging to conceive, along with other serious health issues. Lifestyle interventions are frequently the first treatments that doctors recommend for PCOS, and they often work amazingly.
So implementing basic lifestyle changes will help you reduce their symptoms and improve your quality of life and make you feel mentally and physically active, fit and stable.
This is enough for today as I don’t want to overwhelm you with tons of information, so I will bring more juicy information next time.
Till then, keep smiling and cheering.
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