PCOS is a condition in which women have an imbalance of reproductive hormones; often, the ovaries produce an excess of the male hormone, testosterone, and a lack of the female hormone, estrogen. To be officially diagnosed as PCOS, women will likely have at least two of the following three symptoms, according to Dr. Gersh: high levels of the androgen, or male hormone, testosterone which often leads to the trademark symptoms of excess body hair, or Hirsutism, and cystic acne, irregular or painful menstrual cycles, or tiny cysts, that often only show up via ultrasound. Ironically, having the actual ovarian cysts is not always a key symptom of the condition. Because of their weight, PCOS patients often have higher rates of sleep apnea, joint pain, and infertility as well. Hormonal birth control is one of the most common treatment options, aiming to regulate the hormonal imbalance at the root of PCOS. Other prescription drugs, like Metformin, which may help the body process insulin and lose weight, or Spironolactone, which may reduce excess hair growth due to testosterone, are also often used to treat PCOS. However, all nutritional and medical experts seem to agree that healthy lifestyle changes; specifically, improving diet and exercising, can significantly impact the treatment path in a positive way. Maintaining a balanced diet and therefore a healthy weight can be key in managing PCOS symptoms, by improving the way the body processes glucose, and potentially improving fertility, according to experts.
And you might be surprised to find out that more women are dealing with it than you think. According to the Office on Women’s Health, polycystic ovary syndrome affects one in 10 women of childbearing age, with many women finding out they have it in their 20s and 30s, but it can happen at any age after puberty. While there is no cure for PCOS, there are ways to combat the symptoms. Managing stress is another way to control symptoms—but we know that “trying to relax” is easier said than done. Getting enough sleep is important to treating symptoms, too. But healthy eating can play a big role when dealing with PCOS. Eating a well-balanced diet made up primarily of real, whole foods is an effective strategy for weight loss. Getting regular exercise can also help not only with weight loss but with reducing inflammation and insulin resistance,” adds Rueven. So what exactly should you eat and avoid if you have PCOS? We asked the experts. But keep in mind that you’ll want to consult your doctor to come up with a treatment that’s right for you.
Ground roasted cocoa in particular can totally transform your belief that you must have coffee in the mornings. No matter what diet you are undertaking, green leafy veg is a good call. Prebiotic foods are high in certain kinds of fiber or resistant starch which provide the energy and carbon source needed for our microbiome to flourish. The intestinal microbiome is regulated by diet in a novel primate model of polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS. Eating more fat is the other side to the low carbohydrate coin. Found in just about anything made from wheat, gluten is a protein that for some reason is particularly problematic for women with PCOS. Relationships between diet-related changes in the gut microbiome and cognitive flexibility. A study found that obese women who followed a specially-designed DASH diet for 8 weeks saw a reduction in insulin resistance and belly fat compared to those that did not follow the same diet. Let your intuition guide you. This amount is hardly worth worrying about given how healthy milk fat is see Step 7 if this sounds like crazy-talk. The right PCOS diet foods can heal your most challenging symptoms.