How does diet impact PCOS symptoms?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health condition that affects up to 12% of women in the US. It may lead to weight gain, acne, erratically timed periods, and unsightly hair growth. Although there is no known treatment for PCOS, maintaining a balanced diet might help you manage some of the symptoms.
What is PCOS?
A hormonal disorder called PCOS affects around 10% of women in the US. It may result in irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and other issues. It happens due to a hormonal imbalance that may result in hairloss, acne, ovarian cysts, and excessive hair growth on the face and chest, among other things. Additionally, androgen levels in PCOS-afflicted women are greater, which sometimes may lead to feelings of rage or aggression.
How is the body affected by PCOS?
PCOS is a hormonal condition that has a variety of physical effects. It may affect the liver, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, and adrenal glands, among other organs.
On the outside of every ovary, cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop. They are also referred to as polycystic ovaries because, while they seem to be cysts on an ultrasound, they are not. Even while these cysts are often not harmful, some of them might grow to be painful or bleed if they break open.
The primary symptom of PCOS is irregular menstruation. You may experience irregular menstruation every month or only occasionally; and sometimes you may skip entire months. Other times, you may experience difficulty conceiving because of elevated levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which makes it challenging for an egg released during your period to be fertilized by sperm before being shed from your body once more the following month when another cycle starts.
Do I have PCOS?
There is no one test to identify PCOS since it is a complicated disorder. You could experience some but not all of the symptoms of PCOS since they differ from person to person. Consult your physician about the potential causes and potential treatments of any reproductive issues you may be having, such as irregular periods or trouble becoming pregnant. In order to diagnose PCOS, your doctor may additionally suggest blood tests that measure hormone levels.
Does nutrition affect the symptoms of PCOS?
Diet may help you manage your illness and lessen symptoms even though there is no known treatment for PCOS. It’s crucial to keep in mind that every woman with PCOS has a unique experience, so what works for one woman may not work for another.
Menstrual abnormalities (irregular or nonexistent periods) are the most prevalent sign of PCOS. Diet may aid in weight loss and lower insulin resistance, which may enhance ovulation in certain obese or diabetic women with PCOS. Additionally, studies indicate that consuming meals like fruits and vegetables might help decrease acne by lowering inflammation.
A balanced diet may assist with certain polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms. A healthy diet may have more protein and fat, but it may also contain more carbs. There is no one diet that works for everyone. In order to adjust your eating habits appropriately, it’s critical to be aware of your body’s demands at any given moment.
Gaining weight and PCOS
PCOS symptoms such as weight gain may be difficult to treat. The good news is that you have a lot of options for helping to manage your weight and enhance your general health.
Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight since it helps your body burn off extra calories. If you’re not accustomed to working out, start off slowly and increase your intensity as your fitness level rises. On days when the weather allows, try walking or cycling; these sports don’t call for specialized gear or training and are simple methods for individuals with PCOS symptoms (such insulin resistance) or those who are overweight or obese to begin engaging in regular physical exercise.
Consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might help women with polycystic ovarian syndrome acquire the essential nutrients they need to reduce their insulin levels. People who consume more of this kind of fiber in their diets often have lower blood pressure than those who consume less of it.
Stick to a low-glycemic diet
You may be unsure of what a low-glycemic diet is or how it might assist you in controlling PCOS symptoms. Focusing on meals that don’t create sharp rises in blood sugar levels is known as a low-glycemic diet. White bread and pasta, sugary snacks like candy bars and sodas, starchy vegetables like potatoes (which are technically a fruit but are often referred to as vegetables), fruit juices with added sugar or syrups, and white pasta and bread all have high glycemic loading.
Foods with low glycemic loading, on the other hand, include whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, legumes like kidney beans, nuts like walnuts or almonds, and, if at all feasible, olive oil in place of butter when cooking at home for better heart health! While avoiding highly processed foods containing trans fats, which are known to contribute to the development of heart disease later in life, the objective here is to balance out these types of carbs by pairing them with protein-rich foods like lean meats like fish and seafood that contain healthy fats like omega 3.
Increasing Protein and Fat Consumption to Lower Insulin Resistance
One of the primary reasons for insulin resistance, which also contributes to PCOS, may be decreased by eating more protein and fat. In fact, it has been shown that consuming a high-protein diet increases ovulation and fertility in women with PCOS.
Eating lean meats like chicken breast and fish (particularly salmon) at least twice a day is the greatest method to improve your protein consumption. In order to avoid overeating, you should aim for roughly 30 to 40 grams of fiber per day by selecting whole grains over processed ones and include beans or lentils in your meals whenever you can. This will help you feel filled for longer.
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for controlling hormones like testosterone and for preventing inflammation brought on by oxidative stressors like excessive sugar intake or long-term stress. If it’s difficult for you to reach these needs via diet alone, consider taking fish oil supplements.
If you have PCOS, a balanced diet is particularly crucial since it may sometimes aid with symptom relief and even increase fertility. Try following a low-glycemic diet or increasing your intake of protein and fat if you’re searching for a strategy that works with your body rather than against it.