Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder wherein the ovaries get enlarged and small cysts are formed on the outer edges. PCOS results in an infrequent or prolonged and irregular menstruation cycle. The exact cause of PCOS is still a mystery but doctors believe that high levels of male hormones result in hormonal disbalance, and the ovaries do not produce eggs normally. Studies show that up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. It, therefore, becomes necessary to consult a nutritionist for PCOS so that your diet can be planned accordingly.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the Pancreas. Sometimes the pancreas secretes more insulin that triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones and results in various health issues.
Here are the common symptoms of PCOS:
Hair growth –
PCOS is characterized by hair growth on the face and the body in about 70% of women with this condition. In some cases, hair growth is seen on the back, belly, and chest too.
PCOS results in obesity in most women.
Heavy Bleeding –
Women suffering from PCOS have heavier periods than normal as the uterus lining builds up for a longer time.
Irregular Periods –
The lining of the uterus becomes thicker due to improper ovulation. This results in irregular and infrequent periods.
The excess production of male hormones results in oily skin causing breakouts on the upper chest, face, and neck.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose PCOS in women having at least two of the following symptoms:
- Ovarian cysts
- Irregular menstruation cycle
- High Androgen levels.
Apart from these, the doctor assesses other conditions such as hair growth, acne, weight gain, etc. Blood tests along with a pelvic examination are performed and ultrasound is done t look for abnormal follicles.
What kind of diet and lifestyle changes should be incorporated into the daily schedule by women with PCOS?
PCOS treatment begins with weight loss. Weight loss immediately reduces the symptoms, and you start feeling more energetic. Weight loss, in turn, improves your cholesterol level, lowers insulin, and also reduces the risk of Diabetes and heart disease.
A low carbohydrate diet is recommended for women with PCOS as it reduces weight and lowers the insulin level as well. A low glycemic index diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains regulates your menstrual cycle better than the regular weight loss diet plan. Needless to say, the combination of a nutritious diet and regular exercise reduces most of your health-related problems including PCOS.
PCOS can disrupt your menstrual cycle and make it difficult for you to conceive. High levels of male hormones result in hair growth on the face, neck, and chest that may become a cause of embarrassment. Healthy Lifestyle interventions are the first thing that the best dietician for PCOS suggests in such cases. This shows immediate results as weight loss reduces the symptoms of PCOS. It is advisable to make changes in your healthy lifestyle and remain healthy, rather than depend on medication. Think it over!