Identify PCOS/PCOD symptoms and take charge of your reproductive health
WHAT IS PCOS:
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a hormonal and reproductive disorder that is being seen in more and more women today. One in five (20%) Indian women suffer from PCOS/PCOD in their reproductive years. Surplus quantities of the hormones androgen (male hormone) and insulin are produced in this scenario, resulting in enlarged ovaries with fluid-filled sacs or follicles that surround the egg, more commonly known as cysts. Cysts can cause
Irregular (infrequent, painful or prolonged) periods, and consequently, fertility problems if left untreated.
Excessive facial hair
Female pattern baldness
Abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood
In some cases, women who conceive can develop complications like gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders, sleep apnea or anxiety.
Despite being a common disease, awareness regarding PCOS is not very high as culturally it is considered taboo to discuss menstruation in India. Early detection and treatment can help manage the symptoms and in lucky cases, reverse it.
Studies reflect that insulin resistance is closely linked to PCOS. Upto 70 percent women with PCOS/PCOD are known to have insulin resistance. Upto 80 percent of women with PCOS develop obesity. Specialists have also linked chronic low-grade inflammation to PCOS. Read our blog on inflammation for more details.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE PCOS
Bet you know this already, but here is a reminder. Specialists believe that dietary and lifestyle changes should be the first line of treatment as they can help fellow Cysters a great deal. A combined treatment plan of medications with lifestyle alterations can help mitigate the effects of this disease. Reducing 5-10 percent of your existing weight, and losing some abdominal fat can work in favour of effectiveness of medicines. It may restore healthy ovulation too.
Here is how you can approach PCOS through diet and exercis
AVOID these dietary triggers that incite oxidative stress and inflammatory response.
Simple high GI carbohydrates
Fried and processed foods
DO the following to aid you in your goal
Consume fermented food to support good gut health
Replace simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates
Gentle exercises are good to begin with
If you rely on ibuprofen for symptom management like painful periods - consider taking regular supplements
Primarily a genetic occurrence, medications prescribed usually fall under the category of birth control pills, diabetes medications or fertility treatments. Maintaining a log of your parameters and how certain foods and exercises react for you, is a good start. Regular screening can guide you regarding the success of your current treatment plan and show you the way for future. Lastly, don't forget to create a social support network for your mental well-being.