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PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is not just an endocrine disorder, but a combination of metabolic and psychosocial issues. Data shows that 5% to 10% of women 18 to 44 have PCOS.
This complex condition causes a range of symptoms. This includes abnormal periods, acne, obesity, infertility, and hirsutism (excessive growth of coarse hair).
Proper management can help improve the symptoms and avoid some health problems. Here is a guide on how you can manage your PCOS the right way.
Many women have trouble managing their PCOS symptoms. The constant acne breakouts, mood swings, and irregular periods can affect your quality of life and self-esteem.
Here, we compiled a practical guideline showing you exactly how to treat uncomfortable and painful symptoms.
1. Get the Right Medical Therapy
Different medications can help manage PCOS. The best way to manage the condition is to get care based on your individual needs. Consult your doctor about your PCOS symptoms, and they can suggest the ideal treatment approach and management goal.
Metformin for PCOS is often a go-to choice for women with high BMI (body mass index). The medication can help reduce weight, curb androgen levels, restore ovulation, and decrease the odds of gestational diabetes mellitus.
In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, metformin helped reduce weight. Based on the metformin weight loss results, patients noticed an 8 kg (17.6 lbs) greater weight reduction than the placebo group.
It is important to avoid a metformin overdose, so be sure to stick to your prescribed dose.
Clomifene is another medication for PCOS. It can be the first treatment suggested for patients with PCOS who want to get pregnant. The product can treat infertility in patients who don’t ovulate. Letrozole is an alternative to Clomiphene.
Birth control pills are another option. Drugs that contain both progestin and estrogen can manage estrogen and curb androgen production. Regulating hormone abnormalities could manage menstrual bleeding, excess acne, and hair growth.
When a more direct treatment is necessary, doctors could suggest gonadotropin injections. Injectables are used for fertility patients who’ve tried oral medications but didn’t notice any successful results.
2. Make Smarter Food Choices
Some dietary changes can make a world of difference. The food you eat is a key component of managing PCOS. Women with PCOS often have higher insulin levels, and if their body constantly has too high insulin, then their glucose can increase.
For example, eating foods high in sugar can cause insulin resistance, intestinal flora disturbance, chronic inflammation, and increased androgen production.
Studies show that women with PCOS often have a deficiency in vitamins, zinc, magnesium, fiber, calcium, and omega-3s. Making some minor changes to your diet can help change that.
Here is how to eat and drink right with PCOS:
- Choose whole foods. These products are free from preservatives and aren’t packed with artificial sweeteners. You need high-fiber and high-protein foods. You can enjoy veggies, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, etc.
- Limit the refined carbs. Products like white rice, white bread, and other foods can cause an insulin spike.
- Stay well hydrated. Healthy drinks like water, aloe vera, spearmint tea, raspberry leaf tea, fenugreek water, and plum juice are natural products. They can help you avoid dehydration, reduce bloating, and supply the body with the necessary nutrients.
- Get natural probiotics. Probiotic foods like kombucha and kimchi can help with gut health, digestion, and PCOS treatment. They can also curb inflammation and regulate sex hormones like estrogen and androgen.
If you have some vitamin or mineral deficiencies, you can try PCOS supplements. Some of the most popular PCOS supplements include cinnamon, zinc, chromium, and turmeric supplements.
3. Stay Physically Active
Women with PCOS are more prone to high triglycerides and cholesterol. They can also experience increased blood pressure, which could affect their risk of heart problems.
By staying physically fit, you can keep the heart muscle in tip-top shape, thus reducing the odds of cardiovascular complications.
Moderate workouts are recommended for PCOS. This includes swimming, cycling, jogging, and walking. But, to get favorable health outcomes, experts suggest at least 120 min of vigorous exercise per week.
4. Decrease Stress
Stress is strongly associated with PCOS in women. Different forms of stressors exist, such as physical, environmental, and emotional stressors.
Whenever the brain senses something stressful, it triggers a psychological response known as the “fight or flight” response. It promotes the production of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. High androgens are a classic hormonal imbalance with PCOS.
You may not realize that the adrenal glands can create a notable portion of androgen hormones. So, if different types of stressors activate the adrenals, this could lead to an overproduction of androgen hormones.
Both the adrenal glands and ovaries can cause increased androgen levels that cause PCOS symptoms. Therefore, managing stress can help mitigate uncomfortable symptoms.
Some of the most notable stress relievers are:
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Deep breathing exercises
- Spending time in nature and with animals
- Practicing self-care (e.g., taking a bubble bath, lighting candles, getting a massage, doing a hobby, stretching before bed, etc.)
5. Reduce the Excess Weight
Obesity in patients with PCOS can worsen insulin resistance and cause metabolic dysfunction. You can improve the PCOS symptoms by losing 5% of your body weight.
To start with weight loss, try using smaller portions, exercising, eating healthy foods, and eating a well-balanced diet.
Managing PCOS is no easy feat. Although there is no cure for PCOS, a few strategies can help you make significant changes in your overall health and quality of life.
Consult with a specialist to find the best medical therapy that works for you. You can then focus on your dietary choices.
Consuming a well-balanced diet can help you avoid nutrient deficiencies and supply the system with everything it needs to function correctly. Exercising regularly can decrease the odds of heart problems, while curbing stress can reduce the impact of PCOS symptoms. Lastly, don’t forget to maintain a healthy body weight. All of these factors can help control the condition and manage the discomfort.
Ben’s Natural Health is the world’s first high-quality, all-natural, scientifically proven clinical supplement company. Their motto is to combine holistic healing with modern science.
Ben has brought together a team of naturopaths, nutritionists, and medical researchers to help him create real, side-effect-free solutions to serious metabolic health conditions.