Foods to eat or avoid in PCOS problem?

Did you know PCOS affects around one in every five (20%) Indian women? If not treated in a reasonable time, the disorder might have major health consequences.

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that can affect women during their reproductive years. It may have an impact on your chances of having a child. It can also do the following:

  • Stop your periods or make them unpredictable
  • Acne and uninvited body and facial hair growth
  • Increase your chances of developing additional health issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure

PCOS was first identified in 1935. Even now, unfortunately, there is a general lack of understanding of the ailment in India, and it sometimes goes undiscovered for years. It is estimated that approximately 10 million women worldwide are affected by this health problem.

It is possible to treat your symptoms with medication. It is even possible to bear a child. Although You might have to go through treatment to improve your fertility. Cysts on the ovaries occur in certain women with PCOS. That is why it is referred to as "polycystic." However, the term is deceptive because many women with PCOS do not have cysts.

Your reproductive hormones are out of balance if you have PCOS. This might cause ovarian difficulties, such as delayed periods or not getting it at all. It may also cause heavy bleeding during periods. Some women complain of scanty periods. Most Women with PCOS complain of unbearable pain during or before periods.

Your body produces hormones to cause certain events to occur. Some have an impact on your menstrual cycle and are linked to your ability to have a baby. Hormones that contribute to PCOS include:

  • Androgens: They are commonly referred to as male hormones, though women also have them. Women who have PCOS have this hormone in rising portions
  • Insulin: This hormone regulates your blood sugar levels. If you have PCOS, your body may not respond to insulin as it should.
  • Progesterone: Your body may not produce enough of this hormone if you have PCOS. You may miss your periods for an extended length of time or have difficulty anticipating when they will arrive.

Missed, irregular, infrequent, or prolonged periods are the most prevalent PCOS symptoms. Excess androgens can induce hair loss, hair growth in undesirable areas (such as the face), and acne. Other signs and symptoms include:

  1. Blackened skin 
  2. Excessive skin around the neck or armpits
  3. Weight gain
  4. Pelvic pain
  5. Mood shifts

There is no particular or specific cause of PCOS. Even Doctors are still unaware of all the factors that may cause PCOS. PCOS can be genetic.

If your sister or mother has PCOS, you are more likely to have it as well. It could also be related to issues that cause your body to create an excessive amount of insulin, which might damage your ovaries and their capacity to ovulate (or release eggs). 

According to a study conducted by the AIIMS, department of endocrinology and metabolism, approximately 20-25 per cent of Indian women of reproductive age have PCOS. While 60% of women with PCOS are overweight, 35-50% have a fatty liver. Approximately 70% have insulin resistance, 60-70% have high levels of testosterone, and 40-60% have glucose intolerance.

There is no single test that can diagnose PCOS. Your doctor will begin by inquiring about your symptoms and medical history, followed by a physical assessment and, if necessary, a pelvic exam. They may run blood tests to assess your hormone levels, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. An ultrasound may detect cysts in your ovaries, examine for malignancies, and measure the lining of your uterus.

Treatment will be determined by your symptoms, age, and intention of becoming pregnant. If you're overweight, simply decreasing 5% to 10% of your body weight can help you feel better. It may also increase the efficacy of your drugs and your fertility. Your doctor may recommend that you use the diabetes medication metformin (Glucophage) to reduce insulin resistance, regulate ovulation, and aid in weight loss.

If you do not intend to become pregnant, your doctor may prescribe hormonal birth control, such as a skin patch or a pill. 

These medications may help reduce your risk of endometrial cancer, regulate your periods, clear up acne, and reduce excess body hair. Fertility medicines can assist your ovaries release eggs if you wish to get pregnant.

But it has been seen that our body builds resistance to the drugs leading to a high powered drug. And this pattern continues which slowly ruins our internal system.

But do you know that there is a simple way to control your PCOS or atleast the symptoms? Changing your diet slightly may also help you get over PCOS. We are presenting you with a list of food items that you should eat and should not eat if you’ve PCOS.

Food that you should include in your diet:

  1.  Greens: Whatever the problem is, the solutions are always leafy veggies. Eat a good amount of greens every day.
  2. Healthy Fats: Fat is not your foe! There are numerous healthy fats that you may include in your diet, ranging from avocados to oily fishes, and these are crucial for a diet with PCOS.
  3. Berries and Nuts: They are all very important for a healthy diet in any situation, if you have PCOS they take on an even bigger significance.
  4. Green Tea: It doesn’t only help you with PCOS but helps you to calm down and build a strong metabolism.
  5. Whole grains: Women with PCOS are four significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and whole grains include a lot of fibre, which can help you manage your insulin levels.

Food to avoid during PCOS:

  1. Processed Food: Processed foods have a higher Glycemic Index (GI), which is connected to insulin production and diabetes.
  2. Dairy: Insulin structure and functioning in your body, and women with PCOS have considerably greater levels of IGF-1 than other people. The IGF-1 contained in cow's milk products has the same structure as human IGF-1 and hence raises these levels in your body!
  3. Unhealthy fats or Junk Food: We've already established that 'good fats' can help with PCOS control, and the opposite is the case for 'bad fats.'
  4. Soy Products: Women with PCOS have higher-than-normal estrogen levels, which is referred to as estrogen dominance. Soy products have been demonstrated to raise estrogen levels, which is beneficial for people who have low estrogen levels but can be harmful to people who have PCOS or other estrogen dominating diseases.
  5. Gluten: Although having this illness does not automatically make you gluten sensitive, many women with the illness are recommended to eliminate it from their diet when considering the various foods to eat with PCOS. This is due to the fact that gluten can promote inflammation, which can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing diabetes.

So, if you’re someone who has PCOS and not willing to take medicines, give this a go. Although in severe cases, you will have to take the help of medications but these small changes will only help your meds to work better. Do not worry at all, you’ll be fine. We are rooting for you!


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