Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Disease is a common hormonal imbalance condition which has plagued a large number of women of reproductive ages around the globe. The word “Polycystic” means “many cysts”, where many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries. These sacs are actually follicles (functional unit of ovaries), each one containing an immature egg. The eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation. The lack of ovulation alters levels of hormones – estrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH. Estrogen and Progesterone (female hormones) levels are lower than usual, while Androgen levels (male hormones) are higher than usual. Extra male hormones disrupt the menstrual cycle, so women with PCOS get fewer periods than usual. Many women who have PCOS don’t have cysts on their ovaries, so “Polycystic” can be misleading. You might have cysts and you might not.
Causes of PCOS:
We don’t really understand what causes PCOS, though we do know that it has a significant hereditary component and is often transmitted from mother to daughter. We also know that the characteristic polycystic ovary emerges when a state of an ovulation persists for a length of time. Patients with Polycystic Ovary have persistently elevated levels of androgens and estrogens, which set up a vicious cycle.
Obesity can aggravate PCOD because fatty tissues are hormonally active and they produce estrogen which disrupts ovulation. Overactive adrenal glands can also produce excess androgens. While the exact cause of this is still relatively undefined, excess production of male hormone Androgen & lower progesterone are both the causes and effects of this.
Symptoms of PCO𝗦 include:
- Irregular Periods – Adults should have at least 9 periods a year. But your menstrual cycle intervals are longer than 35 days or you might have heavy bleeding. Some women have no periods also.
- Weight Gain – About half of women with PCOS struggle with weight gain (usually on upper body and abdomen) or have a hard time losing weight.
- Excess facial and/or body hair (hirsutism). You might have unwanted hair growing in places such as on your face or chin, breasts, stomach or thumbs and toes.
- Thinning of Hair or Hair loss – Women with PCOS might see thinning hair on their head, which could worsen in middle age.
- Acne or oily skin- Because of hormone changes related to PCOS, you might develop pimples and oily skin. (You can have these skin problems without PCOS, of course)
- Infertility – PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility or difficulty in conceiving due to lack of ovulation.
- Sleep Apnoea (A sleep disorder), depression, Headache.
𝗛𝗢𝗪 𝗔 𝗗𝗜𝗘𝗧, 𝗘𝗫𝗘𝗥𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗘 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗟𝗜𝗙𝗘𝗦𝗧𝗬𝗟𝗘 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗦 𝗖𝗔𝗡 IMPROVE 𝗖𝗢𝗦?
The PCOS symptoms can be managed and hopefully, improved through diet and exercise.
1) Regular exercise mainly resistance training boosts insulin sensitivity, improve sleep, feeling of wellness and hence reduces depression (when we exercise the body releases endorphins i.e. happy hormones).
2) Many women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight may ease some symptoms and help make your periods more regular. It may also help manage problems with blood sugar levels and ovulation.
3) Weight loss is also a key first step if you’re planning a pregnancy. It may improve your ability to get pregnant by restoring ovulation or make your body more responsive to fertility treatments.
4) Since PCOS could lead to high blood sugar, you have to limit starchy or sugary foods. Instead, eat foods and meals that have plenty of fiber, which raise your blood sugar level slowly. The body digests foods with a low GI more slowly, that means they do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods.
5) Following a clean & quantified diet helps the body get rid of excess fat. Foods in a low GI diet include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables, other unprocessed and low-carbohydrate foods. You must avoid all processed foods, junk foods and simple sugars, must have sufficient fruits, vegetables and complex carbs.
6) Last and most importantly, try to have a stress free lifestyle. Take Proper sleep, rest & Stay hydrated.