Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an emerging condition that has gained popularity nowadays. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women between 15 and 44 years or during the years of childbearing age. Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. But PCOS can happen at any age after puberty, lately it has been commonly seen among teenagers. Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk of PCOS. Your risk of PCOS may be higher if you have obesity or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.
Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance that creates problems in the ovaries and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility.
- Irregular menstrual cycle – Women with PCOS may miss periods or it may come every 21 days or more often.
- Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.
- Hirsutism – Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body.
- Acne – on face, chest, and upper back.
- Having PCOS can increase the likelihood of mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp.
- PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility, weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
- Darkening of skin.
- Skin tags.
Causes: The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Factors that might play a role include:
- Excess insulin might increase androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
- Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.
- certain genes might be linked to PCOS.
- The ovaries produce abnormally high levels of androgen, resulting in hirsutism and acne.
Management: Homoeopathy is a holistic science that is best suited treatment for PCOS as it provides a more individualised approach in every case, considering the several factors including psychological health of every woman for an effective management. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Following a diet that meets a person’s nutritional needs, maintains a healthy weight, and promotes good insulin levels can help people with PCOS feel better.
Foods to eat: Research has found that what people eat has a significant effect on PCOS. There are foods which are beneficial and seem to help people manage their condition.Three diets that may help people with PCOS manage their symptoms are:
- A low GI diet more slowly do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods, such as some carbohydrates. They include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods.
- Anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil, may reduce inflammation-related symptoms, such as fatigue.
- Doctors often recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet which is rich in fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables whole grain, and low-fat dairy products.
A healthful PCOS diet can also include the following foods: natural, unprocessed foods, high-fiber foods, fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens, dark red fruits, such as red grapes,blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, broccoli and cauliflower, dried beans, lentils, and other legumes, healthful fats, such as olive oil, as well as avocados and coconuts, nuts including pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. Dark chocolate in moderation. Spices such as turmeric and cinnamon.
Foods to avoid: Refined carbohydrates, such as mass-produced pastries and white bread. Fried foods, such as fast food. Sugary beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks. Processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats. Solid fats, including margarine, shortening, and lard. Excess red meat, such as steaks, hamburgers, and pork.
Other lifestyle changes-
- Lifestyle changes can also help people with PCOS manage the condition. Combining a PCOS diet with physical activity can lead to weight loss, improved insulin metabolism, more regular periods, reduced levels of male hormones and male-pattern hair growth, lower cholesterol levels.
- Behavioral strategies can also help women achieve the weight management goals that, in turn, help manage PCOS symptoms. Reducing stress through self-care practices, such as getting enough sleep, avoiding over-commitment, and making time to relax, can also help a person manage PCOD.
A person can reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life by adopting homoeopathy, healthful diet and becoming more physically active.
About the author:
Dr. Dipti has her Masters in Homoeopathy and ran a busy practice in Mumbai for 5 years. She now lives in Goa and is available at the clinic from Monday to Friday, 4-6pm. For appointments, please contact her on 97028 95561.