Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual periods, weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with PCOS. PCOS has other signs and symptoms, things that you notice and feel. Every woman with PCOS may be affected a little differently.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but there are steps you can take to decrease your risk of getting PCOS. In order to decrease your risks for developing PCOS you should lower your blood sugar, eat a PCOS diet, and get regular exercise (this same routine can also help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity).
PCOS Diet Tips
- Lower your glycemic levels through decreased carbs, increase your fiber intake and add foods with anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Glycemic levels refer to how carbohydrates affect blood sugar after being consumed. Foods with high carbohydrates increase blood sugar. Lower carbohydrate foods can make your insulin level lower, creating less risk of negatively impacting ovarian hormonal levels. However, we are not suggesting a carb-free diet.
- Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and high-fiber foods include carbohydrates, but they carry additional benefits while reducing the risk factors of typically carb-heavy foods. Fiber assists digestion in many ways. It binds excess estrogen, keeps you regular, and helps you feel fuller which reduces cravings. Because fiber digests slowly in your body, your blood sugar goes through less dramatic highs and lows.
Foods to avoid:
- Processed foods and foods that are high in sugar, like juices, cereals, sodas, and cookies.
- Inflammatory foods which include anything with processed sugar, refined carbohydrates and omega-6 fats (ex: processed vegetable oils).
The Importance of Exercise
Exercise is a crucial component of fighting PCOS, as it helps a woman lose weight and keep it off, which regulates hormones and minimizes the symptoms that lead to infertility, such as anovulation. Remember that exercise doesn’t necessarily mean gym time, or intense running routines. There are a thousand ways to get a solid workout with ease. You can start with brisk walking or light jogging, join a sports league, do light weight lifting, yoga, pilates, dancing, playing vigorously with your kids. Start slow and work out around 45 minutes a day, 2 or 3 times a week. Work up to an hour a day, 4-5 times per week.
PCOS and Natural Conception
Get the side effects and symptoms under control with exercise and a healthy diet. It will take a little time for the diet and lifestyle changes to make the desired positive impact on your body. If you feel that you may have some PCOS symptoms, Contact ARC at 312.485.4847, it is very possible that you can still get pregnant naturally.
At Advanced Reproductive Center, patients start with an initial exam and consultation.