Polycystic ovary syndrome is very common in women that are in their reproductive age. The symptoms of PCOS are:
- irregular menstrual cycle
- ovarian cysts
- thinning of hair
The causes of PCOS are uncertain but two of the major factors of PCOS are insulin resistance and hormone regulation. You can easily control these symptoms by making changes to your lifestyle and diet. The same treatment will not work for everyone so you should pick your treatment based on which suits you.
You should consult a doctor before you try any alternative treatment because there are certain things like the natural herbs which are not approved by the FDA. So, talk to your doctor about the dosage, side effects and how they will interact with your medical conditions.
You can manage the symptoms of PCOS by eating the right food and avoiding certain food items. A healthy and balanced diet will help you to regulate your menstrual cycle. You should avoid the intake of processed and preserved food as they can cause inflammation and insulin resistance.
Whole food items are almost in their natural and unprocessed state. They do not have any artificial sugar and preservatives. Whole food items like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and, legumes should be added to your diet as they help to regulate the blood glucose levels in your body.
A balanced intake of carb and protein
Carbs and protein affects your hormone and energy levels. If you include protein intake in your diet will help your body to produce insulin whereas intake of unprocessed, high-carb food items helps to improve insulin sensitivity. You should focus on including healthy protein in your diet instead of opting for a low-carb diet. You should include plant-based protein sources like nuts, whole grain, and legumes as they are best for the body.
Inflammation is one of the symptoms of PCOS. If you add anti-inflammatory food items in your diet then it will help to control this symptom. A Mediterranean diet is a good option for fighting inflammation. This includes olive oil, tomatoes, nuts, leafy greens and fish like tuna and mackerel.
Increase your iron intake
Women with the condition of PCOS get heavy flow during their period. This can cause iron deficiency or anemia. If you are diagnosed with any of these conditions then you should consult a doctor about how to increase the iron intake. They may recommend including iron-rich food items like eggs, spinach, and broccoli in your diet.
You should never increase your iron intake without consulting the doctor because excessive iron can cause risks and complications.
Increase your magnesium intake
You should increase the intake of magnesium in your diet as it helps to control the symptoms of PCOS. Food items like cashews, almonds, spinach, and bananas should be included in your diet.
You should include fiber-rich food items like beans, broccoli, lentils, brussel sprouts, avocados and pears in your diet as they help to improve the digestion process.
Cut the coffee intake
Intake of caffeine can causes changes in the levels of estrogen and behavior of hormones. You should try using a decaf alternative like herbal tea to get the energy boost. You can also try kombucha as its probiotic properties can be beneficial.
If you cannot do without the caffeine boost then you should try green tea. It helps to improve your insulin resistance and helps to manage your weight.
Before you add more soy in your diet, you should talk to your doctor. Soy helps to balance your hormones by acting as estrogen in your body. But some researches show that soy could disrupt your endocrine system.
People who have a family history of estrogen-related cancer should avoid soy products. Once the doctor approves adding the soy products in your diet, you can add tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and miso.
Herbs for PCOS
In people with PCOS condition, the body cannot regulate the insulin and gets build up in the body. This produces higher levels of androgens. Adaptogen herbs help to balance these hormones and some of them help to control the symptoms of PCOS.
These herbs are not approved by the FDA so you should consult a doctor before taking them.
Maca root is a traditional herb.
Benefits of maca root:
- Improve your fertility and libido
- Balances the hormones in your body to regulate your menstrual cycle
- Lowers the cortisol levels
- Treats depression
- Decreases the production of excessive facial hair
- Promotes the overall functioning of the endocrine gland
Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng.
Benefits of Ashwagandha:
- Helps to ease stress
- Balances the cortisol levels
- Improve the thyroid function
- Supports adrenal function
- Controls the blood glucose levels in the body
- Regulates the menstrual cycle
- Ease the period pain
Holy Basil is commonly known as Tulsi and is referred to as “queen of herbs”.
Benefits of Holy basil:
- It has anti-androgenic properties and decreases the androgen production in the body
- Control the blood glucose levels
- Reduces weight
- Lowers down your cortisol levels.
- Eases inflammation
You can add holy basil in your tea and have it every day to control the symptoms of PCOS.
Licorice root contains a compound known as glycyrrhizin that has many unique properties.
Benefits of Licorice root:
- This herb helps your body to handle the stress that is related to the internal and external changes
- It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- It helps to metabolize the sugar and balance the hormone levels to regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Decreases acne and excessive hair growth.
Tribulus Terrestris is an ovarian stimulus.
Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris:
- It assists in the normalization of the menstrual cycle and helps to ovulate.
- It decrease the ovarian cysts.
Chasteberry has been used since ancient times to help with the reproductive conditions. It is considered to be the most common herb that is used to control the symptoms of PCOS.
Benefit of Chasteberry:
- It helps to stimulate and stabilize the functioning of the pituitary gland by reducing the levels of estrogen and androgen and increasing the levels of progesterone.
Probiotics help in the digestion process, gut health and treat the symptoms of PCOS. They can regulate the menstrual cycle by regulating the androgen and estrogen and reduces the inflammation. You should consider taking kimchi and kombucha.
It is important to maintain a proper exercise routine but that does not mean you should exercise rigorously. If you do too much of exercise then it can imbalance your hormones. So, consult a physician about having a healthy balance.
You should go for low-impact exercises like yoga or Pilates. You can also include swimming and light aerobics. High-intensity interval training and long-distance running can help to improve your symptoms of PCOS.
Take proper sleep
Insufficient sleep can affect your stress levels and imbalance your hormones. So, you should take proper sleep. You should try to get at least 8 of sleep every night. You should follow a regular bedtime routine where you sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time. Make sure you avoid taking fatty food and stimulants right before going to bed.
It is important that you reduce your stress as that will help to control the cortisol levels. When you follow the strategies like getting proper hours of sleep, cutting the caffeine intake and doing yoga regularly so that it helps to reduce your stress levels. Taking strolls and meditating can also help to lower your stress.