Diet Plan for PCOD/PCOS
What is PCOD/PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary (Ovarian) Syndrome (PCOS) is an imbalance of hormones especially sex hormones that affect 12-18% of women of reproductive age and up to 21% in some high-risk groups, such as young women or overweight women.
PCOS can be a difficult condition to identify initially because there are various symptoms that get misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Symptoms appear to be different in different women. Sometimes there are multiple cysts because the ova does not get matured in the ovaries hence the name polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
What are the signs & symptoms of PCOS?
Some of the signs include an increase in facial hair due to high levels of androgens or male hormones in women. All women produce small amounts of androgens in body normal. High levels of androgens can prevent ovulation and affect the menstrual cycle or irregular menstrual cycle.
Symptoms of PCOD
Menstrual cycle & fertility
- No periods or periods that are:
- Immature ovarian eggs that do not ovulate
- Multiple cysts on the ovaries
- Difficulty conceiving
Hair & Skin
- The appearance of excess facial and/or body hair (hirsutism)
- Scalp hair loss (alopecia)
- Darkened skin patches
- Acne on the face and/or body
Mental and Emotional Health
- Mood changes
- High levels of androgens and high insulin levels affect the menstrual cycle and prevent ovulation which is the release of a mature egg from the ovary. Sometimes ovulation can stop completely, or it can occur irregularly. This can make it more difficult for women with PCOS to conceive naturally, and some women can also have a higher risk of miscarriage. Sometimes it leads to complete infertility but that does not mean that it cannot be taken care of.
What causes PCOS/PCOD?
The causes are not known but it appears to be in connection with family history, insulin resistance and lifestyle or environment.
It is been found that immediate female relatives (i.e daughters or sisters) of women with PCOD/PCOS have up to a 50% chance of having PCOS. The observation states Type 2 diabetes is also common in families of those with PCOS. However, there has been no genetic cause found to cause PCOS.
Insulin resistance & lifestyle reasons
The most important role of insulin is to keep the levels of glucose in the blood from rising after eating. If you become insulin resistant, your body doesn’t use the available insulin effectively to help keep your glucose levels stable.
Since the insulin does not work effectively, the body produces more insulin. These elevated levels can increase the production of male hormones such as testosterone, in the ovaries. This may lead to excessive hair growth and pimples and can contribute to symptoms such as irregular periods, trouble ovulating, excess hair growth and acne.
80% of women have insulin resistance with PCOS. It can also contribute to an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Insulin resistance is generally because of lifestyle factors –
Most of the overweight women also have insulin resistance however not all overweight women have insulin resistance, caused by genetic factors separate from the insulin resistance associated with being overweight.
This infers that women with PCOS can have: Insulin resistance as a result of genetic reasons or Insulin resistance as a result of obesity or sedentary lifestyle or combination of both the factors.
Weight Management Issues
Overweight and obesity affects insulin resistance and aggravates the symptoms of PCOS. Women with PCOS have reported that when they are in their healthy weight, they don’t have symptoms such as menstrual irregularity or excessive hair growth. These symptoms appear once they go overweight.
A healthy lifestyle of nutritious food and physical activity can help to treat PCOS and prevent it. One best way to beat PCOD is to go gluten-free. Include complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and increase lean proteins and healthy fats.
The best way to crack the diet is to get the professional help of a dietitian/Nutritionist. To book a free consultation log on to www.dieticianforhealth.com.