CHENNAI: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal problems in women aged 15 to 45 years. It is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, which creates problems in your ovaries leading to infertility, development of cysts, and irregular periods.
During the menstrual cycle, ovaries produce eggs. But for women with PCOS, the production and release of eggs will not occur. Most of the women get confused between PCOS and PCOD. Both of these are related to menstrual problems but are not the same.
They have a very minute difference. Though both the conditions are caused by hormonal imbalance, but PCOD (polycystic ovary disease) is not considered serious. Women who have PCOD may have similar symptoms of PCOS but they can ovulate regularly and do not have fertility issues.
But, PCOS is a metabolic disorder more severe than PCOD. Women who have PCOS have a high risk of developing cardiovascular issues, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and fertility. Common causes of PCOS and PCOD are genetic, lifestyle, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
SYMPTOMS OF PCOS
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Heavy bleeding
- Hair growth on their face and body
- Hair loss
- Fatigue, depression
PCOS can be managed by following these guidelines:
- Include more fibre-rich and low GI foods like vegetables, fruits, lentils, wholegrain, millets, seeds, and nuts to help balance hormones and stabilise blood sugar.
- Include lean proteins like nuts, seeds and lentils that help in maintaining healthy weight.
- Avoid high GI foods such as sugary drinks (energy drink, soda, fruit juices and packed juice) and processed foods (snacks made of refined flour, canned and packaged foods) as it spikes blood sugar and increases inflammation.
- Cut down on coffee because it will increase estrogen level and affect fertility. Consume green tea or herbal tea instead.
- Include healthy fats such as fish (tuna/sardines/ mackerel), seeds, nuts and avocado instead of unhealthy fat foods such as fried foods, chips, biscuits, red meat, cakes. Healthy fats help regulatehormones whereas unhealthy fats lead to weight gain.
- Consume tulsi or cinnamon water or fenugreek water on an empty stomach. It controls androgen, the anti-mullerian hormone.
- Avoid processed and preserved foods because chemicals in these foods release certain hormones and raise insulin levels.
- Keep your body and mind stress-free.
- Doing regular exercise helps manage stress and maintain weight.
There is no cure for PCOS and PCOD but both diseases can be easily managed by specific medications, healthy lifestyle and healthy diet.
sanonutritionclinic The writer is founder and chief nutritionist at Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic