Are you suffering with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)? PCOS is the number one cause of unexplained infertility in the world and many women sufferings from it don’t even know they have it. That unexpected weight gain, maybe I ate one to many doughnuts. Thinning hair, I am getting older. Acne, it’s just hormones. So many excuses and many of us never stop and think that maybe just maybe there is an underlying cause to all of this.
What is PCOS?
Women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones (androgens) which interfere with the normal production of female hormones like estrogen. This results in the ovaries filling with cysts or creating immature follicles that are unable to generate eggs.
Along with reduced fertility women with PCOS are at a heightened risk for:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Some forms of cancer
How is PCOS treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. For both Western and Chinese medicine, the first line of treatment is diet and weight control. With some women, reducing insulin levels and improving insulin sensitivity through weight loss, a low glycemic diet and exercise may restore normal ovulation. For more severe cases, Western treatment may also include fertility drugs, insulin regulating drugs and, in some cases, assisted reproductive therapies like In vitro fertilization.
The Chinese approach is to treat the underlying condition that is causing the hormonal imbalance as well as to alleviate symptoms. Typically, a personalized treatment plan to rebalance hormones and regulate the menstrual period takes approximately 3 to 6 months.
As mentioned, diet and lifestyle play a crucial role in treating PCOS. The goal is to regulate the blood sugar, decrease insulin resistance and improve glucose metabolism. This will help to stabilize insulin levels, moods and weight. Following an anti-inflammatory, low glycemic diet can keep your blood sugar stable, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce phlegm.
10 Diet Secrets to Reverse Your PCOS and Get Pregnant Naturally
- Eat lots of organic vegetables and a little fruit especially berries. 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit is ideal. Foods that have a low glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar.
- Avoid anything processed especially foods filled with sugar. Stay away from packaged foods and eat real whole food nutrition.
- Time your meals so you are eating every 4-5 hours and meals that include some protein and good fats (for example some nuts/nut butter, seeds/seed butter, hardboiled egg, hummus dip). Protein foods take up to 5 hours to digest while carbohydrate foods digest within 30 minutes.
- Have a daily serving of legumes like black beans or lentils.
- Enjoy grass or pasture fed meat up to three times a week
- Eat at least three daily servings of fruits like berries, which have a lower glycemic impact. Each serving of fruit should be enjoyed as part of a meal or with a protein.
- Limit or eliminate milk and dairy as these can aggravate internal dampness. If you do have dairy, pay careful attention to portion sizes in order to moderate glucose load and minimize insulin resistance.
- Add one or two Tbsp of cinnamon each morning to help decrease insulin resistance.
- Include prebiotic and probiotic foods which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract.
- Pre-biotics are found in whole grains, onions, bananas, garlic, honey, leeks, artichokes and some fortified foods. Probiotic foods are found in fermented foods (sauerkraut, live culture yogurt, kim chi, miso).
If you are suffering from PCOS the best first step is to change your diet. This will not only help you to feel better and to look better but it will put your body into that optimal state for conception so you can conceive the family of your dreams.
Love and health,