A sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, and obesity contribute to insulin resistance and excess inflammation.
This makes PCOS more likely, as well as worsens symptoms.
PCOS Symptoms :
Hormonal imbalances produce a constellation of symptoms, which vary from person to person and range from very mild to severe.
▶ Menstrual irregularities: In addition to being longer or shorter than usual, periods may also be super heavy or very light.
▶ Infertility / anovulation: High levels of androgens stop the release of an egg, inhibiting ovulation.
▶ Ovarian “cysts” / follicles: Many—but not all—women with PCOS have a build-up of immature ovarian follicles (often erroneously called “cysts”).
▶ Changes in hair growth: High androgen levels can cause coarse hair to develop on the face, chest, belly, or back, a symptom known as hirsutism. Meanwhile, hair at the crown and frontline of the head may begin to thin.
▶ Weight gain and / or stubborn weight loss: Weight can stick around like a stubborn barnacle, possibly due to the combination of high androgens, high blood sugar and insulin, unregulated inflammation, and/or a sluggish thyroid.
▶ Acne: High androgen and insulin levels may contribute to oily skin and stubborn acne—especially around the chin, but also on other parts of the face, back, or chest. Painful, longer-lasting cysts can also appear around the underarms, under the breasts, or around the groin, a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa or acne inversa.
▶ Dark skin patches: Also known as acanthosis nigricans, high insulin levels can cause darkened, thickened, velvety skin in the creases of the body, particularly around the armpits, neck, and groin.
▶ Low energy and carb cravings: Some women with PCOS have a reduced ability to tolerate processed carbs. Translation: 15 minutes after you’ve eaten that scone, you’ve dozed off and your face is molding to your keyboard.
▶ Increased risk of diabetes: Compared to the general population, women with unmanaged PCOS are more than four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and nearly three times more likely to develop gestational diabetes.14
▶ Blood lipid imbalances: High blood sugar and insulin can contribute to low levels of high-density lipoprotein (the “good” cholesterol), high triglycerides, and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
▶ Sleep issues: PCOS is linked to sleep apnea, which is when breathing periodically stops during sleep.15
▶ Mood swings, anxiety, and depression: PCOS can increase the likelihood of mood swings, anxiety, and depression.16 Because many women with PCOS struggle with their weight, they’re also at an increased risk of disordered eating.
Both the visible and invisible symptoms of PCOS can be incredibly distressing, taking a toll on self-esteem.
Expert advice on ways to control PCOS
- Put the focus on what to eat rather than what not to eat.
- Fix your lifestyle, healthy lifestyle cures majority of d
- Aim for about 10 grams of fiber and 20-30 grams of protein (roughly one palm-sized portion) per meal by building plates around these nutrient-rich foods.
- Lean proteins: Meat and poultry, fish and shellfish, eggs, tofu and tempeh
- Colorful non-starchy vegetables: Cruciferous veggies (think: broccoli, cabbage, and kale), lettuces, cucumber, celery, summer squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and asparagus
- Low-sugar fruits: Berries, apples, oranges, and plums
- Healthy fats: Avocado, olives, nuts and seeds, and oils (olive and coconut)
- With the above taking up the most space, fill out your plate with smaller amounts of dairy, starchy veggies, or whole grains.
Getting adequate movement, good nutrition, and managing weight won’t cure you if you have PCOS, but they can improve symptoms, quality of life, and future health outcomes.