During adolescence, individuals may experience occasional fluctuations in mood throughout the menstrual cycle. These fluctuations can result in feelings of both positivity and negativity without apparent cause. Such variations are attributable to hormonal activity within the body. When hormones are present in appropriate quantities, individuals generally experience a sense of emotional equilibrium. However, imbalances in hormone levels can lead to complications. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one potential consequence of hormonal imbalances in women.
Also Read: Ayurvedic Difference Between PCOS and PCOD
What is PCOS?
PCOS, short for polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition that affects women during their reproductive years. It is characterized by a hormonal imbalance, which can have implications for fertility, as well as several associated symptoms:
- Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
- Unexplained weight gain despite regular physical activity
- Excessive body and facial hair growth
- Increased risk of health complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes
Although the term "polycystic" suggests the presence of cysts, it is important to note that not all women with PCOS have cysts. This aspect can be misleading. However, with proper diagnosis, treatment options are available for PCOS. By undergoing treatment and adhering to prescribed medications, women can improve their fertility and increase their chances of conceiving.
The Role of Hormones in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
You know what is PCOS, but do you know what role hormones play in this condition? If you have PCOS symptoms, you have a problem with the reproductive hormones. There are various hormones produced in the body, and lack of them can lead to problems in the menstrual cycle which leads to incapability in having a baby. The hormones that play a hand in PCOS are:
- Progesterone: Insufficient levels of this hormone can result in irregular or unpredictable menstrual periods.
- Androgen: While typically found in small amounts in females, excessive androgen levels, which are more commonly associated with males, can cause unwanted facial hair growth in some women.
- Insulin: This hormone regulates blood sugar levels. In PCOS, the body's response to insulin is impaired, leading to various health complications.
Understanding the causes of this hormonal condition is crucial for effective PCOS treatment. The exact reasons behind PCOS symptoms remain uncertain. However, individuals with a family history of PCOS, particularly their mother or sister, are more prone to developing the condition. Additionally, excessive insulin production in the body can adversely affect ovulation and disrupt normal ovarian function.
In addition to irregular, prolonged, or infrequent menstrual periods, women with PCOS may encounter hair loss or excessive hair growth in undesirable areas. Acne is another symptom frequently associated with PCOS, alongside other manifestations such as:
- Fluctuations in mood
- Discomfort or pain in the pelvic region
- Skin tags present in the armpits or on the neck
- Hyperpigmentation leading to darkened skin
- Accumulation of weight around the waist
Complications Associated with PCOS
PCOS presents a range of complications, potentially impacting individuals in the following ways:
- Fertility issues caused by ovarian cysts, making pregnancy challenging.
- Insulin resistance triggers excessive androgen release, hindering glucose absorption and increasing the risk of diabetes.
- Metabolic syndrome, which increases the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases. Symptoms include high triglycerides and LDL, low HDL, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.
- Inflammation of the liver.
- Increased susceptibility to uterine cancer, resulting in bleeding.
- Presence of anxiety and depression.
- Sleep disturbances.
Permanent Treatment for PCOS
Effectively managing PCOS symptoms and reducing the likelihood of long-term complications is achievable through suitable treatment. Additionally, PCOS treatment can aid in conception for individuals seeking to have children. Multiple approaches exist to address this hormonal condition, with natural methods being preferable to minimize complications. The following outlines a guide for permanently curing PCOS.
Weight loss plays a pivotal role in the permanent treatment of PCOS. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for managing symptoms associated with this hormonal condition. Individuals with PCOS are often prone to carrying excess weight, increasing their susceptibility to various diseases, including cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Implementing lifestyle changes aimed at achieving weight loss is necessary to alleviate PCOS symptoms and minimize complications.
Changing the diet is essential for a natural PCOS cure. PCOS is characterized by elevated insulin levels, resulting in insulin resistance and difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight. Carbohydrates and sugar contribute to increased blood sugar levels, and eliminating them can reduce PCOS symptoms.
To effectively treat PCOS, adjust the diet accordingly. Avoid cereals, white rice, pasta, bread, cookies, juice, soda, and granola bars. Instead, follow these dietary recommendations for a natural PCOS cure:
- Opt for Whole Foods: Consume unprocessed and natural foods free from artificial preservatives, hormones, and sugars. Include whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables to regulate blood sugar.
- Adequate Protein Intake: Prioritize sufficient protein consumption to support insulin production. Include whole grains, legumes, and nuts to meet protein requirements in the PCOS diet.
- Emphasize Anti-inflammatory Foods: Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like tuna, mackerel, olive oil, leafy vegetables, tomatoes, and nuts from the Mediterranean diet for PCOS cure.
- Increase Iron and Magnesium Intake: Address iron deficiency by adding spinach, broccoli, and eggs to the PCOS diet. Boost magnesium consumption with bananas, spinach, cashews, and almonds.
- Enhance Digestion with Fiber: Include sprouts, avocados, lentils, beans, and pears in the PCOS food list for improved digestion.
- Incorporate Soy Products: Add soy products like tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and miso to ease PCOS symptoms and promote hormonal balance, excluding them if there's a history of estrogen-related cancers.
- Reduce Coffee Consumption and Increase Water Intake: Add soy products like tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and miso to ease PCOS symptoms and promote hormonal balance, excluding them if there's a history of estrogen-related cancers.
Minimize Endocrine Disruptor Exposure
Endocrine disruptors are substances that interfere with natural hormonal reactions in the body. They can resemble sex hormones and disrupt the reproductive system. To prevent this, avoid canned foods, makeup, and soaps containing these disruptors. Other examples include BPA, pesticides, dioxins, and phthalates.
Incorporate Regular Exercise
Regular exercise and following a PCOS-specific diet help reduce insulin levels and optimize blood sugar. It aids in weight loss and promotes heart health. Exercise doesn't have to be lengthy or intense; activities like swimming, yoga, or engaging in sports can be enjoyable and beneficial for PCOS treatment.
Maintain Good Sleep Habits
Quality sleep regulates hormones and reduces cortisol levels. High cortisol levels worsen PCOS symptoms and disrupt sleep. Improve sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent sleep routine, avoiding fatty foods before bedtime, and aiming for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night.
Stress is a significant risk factor for PCOS and should be addressed as part of the treatment. Stress triggers the release of excess testosterone, leading to increased insulin resistance and diabetes risk. Managing stress effectively is essential for PCOS management.
PCOS is a complex hormonal condition without a cure. However, by combining alternative and conventional treatments, you can effectively manage complications and symptoms, improving overall well-being.
Also Read: A 24-Year Old’s Guide to Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.