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The toils and tribulations of life have manifested themselves in nearly every aspect of our lives, be it physically or mentally. With an emphasis on self-care, experts have detected underlying problems contributing to our ill health and declining overall well-being. These days, it’s not uncommon to be acquainted with someone struck with comorbidities that affect different areas of everyday life. While the most common of them are diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, many have neglected conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). 

 

PCOS affects over 20% of Indian women, with one out five diagnosed with this illness. However, due to the low number of cases, there’s very little information available on this matter. Additionally, every patient with PCOS experiences different symptoms of this condition, making it harder to analyse the problem. 

 

Fortunately, more women are stepping forward to spread the word on the causes and effects of PCOS, narrating their personal experiences - including celebrities! 

Understanding PCOS: Causes & Symptoms 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder commonly found among women between their teen years to mid-40s. This condition could cause them to experience irregular or prolonged menstrual periods or an excess of male hormone levels. Due to PCOS, the ovaries are likely to develop small collections of fluid (follicles). 

 

While experts are yet to uncover the reason behind this condition, some speculate that the following factors play a role in causing PCOS. 

 

  • Excess Insulin Levels

  • Low-Grade Inflammation 

  • Heredity/Genes 

  • High Levels of Androgen 

 

That said, women diagnosed with PCOS may encounter a number of different symptoms. Though these signs are not common among patients, doctors have narrowed down the symptoms to the most frequently reported ones. If any of the following signs seem familiar, contact your family doctor, or reach out to your nearest gynaecologist. 

 

  • Polycystic Ovaries: When your ovaries are enlarged and the egg is surrounded by follicles, the ovaries may fail to function regularly 

  • Excess Androgen: Increased facial and body hair, severe acne, and male-pattern baldness due to higher levels of male hormones 

  • Irregular Period Cycles:

     Disrupted menstrual cycles, resulting in daily or infrequent periods, or even abnormally heavy periods 

 

With limited information available on PCOS, most women are unaware of how to deal with the effects of this condition. Feelings of bloatedness, mood swings and abdominal pains are some of the many daily disruptions experienced by women. But there are several ways to cushion the effects of PCOS! 

Managing PCOS: 5 Dietary & Lifestyle Changes 

By introducing the following dietary and lifestyle changes, you can easily wade through the many symptoms of PCOS. 

1. Focus on Weight Loss 

While your weight may not be the primary cause of PCOS, bringing your weight down to healthy levels can provide many benefits. Modest weight loss can help you reduce the harmful effects of PCOS and also prevent you from acquiring other health issues. 

2. Exercise Regularly 

If you suspect weight gain has triggered symptoms of PCOS, then start exercising daily. It can tackle issues like obesity by helping you burn calories and build muscle mass to reduce insulin resistance. Overall, exercising can aid in lowering cholesterol and hormones like testosterone. 

3. Reduce Inflammation 

Those affected by PCOS are likely to be obese or overweight, and it’s linked to inflammation that affects this condition. By following an anti-inflammatory diet, you can control the symptoms of PCOS. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce inflammation and break the vicious cycle of these symptoms. 

4. Foods to Avoid 

While dealing with PCOS, experts recommend avoiding refined carbs found in processed foods - like white flour, rice, potatoes, and sugar. It includes consuming sodas, sweet juices, and sugary drinks. 

5. Foods to Eat 

By limiting your consumption of trans fats and processed foods, you can shift your diet towards eating whole grains, fresh produce, and plant-based proteins. After consulting a dietician, balance your intake of macronutrients like fat, protein, and carbs. 

 

These simple changes can make a world of difference in your everyday life while struggling with symptoms of PCOS. Spread the benefits of a balanced diet and lifestyle to others affected with this condition to promote awareness and treatment!

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