As its name suggests, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is characterised by the growth of multiple small, fluid-filled cysts inside the ovaries. Although there is no known cure for PCOS, one can effectively manage its symptoms through medication and hormone therapy, supplemented with more traditional, holistic remedies.
Some people opt for entirely natural alternatives, which are gentle, less invasive, and focus on mind-body balance and lifestyle. Simple changes, including ones that may appear trivial, can effectively control PCOS.
PCOS: An Overview
Although the precise cause of PCOS is unknown, as it manifests differently from one person to the next, doctors have classified it as an endocrine-metabolic disorder resulting from hormonal imbalance.
PCOS is most prevalent in women of childbearing age and is characterised by elevated levels of male hormones and symptoms such as acne, weight gain, facial hair, and irregular periods.
A PCOS diagnosis does not mean you will have chronic health problems for your whole life. There are different ways to manage PCOS, with and without medication. And for women who are worried about fertility, diet and lifestyle changes can make pregnancy much easier and more successful.
7 Ways to Control PCOS Naturally
There is no one-size-fits-all diet for women with PCOS, as each woman’s symptoms and health needs are unique. However, making dietary changes, such as eating more whole foods and avoiding processed foods, can help to manage symptoms and improve overall health. Anyone with PCOS does not necessarily have to shift to a wholly plant-based or whole-food diet. Instead, they must avoid any food that worsens the symptoms.
A suitable diet should contain low-glycemic-index foods to balance the insulin resistance in PCOS. A study showed that a moderate reduction in dietary carbohydrates among PCOS women led to decreased insulin concentrations, which improved endocrine and fertility outcomes over time.
To control PCOS, you should eat anti-inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, leafy greens, almonds, berries, olive oil, and turmeric. Additionally, processed meals can cause weight gain and boost androgen production, which worsens symptoms.
Exercise has the dual benefits of reducing insulin levels and maintaining weight. In addition, it is healthy for the heart, improves mood, and regulates sleep patterns.
Opt for a low-intensity, more calming, and relaxing workout such as yoga, swimming, or even just going for regular walks to keep you active. It will also help reduce stress levels, which naturally helps control the symptoms of PCOS.
A good sleep cycle is crucial since it helps regulate hormone levels, which is necessary for PCOS management.
Studies show that women with PCOS have sleep problems twice as often. If you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels could increase. Doctors advise getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to help regulate hormonal fluctuations. Sleep also helps to lessen inflammation, a common hormone imbalance symptom.
Even though a healthy diet is essential, sometimes your body needs a little more help to nourish your system from the inside. PCOS patients occasionally take nutritional supplements to help manage their symptoms, such as fish oil or omega-3 supplements to lower androgen levels, other advised supplements to regulate blood sugar levels, and vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium supplements.
Dietary supplements are not under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration, which means they might interfere with medications or create other health issues. So, talk to a doctor before using any dietary supplements.
Probiotics may improve symptoms related to PCOS, such as inflammation and insulin resistance. They can help to restore balance to the gut ecosystem and repopulate healthy bacteria.
Probiotics that contain lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium strains can help nutrient adsorption and reinforce the immune system. It can be particularly beneficial for PCOS women suffering from other health issues. Adding some fermented foods to your diet may help to alleviate your PCOS symptoms.
It is essential to keep your weight in check to manage your PCOS symptoms. A primary symptom of PCOS is being overweight, which increases the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic syndrome-related conditions.
Losing excess weight can significantly reduce PCOS symptoms in overweight women and their overall risk of long-term health issues. According to a study, 5% of body weight loss may help with PCOS symptoms.
By determining your body mass index (BMI), you may decide whether or not you are at a healthy weight. In addition, regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet can help you shed extra pounds.
Seek Mental Health Care
PCOS doesn’t just disrupt your body physically—it also takes a toll on your mental health. It can be helpful to have someone to talk to about your experiences with PCOS, whether it’s the physical changes you’re going through or how the symptoms are affecting your self-esteem. PCOS can affect any woman, regardless of her colour or ethnicity.
The HealthifyMe Note
The first step in controlling PCOS is usually lifestyle changes, such as a better diet and natural remedies. While these remedies for PCOS will not make the condition disappear entirely, they can help with the symptoms when supplemented with medications or treatments prescribed by the doctor.
Several natural remedies for PCOS seek to address hormonal imbalances through changes in diet and exercise. One can supplement them with additional treatments, but it’s important to remember that these cannot replace a balanced diet.
Therefore, one should seek the support of healthcare experts and nutritionists before implementing any proposed remedies to ensure they are right for you.