Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common problem among teenage girls. And the health experts claim the food is one of the main reasons behind this issue. It is not like only your diet is responsible for it but you can say it is one of the important factors behind the developing and worsening of this health condition.
Having PCOS means you have an imbalance of reproductive hormones and usually, the ovaries produce an excess of the male hormone, testosterone, and a lack of the female hormone, estrogen. As a result, the body doesn’t process regular ovulation. So, the eggs that are not properly released each month often swell and form clusters inside the ovaries forming cysts.
The body’s estrogen receptors don’t work properly and in return, the whole metabolic system of your body may be affected, which can alter anything, from the functionality of insulin to the good bacteria in the gut flora.
Symptoms of PCOS may include painful or irregular periods, acne, hirsutism or abnormal hair growth, increased appetite, and weight gain. In addition, women with PCOS often develop metabolic syndrome, which increases their risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, the opposite can also be true; women with metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop PCOS. PCOS is also a leading cause of infertility in females, but fortunately, there are several treatment options such as donor eggs, home insemination, IVF, and more.
Among all the major symptoms of PCOS, gaining weight is the most important and noticeable. We all know that our diet has a major relation to our body weight. And your diet directly or indirectly affects PCOS. Like it increases the body weight or worsens the insulin resistance, which is another result of PCOS. Many people with PCOS have insulin resistance. More than 50 percent of women with PCOS develop diabetes or pre-diabetes before the age of 40. Besides, PCOS patients often have chronic low-grade inflammation and most of it is present in the gut lining.
So, the main goal of managing your PCOS with diet is to manage the above-mentioned symptoms. Here are some of the important dietary guidelines that people with PCOS should follow.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed food is of no benefit rather it only gives harm to your body. Try to avoid processed foods like white flour, sugar, bread, and pasta. Instead eat whole gluten-free grains like oatmeal, brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa.
Removing toxins from your body is very important. And it helps in the normal functionality of your body processes. So it is important to drink an adequate amount of water according to your age, gender, weather, and your physical activities.
Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber-containing foods have a low glycemic index and foods having this property are slowly digested by your body. That means they do not raise the amount of insulin as much or as quickly as other foods do. So the fiber-containing foods are helpful for you when you have insulin resistance along with PCOS.
Avoid Refined Sugar
Avoid foods with refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, MSG, trans-fats, and high saturated fat.
Eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours help with insulin resistance problem and maintain blood sugar levels.
Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks have a very high amount of sugar. That’s why it is important to avoid them when you have PCOS.
Low Carbs with Proteins
Always eat small portions of proteins with a low-carb diet.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The best inflammation-fighting foods are raw vegetables and fruits. Fruits like strawberries, and blueberries, are rich in anti-oxidants. That’s why they are good for your health while dealing with PCOS. Similarly, vegetables like spinach are the best source of anti-inflammatory agents.
Limit Saturated and Trans Fats
Women with PCOS should limit the intake of saturated and trans fats as they increase the inflammation in the gut.
PCOS has so many hidden complications that do not appear at first. So it is important to control them at an early stage instead of ignoring them. Proper treatment, lifestyle, and dietary changes are important when it comes to managing PCOS. You can consult the best gynecologist in Karachi through Marham- an online platform to find, book, and consult health specialists in Pakistan. You can also avail of the online consultation facility through Marham mobile app or official website.