Natural Support for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common disorders in women, and is a leading cause of female subfertily, menstrual dysfunction and infertility. PCOS presents with acne, excess hair growth and ovarian cyst.
PCOS women typically have excess amounts of androgens (male hormones), and insulin resistance. The symptoms vary among the affected women. Diagnosis includes polycystic ovaries, irregular periods (oligo/amenorah), and hyperandrogenism (elevated testosterone often manifesting as hirsutism or acne).
PCOS has been classified as a genetic disorder, though many women develop PCOS due to lifestyle factors from childhood or teenage years of consuming refined sugar in the diet, the oral contraception pill, mineral deficiencies and stress.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Polycystic ovaries
- Weight gain (mostly abdomen and thighs)
- Irregular or absent periods
- Facial hair
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Fertility disorders
- Acanthosis nigricans (skin tags)
- Alopecia (balding)
Excess Insulin Creates Higher Testosterone
High amounts of circulating insulin levels (resulting from long term high-refined carbohydrate diet), stimulates the production of androgens in the ovaries. Those with high levels of insulin combined with high LH, lead to excess testosterone production in the ovaries, preventing ovulation. High testosterone results in acne and excess facial hair.
Lifestyle changes for living healthy with PCOS
As PCOS has a large relation to insulin levels, it’s highly important to eat a diet to support blood sugar levels and hormonal health. Eat small meals more frequently that don’t spike blood sugar level, are rich in protein and healthy fats. Low glycemic index (GI) and high fibre foods aid blood sugar stability. Eliminating refined carbohydrates is also a key factor in a PCOS diet.
This includes a source of lean protein every meal. This may be as simple as adding nuts to your oatmeal, a scoop of rice protein in your fruit smoothie, seeds into your muesli, nut butters on toast or even just eggs.
Make sure if you are a vegetarian that you really look at your food and see where is your protein in every meal. Nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, non GMO tofu, millet and quinoa are all source of protein.
Swap don’t stop
White rice to brown rice or even quinoa or millet (complete proteins)
Whole wheat bread to Ezekiel/rye/spelt breads
Corn flakes to oatmeal with almonds
Cows milk to almond milk
Milk chocolate to dark chocolate
Candy to dried fruits and nuts
PCOS Vegan Meal Plan
Lemon or lime in warm water on rising
Breakfast: fruit followed by oats with almond milk and 2-3 tablespoons of grounded nuts, sweeten with dried fruit (goji, dates and fig) and cinnamon, or spelt bread with refried beans and avocado
Snack: fruit smoothie with almond milk, rice protein or hemp protein, cinnamon and chlorella
Lunch: rocket salad with quinoa, sesame seeds and baked pumpkin and beetroot or organic tempeh with steamed greens and sweet potato drizzled with coconut or olive oil.
Snack: raw nuts, seeds and dried fruit blended with coconut oil and raw cacao to make bliss balls or chia seeds mouse, or a small handful of nuts
Dinner: Dahl and brown rice or vegetables patties made from beans or brown rice and lentil curry with plenty of leafy greens.
PCOS is a condition that requires changes in the diet and lifestyle and occasionally supplementing, acupuncture or herbal medicine. However, PCOS is very effectively shown in clinical practice and research to be supported by diet, lifestyle and natural medicine.