As the name suggests, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by the growth of several small, fluid-filled cysts inside the ovaries. Although there is no known cure for PCOS, one can effectively manage its symptoms with medication and hormone therapy, supplemented by more traditional holistic remedies.
Some people opt for all-natural alternatives that are gentle, less invasive, and focus on mind-body balance and lifestyle. Simple changes, including those that may seem insignificant, can effectively control PCOS.
PCOS: an overview
Although the precise cause of PCOS is unknown, as it manifests differently in different people, doctors have classified it as an endocrine-metabolic disorder resulting from hormonal imbalance.
PCOS is most common in women of childbearing age and is characterized by high levels of male hormones and symptoms such as acne, weight gain, facial hair, and irregular periods.
A diagnosis of PCOS does not mean that you will have chronic health problems all your life. There are different ways to manage PCOS, with and without medication. And for women concerned about their fertility, diet and lifestyle changes can make pregnancy much easier and more successful.
7 Ways to Naturally Control PCOS
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 manage symptoms and improve overall health. Not everyone with PCOS needs to switch to an all-plant or whole-food diet. Instead, they should avoid any foods that make symptoms worse.
A suitable diet should contain low glycemic index foods to balance insulin resistance in PCOS. A study showed that a moderate reduction in dietary carbohydrates in women with PCOS resulted in lower insulin concentrations, which improved endocrine and fertility outcomes over time.
To control PCOS, you need to eat anti-inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, leafy greens, almonds, berries, olive oil, and turmeric. Additionally, processed meals can lead to weight gain and stimulate androgen production, which worsens symptoms.
Exercise has the dual benefit of lowering insulin levels and maintaining weight. Plus, it’s healthy for the heart, improves mood, and regulates sleep patterns.
Opt for lower intensity, more soothing and relaxing workouts like yoga, swimming, or even just regular walks to stay active. It will also help reduce stress levels, which naturally helps control PCOS symptoms.
A good sleep cycle is crucial as it helps regulate hormone levels, which is necessary for managing PCOS.
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 each night to help regulate hormonal fluctuations. Sleep also helps reduce inflammation, a common symptom of hormonal imbalance.
While healthy eating is essential, sometimes your body needs a little more help to fuel your system from the inside out. PCOS patients occasionally take nutritional supplements to help manage their symptoms, such as fish oil or omega-3 supplements to reduce androgen levels, other supplements advised to regulate blood sugar and vitamin D, calcium and magnesium supplements.
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means they can interfere with medications or create other health problems. So talk to a doctor before using any dietary supplements.
Probiotics may improve PCOS-related symptoms, such as inflammation and insulin resistance. They can help restore balance to the gut ecosystem and repopulate healthy bacteria.
Probiotics that contain lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium strains can help with nutrient absorption and boost the immune system. It may be especially beneficial for women with PCOS who have other health conditions. Adding fermented foods to your diet can help ease your PCOS symptoms.
Controlling your weight is essential to managing your PCOS symptoms. One of the main symptoms of PCOS is being overweight, which increases the risk 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 problems. According to a study5% of body weight loss can help relieve PCOS symptoms.
By determining your body mass index (BMI), you can decide whether or not you are at a healthy weight. In addition, regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet can help you lose weight.
Seek mental health care
PCOS doesn’t just disrupt your body physically, it also affects 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 affect your self-esteem. PCOS can affect any woman, regardless of color or ethnicity.
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The first step in controlling PCOS is usually lifestyle changes, such as better diet and natural remedies. While these PCOS remedies won’t make the condition go away completely, they can help relieve symptoms when supplemented with doctor-prescribed medications or treatments.
Several natural remedies for PCOS seek to address hormonal imbalances by modifying diet and exercise. They can be supplemented by complementary treatments, but it is important to remember that these cannot replace a balanced diet.
Therefore, one should seek the support of health care experts and nutritionists before implementing any suggested remedies to ensure that they are right for you.