What is PCOS?
PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome- PCOS refers to a cluster of symptoms which are commonly seen in women. PCOS was described as early as 1935.
Due to some reason not yet understood, at times the male and female hormones produced by a woman in her ovary are out of balance. Therefore, a woman may experience symptoms like acne, excessive hair growth on the face and body, fat deposits on the lower abdomen, etc. The excess secretion of male hormone is responsible for a lot of these changes.
Ovaries in an ultrasound may look enlarged and contain many “small cysts” located on the outer edge of each ovary. The latter is sometimes referred to as looking like “a string of BEADS”.
Symptoms of PCOS
· Irregular periods
· Excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism)
· Weight gain
· Problems in getting pregnant
· Hair fall and hair thinning
· Insulin resistance – means the inability of body to use insulin effectively. This will result in high blood insulin levels causing PCOS.
Diagnosis of PCOS
Diagnosis of PCOS is based on your complaints, clinical examination, blood tests and sonography of your ovaries. A diagnosis of PCOS is made if 2 out of the following 3 criteria are present in a woman:
Irregular or absent periods.
Acne or abnormal hair growth or blood tests showing high male hormones.
Polycystic ovaries on ultrasound.
Why PCOS happens?
Cause is unknown.
We don’t know why PCOS occurs but it can be kept under control by losing weight. Lifestyle change thus becomes the first line of treatment. 80% of those with PCOS are obese but 20% are lean.
Treatment and Cure for PCOS
There’s no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be treated.
Specific types of contraceptive drugs may be prescribed by doctor, to help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve hair growth.
Change in lifestyle, weight management becomes essential.
Diet related changes also help in controlling its symptoms.
PCOS and Infertility
There are treatment options for infertility caused by PCOS. There’s also medication to increase ovulation which is to be taken under gynecologist guidance.
So the good news is that many women with fertility problems due to PCOS can still have a baby.
Diet Instructions for PCOS women
· Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and protein-rich food.
· Have fresh green vegetables as it contains a lot of folic acid in them
· Avoid cakes, pastries, junk food, colas.
· Consume plenty of fruits like orange, sweet lime, grape fruit, and grapes.
· NO Alcohol and smoking.
· Eat wholegrain foods instead of processed, refined foods such as wheat flour (maida). Also, whole fruit instead of fruit juice will maintain insulin and blood sugar levels.
· Eat foods that are high in fiber.
· Eat small, healthy meals more frequently to manage cravings and hunger pangs and NEVER miss breakfast!
· Avoid soy products.
· Also avoid chemical preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners and colorings.