WHAT is PCOD or PCOS?
PCOS is a hormonal and reproductive disorder. It occurs because of certain hormone imbalances. With PCOS, a woman’s body secretes abnormally high levels of male hormones (androgen) and this counteracts her ovaries’ ability to make enough of the female hormone (progesterone) needed for normal menstruation. Because of the low level of female hormones, women with PCOS typically have fewer periods than most women (called oligomenorrhea) and sometimes have no periods at all (called amenorrhea). Their periods can also be irregular with lengthy bleeding episodes, light or heavy flows, or frequent spotting.
Most but not all women with PCOS get small, pea-size cysts on their ovaries. The cysts are caused by follicles (fluid-filled sacs that contain an egg) that have matured in the ovary, but because of the abnormal hormone levels, were never released. In PCOS, one or both of the ovaries can also become enlarged, sometimes up to 1.5-3 times their normal size.
PCOS / PCOD has the greatest impact on women of child bearing age as it is the number one cause of infertility in women. PCOS / PCOD can not be cured, but the symptoms can be managed. If a woman does not plan to become pregnant, she can take birth control pills to regulate her periods, reduce male hormone levels in her blood, and clear her acne. Besides the hormonal medications, most important is to make certain lifestyle modifications and reduce weight. Besides this, there are certain home remedies too which help in PCOS/PCOD.
Weight reduction – This is extremely important because once you loose weight , your blood glucose drops , improving your insulin sensitivity which restores your hormonal balance, Go on a low calorie diet and improve your physical activity.
Cut down on Carbohydrates- Reducing carbohydrate intake especially refined carbs like bread , noodles , rice , pastas etc and increasing good fat and protein will significantly help in reducing fasting sugar and improving metabolic profile. Healthy food like fresh fruits , vegetables , nuts , coconut oil, avocado etc should be added.
Adding Anti inflammatory Foods – Adding anti inflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, pomegranate, extravirgin olive oil , onions, green leafy vegetables helps to cut down inflammation that goes along way to treat PCOS . It was seen that such a diet not only helped in weight loss but improved their blood pressure, dyslipedemia,and Diabetes, It also significantly improved the menstrual irregularities and fertility outcomes.
Fenugreek Seeds – Consumption of fenugreek seeds helps in various way if consumed as an additive therapy for a minimum of 8-10 weeks. The germinated seeds have high antioxidant property which helps to reduce oxidative stress. The seed extract helps to improve glycemic control and insulin resistance,also helps to improve lipid profile.
Cumin Seeds –Cumin seeds contain photo-estrogens which are like estrogens and thus help in PCOS. They are anti-diabetic and have antioxidant properties and thus help to reduce oxidative stress.
Flax Seeds– having flax seeds help to reduce the male sex hormones in your body , thus helping in PCOS. The seeds have plenty of fibers and omega three fatty acids which helps to reduce cholesterol and has anti inflammatory properties.
Cinnamon – taking cinnamon extract regularly for 8-10 weeks helps improve insulin sensitivity and moderates blood sugar levels, which in turn improves irregular periods , commonest problem of PCOS / PCOD.
Basil- Having basil leaves infused in water helps to bring down testosterone levels, also they help to lower blood glucose levels,helping to fend off Diabetes related problems in women with PCOS.
Ashwagnadha – this is an adaptogenic drug and helps to cope the body better with stress and manage insulin sensitivity. It is also helps to control cholesterol and blood pressure, all of which is associated with PCOS.
Amla or Indian Goosebery- Amla or Indian gooseberry is a potent anti-inflammatory food. It also has a modulatory effect on the body, helping restore hormonal balance. In addition, it may protect the heart and help lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Green Tea -This rejuvenating beverage could help you if you have PCOS. According to one piece of research, overweight and obese women with PCOS who had 500 mg green tea capsules twice a day for 12 weeks saw a drop in fasting insulin levels as well as levels of free testosterone.
Sleeping Well and Taking Adequate Rest- Giving your body adequate rest by at least 6-7 hours of sleep is important as it helps you to distress and helps your body to recover. It has been shown to have beneficial effects in lowering your insulin resistance and lowering the risk of infertility.
These natural remedies coupled with some lifestyle changes can make a world of difference as your body copes with PCOS. But whatever your choice of remedy, be sure to consult your doctor before stopping any medication – especially if you are being treated for PCOS related problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure or are undergoing fertility treatments.
Dr Amita Shah is a leading gynaecologist in Gurgaon with vast experience in treating all major and minor female problems. She is currently heading the Obs & Gynae department at Apollo Cradle and Miracles Mediclinic Gurgaon. For more information or appointment with Dr Amita Shah please call +91-8800188335 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org