The Low Glycemic Index Diet
Its important that you control your insulin levels when you have PCOS, as this will help to lower your androgen levels. The GI diet is filled with foods that digest slowly, which means lower insulin levels and slower level rises after eating. On this diet, youll be eating a lot of nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and starchy vegetables.
Irregular Or Absent Periods
The contraceptive pill may be recommended to induce regular periods, or periods may be induced using an intermittent course of progestogen tablets .
This will also reduce the long-term risk of developing cancer of the womb lining associated with not having regular periods.
Other hormonal methods of contraception, such as an intrauterine system , will also reduce this risk by keeping the womb lining thin, but they may not cause periods.
Limit Or Avoid Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals or ingredients that interfere with or block your bodys natural hormonal reactions.
Some endocrine disruptors mimic female and male sex hormones, causing confusion in your reproductive system. This can increase your risk of PCOS symptoms.
Theyre often found in canned foods, soaps, and makeup. Common endocrine disruptors include:
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Foods To Avoid If You Have Pcos
- Anything that is processed or artificial should also be removed from your diet.
- Stay away from refined carbohydrates and sugars. Refined carbohydrates cause inflammation, exacerbate insulin resistance, and should be avoided.
- Remove foods from your diet that trigger inflammation, namely gluten, and cow-based dairy products.
- Aim to eliminate inflammatory foods, such as processed meats.
- If you cant pronounce it, you most likely shouldnt be eating it.
The Four Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle
What happens during each menstrual cycle? High-level, an egg develops and is released from the ovaries. If a pregnancy doesnt happen, the uterine lining sheds during a menstrual period. You bleed, and the cycle starts again. The four phases of the menstrual cycle are the menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase. The length of each phase can differ from woman to woman, and it can change over time.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
A key sign of PCOS is irregular periods or missed periods. The effects of PCOS on the ovaries can make a girl stop ovulating. PCOS cannot be diagnosed until 23 years after a girls first menstrual cycle because it can take up to 2 years after a first period for any girl’s cycle to become regular.
Imbalanced hormone levels can cause changes in a girl’s entire body, not just her ovaries. So doctors also look for these other signs of PCOS:
- weight gain, obesity, or difficulty maintaining a normal weight, especially when the extra weight is concentrated around the waist
- a condition called hirsutism , where a girl grows extra hair on her face, chest, abdomen, nipple area, or back
- thinning hair on the head
- acne and clogged pores
- darkened, thickened skin around the neck, armpits, or breasts , which is a sign of insulin resistance
- high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes mellitus
Girls who show signs of puberty early such as developing underarm or pubic hair before age 8 may be at greater risk for PCOS later on.
How Long Does It Take For My Acne Clear Up
It usually takes about 4 to 8 weeks for your acne to reduce significantly given the right topical and oral products, and skincare habits. So you need to be consistent when using any product for your acne.
When it comes to scars, you need more patience as it can take up to 6 months to clear if sticking routinely to the right skincare products.
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Pcos Treatment: What Are Your Options
When it comes to PCOS treatment, there are many ways you can manage your PCOS symptoms. Here, an OB-GYN talks us through the options for each symptom depending on whether youre trying to have a baby or not.
Youve probably heard of polycystic ovary syndrome , but what are some of the symptoms, and what is the best treatment for PCOS?
First things first: PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 20% of reproductive-aged women. While scientists still arent sure what causes PCOS, what they do know is that you could be more likely to have it if it runs in your family, if you are overweight , or if you have insulin resistance.
There are a number of symptoms associated with PCOS, but the main three are:
- Irregular or missed periods
- A high level of male hormones, called androgens
- Polycystic ovaries, which occur when small fluid-filled sacs, called cysts, develop on the ovaries
Confusingly, despite the name, you dont always develop polycystic ovaries with PCOS. Instead, a medical professional may diagnose you with PCOS if you exhibit two of the above three symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for PCOS, and if youve been diagnosed with the condition, its completely understandable to feel upset or concerned about your health. However, please be assured that there are numerous treatment options available that can help to control your symptoms.
Hormone Balancing Tip #: Balance Blood Sugar
Having balanced blood sugar means that your body produces a normal insulin response when you consume food. A balanced meal includes good quality fat, protein, and fibre. A balanced plate might look something like this:
12 of your plate greens and vegetables 14 of your plate good quality protein 14 of your plate complex carbs 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats
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Which Hormones Are To Blame
Even though each hormone plays a specific role in the body, there are a few key hormones to keep your eye on as they can influence many different lifestyle factors. Here is a brief overview of each.
- Cortisol: the stress hormone that may cause insomnia, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
- Thyroid hormones: can affect our metabolism, and can be an underlying cause of irregular periods, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and hair loss.
- Estrogen: a female sex hormone responsible for female physical features and reproduction.
- Progesterone: another female sex hormone vital for a healthy pregnancy.
- Testosterone: the primary male sex hormone that influences sex drive, bone health, acne, and body hair.
- Insulin: controls the sugar level in your body.
- Leptin: helps to regulate body weight.
- Ghrelin: the hunger hormone that signals the brain to eat.
- Melatonin: a hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
How To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Ultimately, consistency and commitment are key. How to balance your hormones, naturally, is all-encompassing. Here are the Cliffs Notes: Focus on an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet, remove endocrine disruptors, incorporate stress relief habits, and take the necessary steps to get your gut health on track. Finding a balance with exercise is important, too. If youre feeling overwhelmed, start small. Begin with daily meditation practice. Next week, take a stab at a 3-day hormone-balancing meal plan. One step at a time.
Image by Hannah Zahner
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Reduce Insulin Resistance And Other Hormones Will Improve Too
Both lean and overweight PCOS patience are at risk for insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is an intrinsic part of having polycystic ovary syndrome. It can be an underlying problem for other hormonal problems as well. You want to do everything you can to reduce your risk for insulin resistance and correct it when you already have it.
Recent research studies on people who have PCOS show that strength training was one of the most effective ways, on a long-term scale, to prevent and lower insulin resistance.
Strength training raises your metabolic rate by adding lean mass. Muscle mass consumes glucose at a higher rate and also needs more insulin. Thus keeping glucose and insulin out of the bloodstream and in your muscle cells where it belongs. Also, strength training is the best type of exercise for lower androgens
Avoid added sugars and carbohydrates:
A simple way to get started on better nutrition and decreasing your insulin resistance is to pay attention to how much-added sugars you are consuming. Added sugars are not naturally occurring sugars that are found in whole foods like fruit. They are sweeteners added to processed foods. Examples are white sugar, coconut sugar, corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup.
Get enough sleep:
Sleep deprivation makes insulin resistance worse. People who do not get 7-8 hours of sleep each night are much more likely to become or already be insulin resistant.
Insulin sensitizing supplements:
Whats Weight Got To Do With It
Doctors will often suggest weight loss as a way to manage PCOS, which is likely why so many of the studies cited in this article mention weight loss as one of the ways to measure the success of each nutritional plan in regards to PCOS. This recommendation stems from the fact that adipose tissue is inherently more insulin resistant than muscle. Additionally, research consistently shows that 5-10% loss of body weight can improve PCOS symptoms, from infertility to acne to risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The problem is that food and exercise arent the sole determinants of weight and weight isnt always completely within an individuals control. That said, while the dietary strategies outlined above are often shown to support a reduced body-fat percentage, these ways of balanced eating allow you to focus on improving metabolic markers of health like blood sugar and cholesterol levels rather than an arbitrary number on the scale.
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How Is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Diagnosed
In most cases, your healthcare provider can diagnose PCOS after an examination. They may order blood tests or perform an ultrasound to help with the diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider will:
- Talk to you about your symptoms and medical history.
- Ask about your familys medical history.
- Take your weight and blood pressure.
- Perform a physical exam, looking specifically for excess facial hair, hair loss, acne, discolored skin and skin tags.
- Perform a pelvic exam to look for swollen ovaries or other growths in your uterus.
- Order blood tests to check hormone levels and glucose levels.
- Perform a pelvic ultrasound to look for cysts in your ovaries and check the thickness of the lining of your uterus.
Typically, you are be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following:
- Irregular or missed periods. Some people with PCOS have very heavy bleeding when they do have a period.
- Signs of excess androgen such as acne or excessive hair growth. Or, a blood test confirming excess androgen levels.
- Cysts on one or both ovaries. Many people dont develop cysts.
Is There A Natural Solution To Treating My Pcos
At BeBalanced, we believe that all the hormones in the body are connected and until you learn how to balance them naturally, you will suffer from symptoms associated with insulin resistance and estrogen dominance. Our program is centered around correcting all imbalances that you may be suffering from so that you can live your best life. A life that is full of energy, peaceful sleep, balanced moods where you can get rid of excess weight and keep it off for good!
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Medical Treatments For Pcos
Medical treatments for PCOS treatments include:
- the oral contraceptive pill this is often prescribed for contraception, to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce excess hair growth and acne and prevent the lining of the womb from excessive thickening
- medication to block hormones such as testosterone these may be used to reduce excess hair growth or scalp hair loss
- insulin sensitising medications these will help people who have insulin resistance, and may be useful for regulating menstrual cycles, improving ovulation and fertility, avoiding progression to diabetes, and may assist with weight loss
- infertility medications if infertility is a problem, clomiphene citrate , or aromatase inhibitors may be taken orally to bring about ovulation
- psychological counselling.
Your GP and specialists can discuss possible treatments with you to help you decide what treatment best suits you.
Try Some Of The Strategies To Help You Manage Stress:
Learn to say no
Protein with every meal to stabilise blood sugar and moods
Regular exercise that you enjoy and is not too strenuous
Time outdoors: barefoot on the ground
When it comes to supplementation, ashwagandha is an incredible natural solution. Here at Nourished we have created the purest ashwagandga supplement on the market, our Calm + De-stress vitamin. It is made in the USA, FDA certified and 100% natural.
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Get Rid Of Sugar And Refined Carbs
This is the most important piece of dietary advice I can give, especially if you have PCOS.
Weight loss is one of the best things you can do to manage PCOS. Decreasing your body weight by just 5% has a huge impact on PCOS symptoms and hormonal imbalance .
If you have PCOS, though, weight loss can be especially challenging. About 70% of women with PCOS also have insulin resistance, which is when your body struggles to control blood sugar and insulin properly . Insulin resistance leads to weight gain and makes it particularly difficult to lose weight .
Cutting out sugar and refined carbs is one of the best ways to reverse insulin resistance. Its especially valuable if you have PCOS. Women with PCOS who ate a moderate-carb diet instead of a high-carb one saw a 30% decrease in their insulin resistance .
In another study, women with PCOS who ate a low-carb diet saw even more improvement in their insulin response, as well as significant fat loss .
If you have PCOS, try cutting out sugar and refined carbs, and replacing them with healthy fats like olive oil, salmon, and avocados. The switch will help balance your hormones and relieve your PCOS symptoms.
Pcos Treatment: Acne Or Oily Skin
PCOS can also make your skin more oily and prone to acne . The acne will usually appear on your chest, back, or face, and it may be frustratingly stubborn to treat.
If over-the-counter spot creams or treatments dont work, your health care provider may recommend hormonal contraceptives, and there is also evidence that isotretinoin capsules , an intensive acne treatment, could help too. Speak to your doctor and/or a dermatologist about its pros and cons to find out whether its right for you.
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What Is The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is in charge of coordinating the relationship between different organs and hormones, which are chemicals that are released into your bloodstream from cells within your endocrine glands.
Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs, including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even slightly imbalanced, it can cause widespread health problems affecting growth, sexual development and function, sleep, metabolism and hunger.
Once your hormones are in circulation, they target specific tissues or cells by binding to receptors that are located inside the cell or on its surface. These hormones work as chemical messengers and play a key role in your bodys daily functions.
The endocrine system is made up of many glands, including the pituitary gland or master gland thats responsible for sending information from your brain to other glands in your body. The pituitary gland also produces many hormones that travel throughout the body and have different important functions.
The pituitary gland is made up of two different tissue types: the anterior pituitary that synthesizes and releases classic hormones, and the posterior pituitary gland that secretes neurohormones that are made in the hypothalamus.
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What Are The Benefits Of Bioperine In Dim En Effective Nutra For Hormonal Acne
You can develop acne when your hair follicles are blocked by dead cells, sebum and inflammation due to Propionibacterium acne , increased androgen levels etc.
BioPerine has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity that can help reduce or control inflammation and inhibit P.acne activities associated with acne formation, thereby helping to control breakouts.
Another benefit of BioPerine is that you will enjoy a smooth and glowing skin.