Polycystic ovary syndrome afflicts one in ten women of childbearing age. Healthy options aren’t just common sense when you have PCOS!
Eating wisely, physical activity, sleeping well, and handling stress can help change the hormonal imbalance at the core of polycystic ovary syndrome and the symptoms caused by these hormonal changes.
Treatments can help you control the symptoms of PCOS and reduce the risk of developing long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
You and your physician should discuss your goals to develop a treatment plan. For instance, if you want to conceive and have a problem, your treatment will focus on helping you with pregnancy. If you want to tame PCOS related acne, your treatment will focus on skin problems.
In some cases, the woman does not make enough hormones needed to ovulate. When ovulation does not occur, the ovaries can develop several small cysts. These cysts produce hormones called androgens. Androgens are present in an increased amount in women with PCOS. This can cause more problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can cause many symptoms of PCOS.
Research repeatedly shows that managing your weight, even removing a small percentage of your excess weight (abdominal fat) and exercising frequently, can improve symptoms such as menstrual irregularities and infertility, improving the effectiveness of drugs used to manage glucose and improve insulin resistance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
And that’s not all! Taking care of your health with smart daily choices also helps protect against heart disease and diabetes, which are big health risks for women with PCOS. Although there is little research specifically on PCOS, it has been shown that a healthy diet, more exercise, and reduced stress help lift anxiety and depression, improve sleep, reduce fatigue, and increased energy – additional features that can help you feel healthy.
If you are overweight, many symptoms will improve if you lose a little. Losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight (9 to 18 pounds if your weight is now 180) can make your body more sensitive to insulin (reduces the insulin resistance behind PCOS), leading to more regular menstrual cycles and can help control severe acne and excessive hair growth.
Depression and stress are more prevalent in women with PCOS than in women without this condition. Hormonal imbalances can affect your mood – and difficulty learning how to overcome PCOS challenges can play a role in mood swings. Relaxation to rescue! A Penn State University study of 86 women suffering from obesity and overweight found that reducing mental stress brings calm, reduces pressure, and improves blood sugar. Although these women have not had PCOS, this simple technique – sitting in a quiet, comfortable place and following your breath- can also help.
Birth control is the most common treatment for PCOS in women who don’t want to get pregnant. Hormonal contraception – pills, skin patch, vaginal ring, injections, or hormonal IUD (intrauterine device) – can help restore regular periods. Hormones also treat acne and undesired hair growth.
These measures are aimed at maintaining the proper functioning of all parts of the body. Healthy organs lead to the optimal functioning of the endocrine system and no hormonal imbalance!