A conventional doctor won’t give many options when it comes to PCOS. In most cases, below two options are given.
- Birth control pills. In most cases hormone birth control pills are suggested, which doesn’t actually correct the underlying issue.
- Metformin. Many women with PCOS are advised the typical diabetes medication metformin, which works by increasing insulin sensitivity. However, if you want to reverse the root causes, metformin is ultimately not going to do that. Lifestyle changes are really required to do that.
As PCOS is a lifestyle disorder, you can treat PCOS by making sustainable changes in your diet, lifestyle, home environment, correcting the insufficiencies (with the help of right supplementation) and improving your gut health.
You can also check out our blog on All about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) if you want to know about the root causes of PCOS.
Decode The Root Cause with PCOS Tests
It is important to address the root cause if you really want to live a PCOS free life. In 50-60% of the cases, insulin resistance is the root cause. It is important to take a PCOS profile test which covers:
- Heavy metals (endocrine disruptors)
- Complete vitamins & minerals
- Fasting insulin
- Inflammatory markers
- Liver function, kidney function, lipid profile, thyroid function, prolactin, etc.
These parameters will help in the root cause analysis. A functional medicine doctor can help with a root cause analysis and help you with a personalized treatment plan to reverse your PCOS. Based on the pcos profile test, right supplements can be suggested as a part of the treatment plan.
Get Started with The Diet Recommendations for PCOS:
Swap Coffee/Tea for Green Tea
Excess coffee consumption impairs your liver’s ability to process and clear excess hormones. Thus, contributing to a whole array of hormone imbalances, increased anxiety and poor ability to cope with stress. Coffee also affects how well you break down and absorb food, reducing the amount of period-supporting nutrients available for your body.
Consider Choosing These Alternatives to Coffee/Tea:
- Green tea
- Turmeric latte (vegan version)
- Hot cacao
Include Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are one of the most powerful foods you can eat for hormone balance. They are important for your hormones because:
- Aid in natural hormone production: Dark leafy greens (like rocket, collard greens, kale, spinach, swiss chard, local seasonal greens) are rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, folate and vitamin C which are needed for optimal hormone production.
- Efficient detoxification and elimination of excess estrogen: Greens are packed with fibre which is crucial for promoting regular bowel movements. It might come as a surprise but constipation is one of the causes of estrogen excess in your body.
Include Greens Like
- Rocket (arugula)
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Local seasonal greens
You can add them to your salads, in soups, curries, sautéed veggies or in your smoothie.
Add Healthy Fats in Your Meals🥑
Healthy Fats Make Healthy Hormones. It’s high time we should stop demonizing fats (good fats) and give them the credit they deserve. If you’re not providing your body with enough healthy fats, your periods will suffer in following ways:
All our hormones are made of fats.We need adequate amounts of healthy fats to make cholesterol because of a hormone called Pregnenolone. All sex horomones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are made from the “Mother Hormone:- Pregnenolone. If you are eating a low-fat diet, your hormones will suffer, resulting in missing periods, skin breakouts, painful periods and nightmarish PMS and mood swings.
- A high amount of unhealthy fats and decreased intake of healthy fats can lead to a chronic state of inflammation which causes cramping.
- Fat is also a crucial nutrient needed for the absorption of certain fat- soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K which are vital in regulating hormones and fertility.
Fix Your Periods with Healthy Fats
For better periods, eat fats from the good list (Omega 3 Fats) and avoid the bad guys (Omega 6s)
The Good Fats
- Unprocessed organic oils like cold pressed coconut oil: Coconut oil has special medium-chain fatty acids that promote a healthy metabolism, immune system, skin and thyroid
- Avocados and avocado oil:
- Organic A2 ghee from grass-fed desi cows (ghee made by traditional bilona method is the best). It is rich in short chain fatty acids which is great for the gut microbiome.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Soaked raw nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
- Egg yolks from pastured hens.
- Organic meat from animals that are grass fed.
- Wild-caught salmon
- Brazil nuts (great for your thyroid!)
- Ground flax seeds
- Tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- Hemp seeds
- Almond/cashew butter
The Bad Fats
All the bad guys are the ultra-processed vegetable oils aka PUFAs (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids)
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Soy oil
- Vegetable oil Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
The anti-inflammatory spice. Curcumin in turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory actions. In India, turmeric is available in abundance, so make use of this amazing spice.
- It improves gut health. Improved digestion means enhanced nutrient absorption and more nutrients available for creating and balancing your hormones.
- Turmeric supports the liver to detoxify excess estrogen hormones, hence helps with PMS, PCOS, etc
- Reduces inflammation in the skin
Start with 1 tsp per day mixed into warm drinks, smoothies, and curries. Curcumin is activated when taken with a fat source and some black pepper so make sure you add that in there as well for maximum benefits.
In Addition, Also Read – Do not Miss The Signs Your Periods are Giving You About Your Body Health
7 Most Important Lifestyle Recommendations for PCOS:
- Get your daily dose of sunshine. Vitamin D is very important for hormonal balance. So go out and soak yourself in the sun for 30 minutes daily.
- Prioritise sleep: Inadequate sleep is a major cause of hormonal imbalances. Make sure you keep away your phones at least 2 hours before going to bed. Use dim lights in the evening. Your bedroom should be pitch dark.
- Switch to organic and natural personal care products. Skin is a large organ. Imagine the toxins loaded in your personal care products which are being absorbed via skin. It’s huge right!
- Switch to natural home cleaning products: Cleaning agents have various ingredients which are xenoestrogens and endocrine disruptors.
- Swap the plastic jars in your kitchen with stainless steel & glass jars. Plastic jars are a source of BPA, one of the common endocrine disrupting chemicals.
- Manage your stress levels. They impact our hormones in a big way. Include meditation in your daily routine.
- Move your body!
- Marsh KA, Steinbeck KS, Atkinson FS, Petocz P, Brand-Miller JC. Effect of a low glycemic index compared with a conventional healthy diet on polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(1):83-92.
- Obert E, Gidlof S, Jakson I, MItsell M, Tollet Egnell P, & Hirschberg AL. Improved mennstrual function in obese women with polycystic ovarian syndrome after behavioural modification intervention-a randomized controlled trial. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2018. doi: 10.1111/cen.13919.
- Sirmans SM, Pate KA. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clin Epidemiol. 2013;6(1):1-13.
- Lua ACY, How CH, King TFJ. Managing polycystic ovary syndrome in primary care. Singapore Med J. 2018;59(11):567-571.
- Kazemi M, McBreairty LE, Chizen DR, Pierson RA, Chilibeck PD, Zello GA. A comparison of a pulse-based diet and the therapeutic lifestyle changes diet in combination with exercise and health counselling on the cardio-metabolic risk profile in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):E1387