Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a common health problem among women. 1 in 10 women of reproductive age suffers from it.
What is PCOS?
It is a reproductive organ disorder. In this ovaries become enlarged or form small cysts. These small cysts contain immature eggs which fail to ovulate and may lead to irregular menstruation.
Factors contributing PCOS
Genetic – PCOS runs in the family. You are at high risk if you have a strong history of it.
Hormonal – Elevated levels of androgens and insulin may give rise to it.
Insulin resistance or overproduction – In insulin resistance body cells do not respond to the insulin hormone. This may lead to the overproduction of androgens.
In some cases, the pancreas created more insulin. The overproduction of insulin stimulates the ovary for the overproduction of androgens which may result in PCOS.
Lifestyle – Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and obesity also contributes to it.
Tips to reduce weight loss
Weight loss is the biggest challenge in PCOS due to hormonal and insulin imbalances.
Healthy Diet – The most important part of the weight loss journey. Avoid processed food, carbohydrates and sugary drinks.
Include more green vegetables and fruits in your diet. As well as go for food with a low glycemic index (GI). For eg low starch vegetables and legumes. Low GI food has a slower impact on blood sugar, this can help to regulate insulin levels of your body.
Adequate sleep – Adequate rest and sleep are a must to reduce weight. Inadequate or disturbed sleep leads to hormonal imbalance and eventually contributes to weight gain. 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary for every individual.
Exercise – I can’t stress enough the importance of exercise in our life. Engage in any kind of physical activity for 45-60 minutes daily. It may be brisk walking, running, gaming, swimming, cycling or dancing. But it’s important to move your body daily.
Stress management – Stress is always harmful to us. Stress can aggravate hormonal imbalance and hinder all your weight loss efforts.
Some people tend to eat more during stress, this symptom is known as “stress eating”.
To reduce stress practice yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Or engage yourself in your favourite activities.
Activity tracker – The most useful tool. Track your healthy eating habits, track how many days a week you avoided fast food, and track your physical activities. Calculate your progress by the end of every week or fortnight and reward yourself. This will help you to go forward.
Try these tips, and if required take the help of a dietitian.
Weight loss in PCOS is difficult but not impossible.
Always don’t focus on the number on a weighing scale. Keep an eye on your body inches and most importantly how you feel.
It is always important to consult a gynaecologist for your PCOS concerns.