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Health Awareness: Living with PCOS – Diet And Lifestyle

PCOS is the short form of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome; it is a medical disorder that affects women of childbearing age. It is one of the most common undiagnosed conditions many young women silently suffer. 1 out of 8 women, according to research, suffer from this medical disorder. In this article, we would be giving you a better insight into what PCOS is, PCOS diet and lifestyle, and what to do if you are diagnosed with PCOS.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), also known as cysts in the ovaries, is a medical condition that is one of the major causes of infertility. It is a hormonal disorder that causes the enlargement of the ovaries and production of multiple cysts on the outer edges of the ovaries, which on its own, is abnormal. Women who have PCOS tend to produce more Androgen,a male hormone, abnormally.

Causes of PCOS

So many experts have come up with different causes of PCOS, some of which were confirmed. For this article, we would tell you of only three causes of PCOS. The first cause of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is due to genetics. “Study shows that one can inherit PCOS from a family member who once had this medical condition. The second cause of PCOS is attributed to hormonal imbalance/disorder, and this is the reason why women with PCOS encounter irregular or no menstruation.” says Dr. Karen, a reputed gynecologist at

The last but not the least cause of PCOS can be attributed to environmental factors, which for the sake of this article, would be broken down into the diet and lifestyle of the individual in question. The pancreas is in charge of producing insulin in the body, which carries glucose to the different cells in the body. However, due to unhealthy food habits, the glucose level in the body is high. This prompts the pancreas to produce more insulin in the body, which in turn makes the body resistant to insulin because of the significant presence of insulin. At the same time, the blood sugar level remains high. While all these happen, the cell remains void of glucose and energy in which the insulin transports to the cell. The above explanation is what causes the constant feeling of hunger. This is the reason why PCOS is related to Diabetes, and a large number of people living with PCOS are also diabetic patients.

Symptoms of PCOS

The symptoms of PCOS are so many and vary because there are several causes of PCOS. This is one of the reasons why people who have this medical imbalance tend to treat something different before visiting the doctor for medical guidance. Below is a list of some of the symptoms of PCOS which you might experience if you have this medical condition;

  • Irregular or no menstruation cycles
  • infertility
  • The excess hair growth or hair loss
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Hyperpigmentation around the inner thighs
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cardiovascular diseases

Food to eat and avoid

Since your diet has a significant effect when it comes to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, we put together some of the food any PCOS patient should eat or avoid.

Food to eat includes;

  • Food with a low GI (glycemic index). The reason for this is because the body slowly breaks down and digests these foods. This implies that they do not cause spikes in the level of insulin in the body since the glucose is released slowly during the digestion period. Some of the food that contains low GI includes legumes, whole grains, low-carbohydrate foods, nuts, seeds, and fruits.
  • Food in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. Apart from helping in curbing the risk and impact of cardiovascular diseases, it also helps when it comes to PCOS. Food under this diet includes fishes, low-fat dairy products, and food that aren’t saturated in fat and sugar.
  • Food that passes to be in an anti-inflammatory diet also helps in the PCOS course. The food includes leafy greens, berries, and extra virgin olive oil. These sets of food help reduce specific symptoms like fatigue and the likes.
  • Drink lots of water, homemade electrolytes, cold-pressed juice, and freshly pressed fruit juice.
  • Other foods you can consume are dark chocolate, natural or unprocessed food, broccoli, cauliflower, certain spices like cinnamon and turmeric, coconuts, etc.

People who are trying to reduce the impact of PCOS are expected to stay off from some foods. They include;

  • Processed meats like hotdogs, luncheon meats, and sausages.
  • Solid fats like lard and margarine
  • Excess red meat like pork, steaks, and hamburgers
  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread
  • Fried and fast foods
  • Fruits high in GI (glycemic index) like pineapple, mangoes, and jackfruits should be consumed in minimal amounts.
  • Sugary beverages like energy and soda drinks
  • Dairy products like cream cheese, flavor, and low-fat yogurt
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