Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a pervasive problem among women of reproductive age. It causes hormonal imbalance, fluid-filled cysts, and over time, infertility.
Other symptoms, while not limited to PCOS, include acne, irregular periods, weight gain or obesity, insulin resistance, and facial hair. Unfortunately, there is no known cure yet for PCOS.
And since PCOS does not go away on its own, its health risks and symptoms can be lifelong. However, studies show that you can manage PCOS symptoms and feel better with certain drugs and lifestyle modifications.
Here’s a guide to what treatments are available for PCOS and those that come as close as possible to a cure.
Is There a Cure for PCOS?
PCOS is a complex endocrine-metabolic disorder affecting nearly 4%–20% of women worldwide. Most women with PCOS wonder how to cure it permanently, but there is no such cure for it yet. The biggest reason is that medical science has not yet found the exact cause of the condition.
There is currently no cure for PCOS, though it is manageable through nutrition, exercises, yoga, health supplements and specific ayurvedic remedies.
A common myth is that losing weight can get rid of PCOS, but this is not the case. Losing weight can help manage the condition, but it is not a permanent cure.
The HealthifyMe Note
There is no cure for PCOS, but you can take steps to improve your symptoms. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage PCOS, but medication may sometimes be necessary. Birth control pills are a common PCOS medication, but many other options exist. Remember that every person with PCOS is different, so the best treatment plan for an individual may differ from what works for someone else.
Strategies to Manage PCOS Symptoms
One way to manage PCOS symptoms is through weight loss. If you are overweight or obese, your doctor might advise you to lose weight by following a low-calorie diet and moderate exercise.
Even losing a small percentage of your total body weight, like 5%, can improve your condition. Moreover, losing weight can assist with infertility and may boost the effectiveness of PCOS drugs.
A crucial component of controlling PCOS is modifying your diet. People with PCOS frequently have insulin resistance, making it challenging to maintain a healthy weight. Therefore, avoid foods with a lot of sugar or simple carbs to maintain ideal insulin levels and normalise blood sugar levels.
Follow the given do’s and don’ts for following PCOS friendly diet:
- Consume healthy carbs like fruits, seeds, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.
- Do not eat processed carbs, including cake, pasta, fried foods, pizza, and pastries.
- Cut down on your red meat consumption and include lean meats like chicken and fish.
- Boost your daily fibre and antioxidant intake by eating lots of fruits and veggies.
Please note that dietary regulations may differ for every individual. Hence, it is better to consult an expert nutritionist. You may seek advice from nutritionists at HealthifyMe to manage your PCOS symptoms well.
Increased Iron Intake
Those experiencing heavy bleeding during menstruation may risk developing anaemia or iron deficiency. Speak to your physician about increasing iron intake through supplements and iron-rich foods.
Some examples of iron-rich foods include spinach, eggs, and broccoli. However, you must consult your doctor before increasing your iron intake, as too much iron can lead to other problems.
There are many reasons to exercise to manage PCOS.
- Exercise can help to regulate insulin levels, which can, in turn, help to regulate hormone levels and improve fertility.
- Exercise can help to reduce stress levels, which can be a trigger for PCOS symptoms.
- Exercise can help to reduce weight, which can also help to improve fertility and reduce the risk of complications associated with PCOS.
Changes in the gut microbiome lead to various illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
As per studies, this shift may even impact sex hormones like androgens and oestrogen, which worsen PCOS. Therefore, probiotics such as yoghurt and fermented foods may help with PCOS symptoms.
Medication for Ovulation
Hormone therapy and medications like Clomid (clomiphene) help with ovulation and follicle development.
Women with PCOS can also take follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) or progesterone (only on doctor’s advice) to affect oestrogen production. Birth control pills that contain oestrogen and progestin decrease androgen production and regulate ovulation.
Ensure Sound Sleep
PCOS can trigger sleep apnea, a condition when breathing stops for short periods during sleep. As per studies, sleep disturbances are twice as common in PCOS women.
Avoid fatty foods, caffeine, and sleep-disturbing stimulants before bed to minimise the impact of PCOS on sleep. In addition, make sure to follow a regular bedtime routine with 8-10 hours of sound sleep.
Since PCOS is a complicated condition, more study is required to determine its precise mechanism and root cause. Because no medicine or surgical operation can cure PCOS permanently, you should focus on combating the symptoms.
Controlling the symptoms is crucial to preventing the condition from worsening. Make all the necessary lifestyle changes, such as a nutritious diet, exercise, sleep, and medicines, to bring balance.
Because the severity of PCOS can vary from person to person, talk to your doctor first about all potential treatments and options.
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