A pro on why healthy living is the best PCOS treatment
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According to research your need-to-know.
If you’ve been searching the web for PCOS treatments, chances are you yourself or someone you know has polycystic ovarian syndrome.
The condition affects one in ten women globally, including such globally renowned celebrities as Victoria Beckham, Daisy Ridley and Rebel Wilson. How does this work? Well, according to the NHS website, it is a hormonal condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work and can normally lead to irregular periods, unpredictable menstrual cycles, excess androgens that can itself cause acne, excess hair, fertility problems. Presents more.
Doctors usually advise patients to ease PCOS symptoms through weight loss — but Rohini Bajekal, nutritionist, board-certified lifestyle medicine professional and co-author stay pcos free, It believes that focusing on weight loss as the only PCOS treatment is counterproductive and, further, is not the best way to ease your symptoms and the condition it can cause.
Why? Here, she explains. Don’t miss our guide to PCOS supplements, endometriosis symptoms, and getting off the pill while you’re here.
PCOS Treatment: Why Losing Weight Isn’t The Necessary Answer?
You probably know that PCOS is a complex condition that affects the way your ovaries work, resulting in a wide range of reproductive, metabolic and psychological symptoms that affect women differently. “It is often as simple as the issue of fertility because it is the leading cause of infertility worldwide – however, PCOS and its complications are underrepresented in both scientific research and mainstream conversation,” she explains. .
Unfortunately, many women are told that losing weight is the only way to improve their PCOS with little guidance or support—yet the relationship between weight and PCOS is complex, the expert details.
did you know? 20% of people with PCOS have “lean PCOS,” meaning they have a healthy BMI yet still struggle with PCOS symptoms. “In overweight women, even modest weight loss (5 to 10% of body weight) results in restoration of normal ovulatory cycles and improved pregnancy rates in short-term studies, as noted in 2003 According to the Kay Crosigni et al study – however, we know that for most people, weight loss is difficult to sustain over the long term,” she adds.
As with most diet fads, they will fail in the long run. Why? Because they don’t combine a healthy, sustainable lifestyle with realistic goals or a positive mindset, share nutritionists. “Cycles of yo-yo dieting, also known as “weight cycling,” can actually lead to weight gain over the long term,” she explains. “Weight oscillations also cause hormonal fluctuations that affect sleep cycles.”
What is the main PCOS treatment?
Good question – and one that many experts hold their opinion on. Shares Bajekal, “PCOS is a condition heavily influenced by our lifestyle – how we eat, sleep, move, stress, talk, and more.” While many doctors may jump right in for weight loss, this isn’t always helpful or the best way to treat your condition, shares a medical professional.
Why? “All national and international guidelines recommend lifestyle changes to be the first line of management of PCOS, even before medications,” she shares — and she believes that sustainable lifestyles include: The changes you maintain over the course of your life will have a longer-lasting effect than quick-fix craze weight loss plans.
“Recommending weight loss as the only solution for PCOS may be at a disadvantage, as women with PCOS are at increased risk of disordered eating and eating disorders, particularly binge eating disorder.”
Interested in reducing your symptoms with PCOS treatment? Instead of jumping into a massive weight loss program, try the following, shares the expert.
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet: minimally processed whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, legumes (beans, lentils, tofu, edamame beans, tempeh, peas), fruits, vegetables (especially the green leafy variety), nuts And aim for the seed. herbs and spices, she recommends
- Increase your plant intake (read our guide to vegetarian protein sources and following a plant-based diet here).
- walk regularly
- get enough (seven to nine hours) sleep
- Avoid tobacco, excess alcohol and caffeine
- Consider meditation, mindfulness, psychotherapy or yoga to manage stress levels
- Avoid yo-yo dieting.
While weight loss has been scientifically found to be a good PCOS treatment, weight loss that is not sustainable is not the answer and may cause more harm than good, the expert shares.
“Focusing only on weight loss shouldn’t be the goal — rather, focusing on lifestyle changes and an overall healthy plant-dominant dietary pattern can be far more helpful,” she recommends.