It is estimated that 10% of women of reproductive age are impacted by polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as PCOS. This condition has to do with a hormonal imbalance where high amounts of androgen and insulin can be found in the body. Though the cause of PCOS is unknown the hormonal abnormalities can lead to metabolic and reproductive challenges.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular periods
- Increased hair growth on the face, chest, back, stomach
- Severe acne or oily skin
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair or hair loss on the head
- Insulin resistance
- High cholesterol and/or blood pressure
Research shows that a healthy diet and physical activity can help to manage PCOS and improve symptoms. Eating a balanced diet that is rich with high-fiber vegetables and fruits, lean protein and anti-inflammatory foods can help to lower your blood sugar, improve your body’s use of insulin and regulate your hormone levels. This food pyramid created by Dr. Joel Furham is a great example of food choices that will support managing PCOS:
Foods to avoid if you have PCOS are:
- Refined carbohydrates and processed foods
- High sugar snacks and drinks
- Inflammatory foods such as processed red meats
In addition to eating well, getting plenty of daily physical activity (shoot for 10,000 steps!) can also help.
If you’d like support with managing your PCOS, or if you think you may have PCOS, contact me and we can develop an integrative plan to help you return to health.