Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS, is one of the most common hormone disorders affecting women. The condition, which affects five million women in the U.S. alone, can wreak havoc on your hormones and still doesn’t have a known cure. When you have PCOS it can trigger a wide range of symptoms including weight gain, sugar cravings, stubborn acne, facial hair, absent or irregular menstruation and difficulties falling pregnant. PCOS can also make you feel tired and moody, even depressed some days.
While many women successfully manage their symptoms solely with medication and hormone therapy, some prefer to supplement traditional treatments with more holistic remedies, while some opt for entirely natural alternatives. There are various natural remedies available for PCOS, which is free from side effects. The most important problem of a hormone treatment through supplements is the side effects it cause.
This hormone disorder is termed a ‘syndrome’ as it describes a group of symptoms that when clustered together collectively indicate a specific health problem. Like most health ‘syndromes’ the symptoms of PCOS can vary differently from woman to woman. However our understanding of what causes PCOS is becoming a lot clearer.
Here are some natural methods to help manage your PCOS symptoms:
PCOS and Insulin
Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas to help control your blood sugar levels. A diet high in sugary foods leads to ‘insulin resistance’. When this happens the body stops responding effectively to the actions of insulin. Insulin resistance leads to weight gain, especially around the abdomen. In addition, weight gain associated with PCOS interferes with ovulation.
A recent study shows that Women with PCOS who ate the majority of their daily calories at breakfast for 12 weeks significantly improved their insulin and glucose levels as well as decreased their testosterone levels by 50 percent, compared to women who consumed their largest meals at dinnertime.
Women with PCOS have been shown to have higher levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in their blood. AGEs are compounds formed when glucose binds with proteins and are believed to contribute to certain degenerative diseases and aging. Foods high in AGEs include animal-derived foods and processed foods. Applying high heat (grilling, searing, roasting) increases levels. So avoiding these foods can help you in reducing the PCOS symptoms.
Check Calcium and Vitamin D
Women with PCOS are also having lower levels of Calcium and vitamin D. So by following a diet which can provide you the enough amount of calcium and vitamin D needed can reduce the risk of lower bone strength.
Get enough Magnesium and Chromium
Many women with PCOS exhibit symptoms of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, risk factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other problems like diabetes and stroke. Low magnesium levels are often associated with diabetes, and some research indicates that a dietary supplement of the mineral may improve insulin sensitivity, a factor in the development of type 2 diabetes and PCOS.
Chromium is an essential mineral that helps the body regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. Some research suggests that chromium supplements can help people with diabetes lower their blood glucose levels.
Add Omega 3 fatty acids
These nutrients are very instrumental in reducing the androgen levels in the body in addition to improving insulin sensitivity. Omega 3 Fatty acids are available as supplements although you can always opt for foods like fish oils, almonds, salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, halibut, and soy etc .
Fenugreek promotes glucose metabolism in the body and improves insulin resistance. This, in turn, helps balance your hormones. It may also help lower cholesterol, aid weight loss and promote healthy heart functioning.
- Soak three teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in water for six to eight hours. Take one teaspoon of the soaked seeds along with some honey in the morning on an empty stomach. Also take one teaspoon of the seeds about 10 minutes prior to lunch and one teaspoon prior to dinner. Continue this treatment daily for a few weeks or until you see improvement.
- You can also include fenugreek seeds and leaves in your regular diet.