PCOS is a condition characterized by hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, excessive hair growth and obesity. One of the key features with PCOS is insulin resistance, which can affect fertility, cause weight issues and even increase heart disease risk. It is not known whether PCOS causes insulin resistance or the other way around.
Birth control pills such as Diane 35 are often used because they lower levels of circulating androgens (hormones that are associated with hair growth and oily skin). The concern with taking products such as Diane 35 are the side effects such as low libido, mood swings, depression, headaches and bloating to name a few.
Here are some things that you can do naturally to help improve PCOS:
Follow a low glycemic index (GI) diet and get regular exercise because both of these things can improve insulin sensitivity. All our hormones are interconnected, and if something is out of balance (like insulin) it can affect other aspects of health, such as weight and fertility.
A low GI diet means avoiding all refined/white flour products such as white bread, pasta, rice and baked goods. Instead have the whole grains (brown bread/rice/pasta). Cut down on sugar and juice. Eat small frequent meals with low GI carbs, healthy fats like olive oil, fish and avocado, and lean protein.
For exercise aim for 30 minutes to one hour of moderate intensity activity daily. Exercise can help improve body composition, insulin sensitivity and androgen levels and it may help restore ovulation.
For supplements I would recommend:
- Hormone Balance by femMED – contains ingredients that help to balance hormones
- Chromium 200mcg daily to improve insulin sensitivity
- Fish oil (omega-3) 1000mg twice daily
For more information refer to this article:
Graafian Follicle Cumulus Oophorus in Human Ovary Pathological and histological images courtesy of Ed Uthman at flickr.