MAN­AGE POLY­CYS­TIC OVARY SYN­DROME THROUGH HEALTHY DIET AND NU­TRI­TION

It’s poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome (PCOS) aware­ness month. If you are deal­ing with this con­di­tion, ex­perts sug­gest di­etary changes that can help

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - CITY LIFESTYLE - Ab­hi­nav Verma ■ ab­hi­nav,verma@htlive.com

PCOS (poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome) af­fects one in 10 women. Though pin­point­ing the ac­tual cause and cure for this con­di­tion is a bit dif­fi­cult, how­ever, there are doc­tors who agree that diet and lifestyle play a sig­nif­i­cant role in man­ag­ing PCOS. There­fore, to un­der­stand the re­la­tion­ship be­tween food and PCOS, we got in touch with Dr San­deep Datta, MBBS MD fel­low­ship in di­a­betes, car­dio-meta­bolic and BHRT spe­cial­ist, and Kavita Dev­gan, a nu­tri­tion­ist, who ex­plain how what you eat mat­ters if you have PCOS.

WHAT IS PCOS?

Poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome can be de­fined as a health con­di­tion in women, where a cyst gets formed in ovaries. The cyst is pri­mar­ily formed due to the over­pro­duc­tion of an­dro­gen hor­mones. PCOS can lead women to gain weight; it is also linked to in­sulin re­sis­tance and high in­sulin lev­els can lead to symp­toms like ex­ces­sive hunger, hair fall, acne, fa­cial hair, etc.

ROLE OF DIET

A proper diet and nu­tri­tion can help PCOS pa­tients to lose and man­age their weight along with con­trol­ling their in­sulin lev­els as well. Most ex­perts agree that a high pro­tein and low car­bo­hy­drate can help in deal­ing with weight and in­sulin is­sues.

TYPE OF FOODS

Greens: Leafy greens such as spinach are rich in mul­ti­ple nu­tri­ents and low in calo­ries. They are also rich in Vi­ta­min B. And more than 60% of PCOS pa­tients hap­pen to be Vi­ta­min B de­fi­cient. Lack of this vi­ta­min is linked to var­i­ous PCOS symp­toms such as ir­reg­u­lar pe­ri­ods, ex­ces­sive hair growth and obe­sity. Opt for spinach, cab­bage greens, kale, broc­coli, and other green leafy veg­eta­bles.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Th­ese fatty acids are es­sen­tial for regulating one’s men­strual cy­cle. They help in regulating your hor­mones; they also re­duce your body’s sen­si­tiv­ity to pro­lactin — a hor­mone that can sup­press ovu­la­tion. Opt for salmon, flaxseed, chia seeds, etc.

Low glycemic in­dex food: Eat­ing low GI food is im­per­a­tive for weight man­age­ment. Foods high in GI can cause your blood sugar lev­els to rise, which has im­pli­ca­tions for di­a­betes caused by PCOS. Opt for fruits low in GI such as ap­ples, pear, grape­fruit, blue­ber­ries, and foods such as oat­meal, sweet pota­toes, and legumes. Whole grains: PCOS also causes type 2 di­a­betes, in most cases. And whole grains con­tain fi­bre, which is nec­es­sary for main­tain­ing in­sulin lev­els. Also, whole grains such as rye, oats, and buck­wheat they slowly re­lease car­bo­hy­drates in our body, which does not cause a spike in our sugar lev­els.

WHAT TO AVOID?

Pro­cessed food: They have a high GI, which is directly linked to in­sulin pro­duc­tion and di­a­betes.

Dairy: Not all, but in some cases it can cause in­flam­ma­tion, acne and in­creased in­sulin lev­els. Un­healthy fats: Sat­u­rated or hy­dro­genated fats can in­crease es­tro­gen pro­duc­tion mak­ing PCOS symp­toms even worse. Soy: Women with PCOS tend too have high es­tro­gen lev­els and con­sum­ing soy will in­crease it even fur­ther.

Gluten: Gluten can cause in­flam­ma­tion, which in turn can lead to in­sulin re­sis­tance lead­ing to di­a­betes.

WOMEN WHO HAVE PCOS TEND TO DE­VELOP CYSTS IN THE OVARIES, HAVE HIGH LEV­ELS OF MALE HOR­MONES, AND SUF­FER FROM IR­REG­U­LAR MEN­STRUAL CY­CLE

PHO­TOS: ISTOCK

More than 60% of PCOS pa­tients hap­pen to be Vi­ta­min B de­fi­cient. So, opt for spinach, cab­bage greens, kale, broc­coli, and other green leafy veg­eta­bles that are rich in vi­ta­min B

In many cases, PCOS also causes type 2 di­a­betes. Insuch cases, con­sum­ing whole grains such as rye, oats, and buck­wheatcon­tain fi­bre, help main­tain the in­sulinlev­els

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