Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that affects hormone levels in women.
These hormone imbalances can cause you to have irregular periods.
It manifests in the US in up to 27% of women of reproductive age (between 15 and 44 years) according to data published in the journal The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2016.
Some patients with polycystic ovaries, unaware they have it, may present with ovarian cysts, elevated levels of male hormones, and irregular periods.
Hormonal imbalances can affect a woman’s health in many ways.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome can increase the risk of infertility, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, endometrial cancer, and depression.
As possible complications, if left untreated it could contribute to diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the long term.
However, with proper treatment such as birth control pills or other diabetes medications, which combat the insulin resistance that is a symptom of polycystic ovary disease, they can help control hormones, improve symptoms and avoid complications.
Changes in lifestyle, key in patients with polycystic ovary
As part of treatment, it is important to make lifestyle changes, follow a diet to lose weight, and exercise.
Losing between 5 to 10% of body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve some symptoms of polycystic ovary disease, according to data from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
How can losing weight help women with polycystic ovaries?
-Cholesterol levels improve.
-Reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Diet for women with polycystic ovary
A balanced eating plan that helps you lose weight is of vital importance.
Some regimens help even more as has been seen in some studies, for example low carbohydrate diets are effective, not only to lose weight but also to lower insulin levels.
A diet that includes foods with a low glycemic index that obtains most of its carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help regulate the menstrual cycle better than a common diet to lose weight, according to a publication reported in the journal human reproduction in 2013.
Exercise, a basic pillar in the treatment of polycystic ovaries
Some studies indicate that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 3 times a week can help women with polycystic ovaries lose weight.
Losing weight with exercise also helps improve ovulation and insulin levels, according to a study published in the journal human reproduction in 2011.
Exercising has even more benefits when combined with a healthy diet. Both eating a diet to lose weight and exercising help achieve weight loss goals and lower the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease.
According to some publications, among them the one published in the magazine J Clin Endocrinol Metab. in 2013.
As a holistic medicine, acupuncture may also help some patients with polycystic ovaries, but further research is needed, as mentioned in the journal Medicine (Baltimore) in 2017.
As part of the treatment of patients with polycystic ovary, in addition to clinical treatment, changes in lifestyle such as exercising and following a weight-reducing diet are very important for their control and improvement of symptoms.
Losing 5-10% of your body weight or more as needed if you are overweight or obese is important to improve symptoms and avoid risks and complications such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
FSource: Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health (NIH).