The world has changed , progressed and evolved .. women now are working at power with men , in fact more , at home and outside . But Working women are also struggling to find time for exercise .They spend long hours at office . There is work stress too .All these factors , that is a sedentary lifestyle , stress and unhealthy eating habits has led to an increase in a lot of lifestyle diseases and PCOS is one of them . Not knowing that it could lead to long term effects on health , many women ignore it till the symptoms go severe . Understanding that simple lifestyle changes could control this disease would lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the vast number of women suffering from PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is an endocrine disorder wherein multiple cysts develop in the ovaries due to an underlying hormonal imbalance. These are not true cysts but matured unruptured follicles . It affects 5-10 percent of all women .The exact cause of PCOS is unknown.
Most but not all women with PCOS are obese or overweight . It is one of the leading causes of infertility because it causes anovulatory cycles .Therefore , many women with PCOS May require fertility treatment to conceive . It also predisposes women to many diseases in later life like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and uterine cancer . Therefore they have to be monitored for the same in later life . But most of the women with PCOS do lead a normal life.
PCOS causes a variety of symptoms like acne , hirsutism , weight gain , irregular delayed periods , hair loss and mood swings .PCOS can be treated but not cured .The underlying science behind PCOS is Insulin resistance . Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which breaks down sugars . In people with PCOS , the cells of one’s body become resistant to insulin . Therefore , the blood sugar levels rise , excess insulin is produced which in turn leads to excess of androgens or male hormones and difficulty in ovulation .
A definitive diagnosis of PCOS is made when a patient has either irregular / no periods , increased facial or body hair or blood reports showing high testosterone levels and an ultrasound showing polycystic ovaries .
Women with PCOS can lose weight by regulating their diet and exercising correctly .They should eat a low carbohydrate diet and choose foods with a low glycaemic index .A fibre rich diet is good for weight loss too , because it keeps one full .A high protein diet containing foods like eggs , nuts etc is also good for weight loss .
Healthy fats like avocado , olive oil , coconut oil are also good for patients with PCOS .The importance of Limiting processed foods and refined sugars cannot be emphasised more for PCOS . One has to aim for an ideal BMI that is between 19-25.
Exercising regularly in the form of cardio workouts and weight bearing exercises , helps in losing weight. Medical treatments of PCOS are aimed at managing or reducing the symptoms of PCOS . Medical treatment is basically hormonal pills . This alone has not been shown to be any better than lifestyle changes.