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PCOS

6 Natural Treatments for PCOS

You just found out you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Now what? 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. 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.

“I always look at diet and lifestyle — how I can help patients modify their focus and remove obstacles that may be in their way on the path towards wellness,” says April Blake, ND. “As a naturopathic doctor, I prefer to utilize therapies that are gentle and less invasive, and focus on mind-body medicine and lifestyle. If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional treatments, there are several evidence-based therapeutics that have been shown to be effective.”

“In addition to supplements, I recommend getting to the root cause of the condition,” says FLOLiving.com founder and One Medical patient Alisa Vitti. After suffering with PCOS symptoms for years, the best-selling author of “WomanCode” developed an online program that targets hormonal imbalances through nutrition. “I help women eat in a way that supports the endocrine system as a whole,” Vitti says. “Supplements are an important way to expedite healing, but nutrition and the mind-body connection are the basis of my practice.”

Here are some natural methods to help manage your PCOS symptoms:

Before trying any treatment option, it’s important to discuss your diagnosis with your health care provider and collaborate on a plan that works for you.

1. Be strategic with calories.

One study indicates that caloric intake timing can have a big impact on glucose, insulin and testosterone levels. Lowering insulin could potentially help with infertility issues. 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. The effective diet consisted of a 980-calorie breakfast, a 640-calorie lunch, and a 190-calorie dinner.

2. Decrease AGEs.

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. One small study found that cutting down on dietary AGEs significantly reduced insulin levels in women with PCOS. Foods high in AGEs include animal-derived foods and processed foods. Applying high heat (grilling, searing, roasting) increases levels.

3. Bone up on vitamin D and calcium.

case control study examining 100 infertile women with PCOS found that those who supplemented a daily 1500 mg dose of metformin, a medication commonly used to treat PCOS symptoms, with calcium and vitamin D saw improvements in BMI, menstrual abnormalities, and other symptoms. The women in the study added 1,000 mg of calcium a day and 100,000 IU of vitamin D a month to their daily metformin dose for six months.

4. Get enough magnesium.

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. One study found that overweight, insulin-resistant subjects who received 300 mg of magnesium at bedtime showed a significant improvement in fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, compared to subjects who received a placebo.

5. Increase your chromium.

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. One study examined the role of the mineral in women with PCOS. The results indicated that 200 mcg daily of chromium picolinate significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and insulin levels in subjects — enough that the effects were comparable to the pharmaceutical, metformin. While metformin was also associated with lower levels of testosterone, taking a daily dose of 200 mcg of chromium picolinate could help regulate blood sugar levels.

6. Load up on omega-3s.

Fish oil has been associated with a long list of health benefits, and some research indicates that omega-3 supplements can decrease androgen levels in women with PCOS. One study found that women with PCOS who were given three grams of omega-3s a day for eight weeks had lower testosterone concentrations and were more likely to resume regular menses than subjects who received a placebo.

Categories
PCOS

How To Treat PCOS Naturally – An Inspiring Success Story

A diagnosis of PCOS is a hard pill to swallow, especially when you’re a young woman and the symptoms of PCOS are wreaking havoc on your personal, professional and social life. While most of us notice that our bodies go through several changes as we age, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 25 years old can come as a shock. Accompanied by erratic and painful periods that made day-to-day life challenging and cystic acne that affected my self-esteem, I can safely say that PCOS changed my life, BUT for the better. As I learned how to treat PCOS naturally through diet, lifestyle changes and holistic treatments, I also discovered the secret to living a healthy life.

My PCOS Journey: The First Signs Of Trouble

I was 25 years old when I was diagnosed with PCOS, but I now believe this had been going on for quite some time before I decided to drag myself to the doctor. I led a hectic lifestyle where I worked 6 days a week, 10 hours or more every day, and rarely ever got back home before 9pm. I also had a long commute to and from work, which only added to my woes. To say I was stressed out and tired every single day would be an understatement.  As a result, I didn’t notice one of the early signs of PCOS — Fatigue.

For as far back as I can remember, I have struggled with acne. It started when I was a teenager and I had several flare-ups every year, right through college and even after I got married. I had consulted a dermatologist about a year back and was prescribed Accutane. It did clear up my acne, but also made my skin extra-dry and sensitive. Sadly, the acne returned — this time in the form of painful cystic acne along my jawline. But I didn’t treat it as yet another warning sign that all was not well. Thanks to my hectic work schedule, I also kept postponing my next dermatologist appointment.

The big red warning flag went off in my head when I finally missed a period. My periods have always been pretty consistent all through life and have never been painful. So when I noticed my period was becoming more erratic, getting delayed every month and becoming painful, I knew something was not right. After about 5 months of erratic periods, I finally missed a period completely. When a home pregnancy test came negative, I decided it was time to visit my gynaecologist.

While symptoms of PCOS can be different for everyone, with some women noticing extra facial hair while others complain of thinning hair, my particular symptoms included:

  • Irregular periods.
  • Pain in the pelvic region. I could literally feel pain around the ovaries.
  • Excessive bloating in the pelvic region. So bad, that I was unable to button up my jeans.
  • Painful, swollen breasts. This was not uncommon for me just before my period, but it was much worse this time around.
  • Cystic acne flare up which was rather painful. What added to my woes was that I now had acne on my chest too.
  • I was also worried about unexplained weight gain despite trying several weight loss ‘diets’.

Hormonal Imbalance: The Main Reason Behind My PCOS

When I described my symptoms to the gynaecologist, she immediately suspected PCOS. She asked me to get blood tests to measure fasting glucose levels as well as a lipid panel. These tests revealed my fasting glucose level was 120, which indicated insulin resistance. I was surprised. Even though both my parents have Type 2 diabetes, I was not expecting to be afflicted with glucose intolerance at the age of 25!!

Additionally, the lipid profile revealed I had high triglycerides levels and lower high density lipoprotein (HDL), which are both commonly seen in women with PCOS. Finally, a transvaginal ultrasound showed numerous cyst-like growths on my ovaries, confirming that I had PCOS.

The gynaecologist explained that PCOS is caused due to hormonal imbalance, and this can lead to problems with fertility and menstrual irregularities. She said it can also lead to weight gain, acne and cysts on the ovaries. She asked me not to worry; apparently, PCOS is rather common amongst young women and a few pills could take care of the problem.

The First Line Of Treatment: Allopathic Medicines & Diet Changes Over 3 Months, Yet No Major Signs Of Improvement

The gynaecologist first inquired if I was planning to get pregnant any time soon. When  I told her I had no plans to have a baby in the near future, she recommended birth control pills. However, a previous encounter with birth control pills didn’t work so well for me — I suffer from migraines and these only make my migraine attacks more frequent and a lot more aggressive. Since I couldn’t take these at all, the doctor then prescribed Metformin – a drug commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes. However, diabetic patients take Metformin before a meal, while I was asked to take it twice a day, post meals, to “cure” insulin resistance.

The doctor also asked me to exercise every day and cut out all fats from my diet. She recommended a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, which I anyways did. So, I wasn’t all that sure how I would change my diet.

I was prescribed Regesterone 5mg, a synthetic form of progestin to induce period, so that I could chart my menstrual regularity thereafter. After that, I was supposed to take Metformin twice a day, after meals. The doctor believed metformin would cure my insulin resistance, help me ovulate and also help with weight loss — all of which would treat my PCOS.

I started treatment as told and didn’t give it a lot of thought. I continued with Metformin for 3 months, as recommended by the gynaecologist, and my periods did become regular. I went back to the doctor after 3 months; she told me everything looked good and I should continue Metformin for an additional 6 months and see her for another check-up in 3 months.

However, I had my concerns.

  1. I hadn’t lost any weight. At all. In fact, I was still gaining weight.
  2. My acne was no better.
  3. I still had a lot of bloating around my period, with swollen painful breasts that made it rather hard to wear a bra, let alone exercise.
  4. I was still tired all the time.
  5. I was mildly depressed. But I thought that was perhaps caused by my persistent acne, which made me painfully self-conscious.
  6. My migraines were worse.
  7. I had a lot of muscle aches, particularly in my arms, around elbow and wrist.
  8. Worst of all, I now developed gastrointestinal discomfort. I frequently had gas, bloating, and heartburn.

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Categories
PCOS

13 PCOS Friendly Recipes

I think you agree with me when I say, the PCOS is the most painful and awkward disease.

Apart from infertility, PCOS also causes a host of awkward symptoms like obesity, acne, irregular periods, hair loss and growth of unwanted hair.

But here is the good news for you…

Unlike conventional treatments, Natural treatment helps to restore inner balance and It helps the body heals itself PCOS symptoms…

First, acknowledge this!

Disease doesn’t exist in a healthy body

Healthy food means a healthy body and it’s that simple…

Did you agree?

So you can treat healthy food is medicine and it helps…

  • Nourish your body….
  • Strengthen the immunity….
  • Cleans and eliminate toxins….
  • Restore your health.

I am sure that you have realized the importance of food in the fight against awkward PCOS.

Imagine that you know how to cook PCOS friendly recipes at your home, how it would feel to you…

Yes, you can!

Here are some of the healthy and delicious PCOS friendly recipes for you to include in your eating plan.

1. PCOS friendly Steamed Asparagus”

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Stir sesame seeds in a hot non-stick frying pan until they are golden brown.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, and salt and pepper.

Prepare a steamer with boiling water. Add asparagus, cover, and steam until tender crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Pour oil and ginger mixture over asparagus.

Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

2. PCOS Weight Loss Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats, soaked in 1 cup skim milk for 1-2 hours
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C, gas mark 6).

Beat together egg whites, oat-milk mixture, and applesauce. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over-mix). Fold in blueberries.

Fill 12 paper muffin cups with batter (about two thirds full). Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

3. PCOS Dessert: Whole Wheat Brownies”

 

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These brownies are full of flavor, and this whole wheat recipe is a healthy alternative to many other brownie recipes.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp low-sodium butter
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 10 tbsp dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Directions

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown rice syrup, and whisk in cocoa powder. Continue whisking until well blended.

Remove from heat and blend in eggs.

Add in vanilla, whole wheat flour, and pecans, and stir well.

Lightly grease 8×8-inch baking pan and pour in batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool, and cut into squares. Serve.

4. PCOS breakfast recipe: Dairy-Free Blueberry Muesli

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apples, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups blueberries (preferably wild)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • Apple juice, to serve

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C, gas 3).

Mix oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread mixture evenly onto a non-stick baking tray.

Toast oat mixture in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch mixture very closely when toasting as it can burn very easily.

Remove from oven and let cool. Pour into a large bowl and stir in chopped walnuts and dried apples.

Divide mixture into serving bowls and top with blueberries. Serve with apple juice.

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Categories
PCOS

30 Natural Ways to Help Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Things to consider

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most commonTrusted Source endocrine condition among U.S. women of reproductive age. Its symptoms include:

  • ovarian cysts
  • irregular periods
  • acne
  • thinning hair
  • weight gain

Researchers sayTrusted Source the causes of PCOS are complicated, but insulin resistance and hormone regulation are key factors.

You may be able to manage these factors and ease your symptoms through lifestyle changes and dietary supplements, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.

You should always talk with your doctor before you try any alternative treatment. They can discuss possible dosage, side effects, and interactions.

Diet changes

diet changesEating the right foods and avoiding certain ingredients may help you manage your symptoms. A nourishing diet can help regulate your hormones and your menstrual cycle. Eating processed, heavily preserved foods can contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance.

It’s all about whole foods

Whole foods are free from artificial sugars, hormones, and preservatives. These foods are as close to their natural, unprocessed state as possible. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are whole foods that you can add to your diet.

Without hormones and preservatives, your endocrine system can better regulate your blood sugar.

Balance carb and protein intake

Carbohydrates and protein both impact your energy and hormone levels. Eating protein stimulatesTrusted Source your body to produce insulin. Unprocessed, high-carb foodsTrusted Source can improve insulin sensitivity. Instead of trying a low-carb diet, focus on getting enough healthy protein.

Plant-based protein sources, such as nuts, legumes, and whole grains, are bestTrusted Source.

Aim for anti-inflammatory

PCOS is described by one studyTrusted Source as low-level chronic inflammation. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help ease your symptoms.

Consider the Mediterranean diet as an option. Olive oil, tomatoes, leafy greens, fatty fish like mackerel and tuna, and tree nuts all fight inflammation.

Up your iron intake

Some women with PCOS experience heavy bleeding during their period. This can result in iron deficiency or anemia. If your doctor has diagnosed you with either condition, talk with them about how you can up your iron intake. They may recommend adding iron-rich foods such as spinach, eggs, and broccoli to your diet.

You shouldn’t up your iron intake without first consulting your doctor. Too much iron can increase your riskTrusted Source of complications.

Up your magnesium intake

Almonds, cashews, spinach, and bananas are PCOS-friendly foods rich in magnesium.

Add in some fiber to help with digestion

A diet high in fiber can help improve your digestion. Lentils, lima beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, pears, and avocados are all rich in fiber.

Cut out coffee

Caffeine consumption may be linked to changesTrusted Source in estrogen levels and hormone behavior. Try boosting your energy with a decaf alternative, such as an herbal tea. Kombucha’s probiotic properties may also be beneficial.

And if you can’t go without a caffeine boost, reach for green tea instead. Green tea has been shownTrusted Source to improve insulin resistance. It can also help with weight management in women with PCOS.

Consider soy products

Before adding more soy to your diet, ask your doctor about the latest research. Soy acts like estrogen in your body. This might help balance hormones if you have PCOS. But there’s also evidenceTrusted Source that adding soy to your diet could disrupt your endocrine system.

People with a family history of estrogen-related cancers, such as some breast cancers, should avoid soy products. If your doctor approves adding soy to your diet, consider soy milk, tofu, miso, and tempeh.

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PCOS

15 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PCOS

There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to PCOS. People often make assumptions and it can be hard to work out fact from fiction. Heck, we often even struggle to get a straight answer from our doctors.

So, let’s have a look at 15 facts that you need to know about PCOS.

1. PCOS may start in the brain, not the ovaries.

This is something that has just very recently come to light. Researchers in Australia have found that mice and rats that did not have androgen receptors in the brain could not develop PCOS. However, if the rats had no androgen receptors in the ovaries, they could still develop PCOS.

This is ground breaking research and may well help to develop more treatment options, or even a cure, for PCOS (1).

2. Weight loss with PCOS is difficult but not impossible

This is often one of the most difficult and frustrating symptoms of PCOS. So many women are told that they need to lose weight to see an improvement in their PCOS symptoms but very few doctors tell them how to go about it.

The thing is that traditional weight loss strategies are often not effective with PCOS as they don’t address the underlying hormonal disorder.

The good news is that if you can get your PCOS and hormones under control, you should also start to lose weight.

3. PCOS doesn’t go away after menopause

Many women have asked me if PCOS goes away after menopause. And  the answer is, “No”. You see, there is a fundamental change in the pancreas of women with PCOS that leads to disorders in regulating and processing insulin. This does not change post menopause.

But, it is not all bad news. Some symptoms do improve. For example, post menopause, we tend to not put on more weight, as women without PCOS often do.

4. Insulin plays a huge role in PCOS

PCOS InsulinYou may have often heard that women with PCOS tend to be insulin resistant (not all of us but a lot of us are). But, there is also more to it than that. You see, we have a tendency to produce too much insulin.  That insulin impacts on our ovaries, causing them to produce too much testosterone.

And it is that testosterone that leads to a lot of the symptoms of PCOS. So, if you want to get your PCOS under control, you have to consider your insulin levels. And one of the best ways to manage those insulin levels is to change the way that you eat.

5. PCOS makes you ache and really tired

PCOS is linked with chronic inflammation. And chronic inflammation can leave you feeling achey, fatigued and contributes to weight gain (2). This generalised fatigue is something that women often write to me about.

So, the good news is that there are some things you can do about it. Make sure you are taking Omega 3 (anti inflammatory) and following a good PCOS diet  (did you know that inflammation has also been linked to insulin resistance?)

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