Between 5-10 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States struggle to deal with PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. This makes it the most common hormonal endocrine disorder in women. It can cause weight gain, heavy or irregular periods, hair loss or gain, acne, infertility, and several other concerning symptoms. Unfortunately, if you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, there is no magic pill that works as an instant cure. However, there are ways to naturally manage this condition and take back control of your health. Read on to find out more.
Many traditional primary care doctors and physicians will recommend medication such as birth control, or hormone therapy to help women with PCOS manage their condition. While naturopaths, who generally take a more holistic approach to medicine, usually suggest natural supplements and lifestyle changes. The key is to find what works best for you and get in touch with your whole body. Remember, always consult your healthcare provider before beginning any treatment plan.
Diet is key
A healthy, whole foods diet specifically geared towards regulating hormones is one of the best ways to improve your PCOS symptoms and your health overall. Stick to real (not processed) food that is free from artificial sugar, hormones, and preservatives. When fake food and preservatives do not block your endocrine system, is it much more effective at regulating your blood sugar and hormones.
Cut out or limit your intake of foods such as gluten, dairy, unhealthy oils, and sugar and increase your consumption of organic fruits and vegetables, ancient grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. All of which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. So many health issues can be reduced or reversed by merely eating right. PCOS is no exception.
If you have PCOS, you probably need to sleep more than you think. Sleep deprivation is detrimental for even a healthy individual, but for women with this hormone condition, it can be catastrophic, since you are at a higher risk for mental issues, insulin resistance, and sleep apnea. If you are consistently not getting enough sleep, your stress hormone cortisol increases and can lead to even more hormonal disruption. Try getting the recommended 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
So often, exercise is thrown out there as the best solution for any health concern. And usually, it is. You’re overweight? Exercise. You have diabetes? Exercise. You have high blood pressure? Exercise. Healthy, intentional movement is an absolutely essential element of any wholesome lifestyle. However, believe it or not, it is possible to over-exercise. Or exercise the wrong way. Especially if you have PCOS. Instead of long, intense workout sessions that can lead to burned out adrenals and elevated cortisol levels (which, again only contribute to hormonal disruption), focus on short, gentle exercise every single day. Try spending 30 minutes a day walking, doing restorative yoga, or mindful meditation.
Get rid of toxic products
Though you may not realize it, what you put on your body, namely location, makeup, hygiene products, and deodorant, have just as much of an effect as what you put in your body. Your skin is your largest organ and soaks in all of those chemicals right into your system. Many personal care products have toxic ingredients and hormone disruptors that could be keeping you from getting a handle on your PCOS. Look into all natural alternatives, or start making your own so that you know exactly what you are putting on your skin.
Supplements are a great way to help reverse your symptoms and encourage your body to heal itself rather than relying on medication that merely covers up the problem and can have dangerous side effects.
Note: Supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for quality control, so it is essential to do your research and buy supplements from a trusted brand. Speak with your health care provider before beginning any supplements as they may interfere with other treatments and medications.
Try these supplements to help relieve PCOS symptoms:
Inositol: B vitamin that can improve insulin resistance and may help with fertility.
Zinc: Could limit excessive or unwanted hair growth and boost the immune system.
Cod liver oil: Help improve menstrual regularity and is high in omega-3 fatty acids that can help you lose weight around your stomach.
Evening primrose oil: Can alleviate period pain and help regulate menstruation. Plus, it has been shown to improve oxidative stress and cholesterol levels, which exacerbate PCOS.
Maca root: Can help balance hormones, lower cortisol levels and could treat depression, which is often a side effect of PCOS.
-The Alternative Daily