1 in 10 women in the reproductive age of child bearing (15-44 years of age) suffers from Polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOS). Yet this condition is often overlooked and in the long run, could lead to the development of diabetes and serious heart problems. It also makes it difficult for you to conceive.
What is PCOS?
The polycystic ovary is an endocrine condition caused by the formation of fluid filled sacs called cysts around the egg. It causes hormonal imbalance and affects your metabolism. The ovaries are your primary reproductive organ. They are responsible for releasing the egg which causes you to have your period every month. If you have PCOS, the egg may not be able to develop or may not be released from your ovary.
Symptoms that you may experience
Each patient suffering from PCOS has different symptoms but some of the broad changes you may experience if you have PCOS are:
1.Your menstrual cycle is irregular
Infrequent or longer than normal menstrual periods is the most common symptom of PCOS with some women having a gap of nearly 40 days between periods and getting extremely light spotting or heaving bleeding during menstrual periods.
2.Development of acne
High levels of hormones cause you to have frequent break outs by triggering excessive production of sebum which causes you to develop acne.
3.You are growing hair in unexpected places
Increased hair growth on chest, neck, fingers, thumbs, and breasts is a warning sign that you have developed PCOS. You may even get hair growth on the inside of your thighs. This is due to elevated level of the male hormone the androgens.
4.You are unexpectedly gaining weight
Weight gain and difficulty controlling weight gain are common symptoms. Many women often gain weight around their abdomen.
5.You are having trouble getting pregnant
Fertility problems are common with PCOS with many women having problems getting pregnant because of the irregularity of their menstrual cycle. Remember PCOS is treatable and you can get pregnant with the necessary help from your doctor.
6.Losing hair on your head
When you have PCOS, it seems like you are growing hair everywhere from your chest to your back but are losing it the one place it matters- the head. Blame the hormonal imbalance for causing the hair on your scalp to thin out.
Are you at risk?
If someone in your families such as your mother or sister has PCOS, you might have a greater chance of developing it. The family history of diabetes also makes you susceptible to having PCOS.
A link is said to exist between consumption of highly processed foods with high sugar content such as sodas and fizzy drinks and the development of PCOS. It is advisable to cut down on refined sugars for your health and also to stop development of PCOS.
Treatment for PCOS symptoms at home
For many patients, weight loss is an effective way to treat PCOS. But having said that, the hormonal imbalance caused by the disease make it difficult to lose weight or even stabilize it. You can start with brisk walking, jogging, and swimming to increase your heart rate.
Consuming healthy food like green leafy vegetables and fresh foods can help to lower your blood glucose levels and control the symptoms of the disease. You can also add these healthy foods to your diet.
- Fenugreek (methi) seeds: They help in stabilizing insulin levels and hence reduce the insulin resistance of PCOS.
- Cinnamon: It also helps to prevent diabetes and reduces insulin resistance. It has other health benefits such as anti inflammatory benefits.
- Tulsi: Being an antioxidant, the humble tulsi can reduce the level of androgens and also stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Amla: The Indian gooseberry flushes out toxins and detoxes your body. It also aids in weight loss.
- Spearmint: Taking spearmint tea has been medically proven to reduce levels of male hormone testosterone in women suffering from PCOS.
3.Yoga as a treatment
The ancient Indian practice of yoga is known for its healing and relaxing properties. It balances the mind, body, and the soul. The practice of yogic postures and breathing techniques can help in keeping you relaxed and reduce symptoms. It also helps in weight loss and can help you in coping with hair loss.
It is always advisable that in case you are having irregular and extremely light or heavy periods that you consult your doctor. They can guide you with the effective clinical treatment and you can make the necessary lifestyle changes to help accelerate recovery.