PCOS; Reason and Resolution

PCOS is known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a female specific condition involving multiple systems in the body. It is very common among women of reproductive age, affecting 10-15% of women population. It is more prominent in urban population rather than rural.

The exact cause is unknown but the primary reasons believed to cause PCOS are:

  • Insulin Resistance 

  • Endocrine abnormalities 

  • Excess androgen production 

  • Cortisol imbalances 

  • Genetics 

  • Eating disorders 

Common Symptoms associated with PCOS 

  • Irregular Menstrual cycle 

  • Hair loss

  • Hirsutism (excess facial hair or body hair in women)

  • Acne 

  • Obesity 

  • Acanthosis Nigricans (black rough skin at neck, axilla, ankles, elbows and fold of skin)

  • Sleep apnea 

Conventional Treatments

  • Metformin – It has been used for treating insulin resistance. The studies showed prominent reulsysd with marked increase in lower fasting blood sugar, increased SHBG levels, lower free testosterone and cardiovascular benefits also

  • Estrogen-progestin – Used to treat high androgen levels (acne, hair loss and hirsutism) by suppressing the LH and increasing SHBG levels which in turn lowers free circulating androgens 

  • Clomiphene – It act as anti estrogen and increases LH & FSH to induce ovulation to support fertility 

Lifestyle and Dietary Modification

  • Weight loss – by including more physical activity and strength training improves insulin sensitivity 

  • Reduce sugar, simple carbs and processed foods 

  • Low saturated fats and higher omega 3 consumptions 

  • High intake of soluble and insoluble fibre through beans, legumes, veggies and salad 

  • Remove gluten, sugar and milk products 

  • Moderate protein intake from vegetarian sources 

  • Keeping meats to no more than 1-2 times per week (preferable fish) 

  • Intermittent fasting twice a week 

  • Increasing intake of fermented foods to promote healthy flora in the digestive tract 

Supplements worth Considering 

  • Chromium – has been shown promising results by improving insulin sensitivity (400 mcg per day) 

  • Vitamin C –  acts as anti oxidant, improves ovulation and fertility rate in infertile women (400 mg/day)

  • NAC – improves ovulation and pregnancy rates (1.2 g/day)

  • Zinc – improves insulin resistance and glucose intolerance (25-50 mg/day)

  • Alpha lipoic acid – potent antioxidant & improves insulin sensitivity (600 mg/day)

  • Bitter herbs like bitter melon and gymnema prevents glucose absorption and improves both fasting and pp sugar 

  • D- Chiro-inositol – improves insulin action & ovulation rate, decreases blood pressure and androgen levels along with lipid profile optimisation  

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