These days the younger generations of women and teenagers are suffering from the problems of irregular periods, acne, depression, anxiety leading towards the most common symptoms of PCOS(Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
The pertinent question is whether PCOS is a major threat to the female body or is just a common problem which can be easily cured by making certain lifestyle changes? Let’s check out.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of fluids- called follicles; located peripherally in the ovary told Dr Sushmitha, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals Sahakaranagar.
These follicles are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. Women with PCOS produce slightly higher amounts of male hormones known as androgens, which contribute to some of the symptoms of the condition.
According to Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour, Director of SCI Healthcare,
“Sedentary lifestyle, bad food habits and obesity are some of the leading causes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) among Indian teenagers, with an estimated 10-30 percent adolescent girls being affected by it. In the past one decade, a sedentary lifestyle has taken the first place to create a hormonal imbalance, and this leads to PCOS. If we look at urban India, approximately 15 percent young girls are falling to PCOS every year in India. These women are at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.”
Women with PCOS frequently have insulin resistance, meaning their body does not respond as quickly to insulin. The sluggish response will cause larger and larger amounts of insulin to be required before glucose is taken into the body tissues, and eventually a change in the way the body deals with sugar. There are concerns in people about infertility due to the problem.
How can it affect the fertility in women?
Essentially, women with PCOS have an inappropriate production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). As a result, they experience limited egg development. FSH is responsible for stimulating the growth of follicles in the ovaries that contain the maturing egg. A lack of FSH for an extended period of time will prevent the follicles from maturing; keeping them as small, resting follicles within the ovary and that is how the fertility gets affected.
Dr. Supriya Puranik, Head- IVF Department, Sahyadri Hospitals advise, “While myths persist that women with PCOS cannot get pregnant, the reality is that PCOS is highly treatable and nearly every women with PCOS should be able to get pregnant. One of the best treatments for PCOS is a healthy lifestyle.
The large majority of women with PCOS, that have not gotten pregnant with other treatments will be able to get pregnant and have a baby with IVF (in vitro fertilization) if they are under 40 and do their IVF at a high-quality clinic. In general, IVF success rates are excellent for cases with infertility caused by PCOS.”
As weight is the major concern obese women need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They should keep their weight under control by life style modification in terms of exercise and diet control. The children of PCOS are born healthy but girls do carry a risk of developing PCOS in later life suggests Dr. Sonia Malik, Founder Southend Fertility & IVF, Delhi.
Diet Plan and Exercises For a PCOS Women
A diet for PCOS is nothing different from a balanced healthy diet, which essentially comprises of complex carbohydrates, adequate protein and is low in fat. The most important step required is an implementation of a healthy lifestyle, intake of a balanced diet, regular physical activity and stress management.
Unsaturated fats are essential in managing the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital in a PCOS diet as they help maintain the cell wall, which absorbs the nutrients we need. EFAs also help to rebalance hormones, manage weight and can help fertility. ‘Healthy’ fats can include oily fish (salmon or mackerel), avocado, flax seeds and olive oil. For cooking, usage of refined vegetable oils, like sunflower, soyabean, ricebran oil, in moderation, is advisable.
Try to add a portion of protein with each meal. For example prefer sambhar, dhal, sprouts curry, egg whites, skimmed milk and it’s products, curd, almonds and walnuts(in moderation) with breakfast ,lunch and dinner suggests Ms. Shalini Aravind, Chief Dietician Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road.
It has been observed that working women find it difficult to manage the proper diet with work. To get the solution there are a lot of food delivery start-ups that are working cohesively towards offering healthy food products. The Health Box is one such start up based out in Gurgaon which is offering healthy food products to its clients.
Saher Motiwala, Co-Founder of The Health Box told, “We deliver meals that are made with low glycemix ingredients that does not spike the glucose levels such as wholewheat wraps, brown rice with stew, wholewheat pastas and a range of raw and seasonal salads. We also serve steamed and detox meals that promote body cleansing.
Talking about the proper exercise plan Kanchan Rohra Bachwani (Dietician, Trainer, Diabetes Educator and Lifestyle Coach) advised, First thing to be done in the morning is exercise, it may be Walking for 30-45 minutes or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as HIIT workouts can increase insulin sensitivity, help build muscle and improve body’s ability to burn fat.
Always eat a fruit or nuts before exercise, never exercise on an empty stomach. Post exercise try to have a breakfast which can include cereals or egg whites. During the day, try to eat every 2 hours, fruits, roasted snacks, nuts, buttermilk, try to have your lunch and dinner on time, dinner should be 2-3 hours before bed time. A good night’s sleep for 6-8 hours is very important; sleep deprivation reduces fat cell’s ability to respond to hormone insulin.
Yoga: A perfect solution to the PCOS problem
Yoga is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for the bodies, minds, and spirits of women with PCOS. Yoga helps to regulate the endocrine glands in the body thereby beneficial in balancing of hormones. It is effective in keeping your ovary and uterus healthy along with solve the issues such as infertility, weight gain and psychological problems.
Some of the important Yoga postures suggested by EKAGRATA GUPTA, owner yoga studio- Ekagrata Sudio are given below:
1. Anulom Vilom Pranayama: Anulom Vilom, which helps to soothe your mind refresh your brain nerves thereby helpful in de-stressing the body. It brings peace and comfort to your body thus cures PCOS naturally.
2. Bhramri Pranayama: It is the only pranayamas, which control all the negative domains such as stress, strain, anxiety, tension, depression, etc. So, it is helpful in contending your mood swings.
3. Bhadrasana (Butterfly pose): This is an effective asana for those who are experiencing PCOD. Butterfly should be practised coolly and calmly. It helps to open up the pelvic area and promote relaxation. It beats stress and relieves menstrual discomfort.
4. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar): The twelve Yoga poses in the Sun Salutation is good to enhance flexibility in the body as well as effective in controlling hormonal imbalance. Surya Namaskar is also helpful in controlling weight. Sun Salutation helps to de-toxify and de-stress the entire system.
5. Naukasana (Boat pose): Naukasana is good in case of PCOS as the boat pose put excess pressure on the abdominal region.
6. Chakki Chalanasana (moving the grinding wheel) helps to modify the endocrine glandular function thus enhances the efficiency of hormonal secretion.
So, as per the expert’s suggestions and opinions, it is found that PCOS though is not so serious problem but is definitely a health concern that should be cured within the given time to avoid any major problems. All that is required is a lifestyle change and quick transformation in the eating habits.