Did you know that September is PCOS Awareness Month?
According to The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association, "PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility and a precursor for other serious conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer; the aim of PCOS Awareness Month is to help improve the lives of those affected by PCOS and to help them to overcome their symptoms as well as prevent and reduce their risks for life-threatening related diseases.”
If you have PCOS or suspect that you might, don’t lose hope; there are a number of resources and people that can help you detect and/or manage PCOS symptoms. While this syndrome can seem complex and easily misunderstood, making changes to your lifestyle and working together with conventional and alternative healthcare practitioners can vastly improve your life. Let's discuss a few quick PCOS DO'S & DON'TS:
DO: Work with practitioners who are well-versed in:
DON'T: Give up on finding the right practitioner or team of healthcare practitioners that work for you!
It can be difficult for many women to be diagnosed and/or given encouraging direction and support. Don’t give up, your support system is out there.
DO: Try the following Nutrients:
*While getting your nutrients from food is the best way to go, taking additional vitamins and minerals can supplement your diet and help with PCOS symptoms. Make sure you are purchasing your supplements from quality companies. Whole food supplements are always the better choice; synthetic vitamins and minerals are harder for the body to assimilate.
DON'T: Go on a crash diet to manage PCOS.
While maintaining a healthy weight for PCOS is essential, yo-yo dieting (weight cycling) can be detrimental to this condition. Studies have shown that yo-yo dieting can cause higher and irregular insulin levels, testosterone, cortisol, and blood sugar levels; many people with PCOS have chronic inflammation, which is linked to weight cycling.
To ensure metabolic function, try losing/maintaining your weight in a healthier way; instead of extreme calorie restriction, make sure you are eating enough nourishing foods and eating regularly! Many studies suggest a low-glycemic protocol that does not include refined carbohydrates or processed foods. Also, consistent exercise will not only help you lose/maintain weight, but will improve your mood, energy levels, and symptoms.
DO: Check out the following resources and bolster your PCOS knowledge:
PCOS Confidence Grant
DON'T: Forget to seek advice from your healthcare team for your unique case.
While online resources and independent work on lifestyle changes are extremely important, make sure that you are checking in with reputable doctors, specialists, and coaches; the integration of conventional and alternative methods often prove to be the most helpful.