Syndrome (PCOS)/ (PCOD) causes the formation of follicle cysts in the ovaries. It can result in the excessive secretion of androgen (male steroid hormones), which is said to be the cause of several unusual changes in a female’s body.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a syndrome in which several cysts, i.e. sacs filled with liquids, start growing on both the ovaries of women. They are large and often made out of immature eggs and other secretions. Due to the syndrome, women may experience problems with their periods. They may not have them at all or can get delayed and unpredictable.
What is PCOD?
Like PCOS, PCOD can have similar implications on the ovary but they are minor. In PCOD, lesser and smaller sacs are formed on ovaries, which can go back in three months. The periods are usually normal and sometimes, may get delayed. PCOD gets detected when women are not able to conceive during childbearing age.
The common symptoms in both PCOD and PCOS include no ovulation, irregular periods, acne and hirsutism.
PCOS has several symptoms ranging from obesity, irregular or no periods, excessive facial hair, baldness, body odour, fatigue, sleep-related problems, depression, anxiety, mood swings, headache etc.
The symptoms of PCOD can be similar to that of PCOS with some major differences. PCOS is usually detected at child-bearing age when women who are trying to conceive are not able to.
Periods can be irregular, which may cause buildup on the uterine wall. Besides, it has been observed women with PCOD gets more affected by obesity than those with PCOS problem.
Diet & Lifestyle
The medical treatment of PCOD/PCOS focuses on managing individual concerns including infertility, hirsutism, acne or obesity. Besides, weight loss has been shown to help with hormonal imbalance and infertility.
Along with medical treatment, it is important to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to fight PCOD and PCOS. It is recommended to consume a healthy diet for a hormonal balance and a healthy weight.
- To minimise the problem of irregular periods, women can increase the intake of antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and herbs.
- Consuming complex carbohydrates, food having a low glycemic index and micronutrients like selenium, magnesium and chromium can also help in PCOD.
- Deep-fried foods, simple carbohydrates, sugar, honey, and jaggery can be avoided by women with PCOD since they are insulin resistant.
- It is important to keep the water intake in check as PCOD can make one prone to constipation and water retention.
- Saturated fats can increase cholesterol and calorie level so it is advisable to avoid foods containing saturated fats.
- Some herbs have also been considered to keep your hormone health in check therefore consuming herbal supplements can also help fight PCOD.
- Besides nutrition, exercising for 30 to 60 minutes a day can also help in reducing insulin resistance.
- Consuming fibre-rich food can help fight PCOS problems. So, women with PCOS can add plenty of fruits and vegetables to their diet since these are loaded with fibre.
- In PCOS, the level of androgen (male hormones) gets higher than normal. A diet rich in protein can lower the level of androgen and also help lose weight.
- Diet having low GI can also help in weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity.
- An optimum level of healthy fats can improve insulin levels as well as promote weight loss. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also improve insulin resistance.
While natural and herbal supplements and alternative therapies can help PCOS and PCOD treatment, they are not a substitute for a customized, ongoing dialogue with your doctor about your symptoms.
Talk to the nutrition expert at 8 Fitness Tips to know more about PCOS and PCOD.