By: Sneha Purkayastha, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Visual by: Pallab Neog
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS- a term that might ring the bells of familiarity to some but maybe a unique word for others. Almost 6 out of 10 women are diagnosed with PCOS, and many among those had never heard of it until they were diagnosed with it. Ever wondered why it is so???
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. It affects women of age 15-44 that are women who are of reproductive age. We are aware that a woman’s reproductive organs produce two types of hormones, namely Estrogen and Progesterone.
However, it also produces a male hormone or Androgens. Every month the ovary initiates the process of ovulation and hence releases an egg which if not fertilised leads to menstruation but what happens in the case of PCOS is that many small fluid-filled sacs or follicles containing immature egg grows inside the ovaries which do not pass the ovulation stage. Excess of male hormones also disrupts the menstrual cycle.
Here are five -things you can avoid if you are suffering from PCOS:
PCOS isn’t an alien or a newly introduced phenomenon. Sources have it that its discovery can be traced to 1721 when Italian physician Antonio Vallisneri first described it and its symptoms.
1) Avoid Stress
These days the importance of psychological well-being is as important as physical wellness. We know, PCOS might be stressful sometimes with irregular periods and other symptoms associated with it. But will stressing out solve the problem??
Stress is one of the underlying causes or risk factors of PCOS. The more you stress, the more your body releases the male hormone which hinders wellness. High male hormones(testosterone) in women’s bodies can lead to insulin resistance hence causing Type -2 diabetes.
Therefore, you need to check your stress levels and try to control them by practising various relaxing procedures. Such complex phenomena undertaking in the body is sometimes difficult to process and cope with for many individuals but we can at least try to control stress partially if not completely.
2) Unhealthy Diet
A person suffering from PCOS must crucially avoid an unhealthy diet. Though medication can lower the risk of PCOS, it is always preferable to give in your efforts and naturally try to balance the hormone levels in the body. In this busy world, where our lives are mechanised in a way to cater to different things/work at a point in time it is quite difficult for individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Reduce the intake of refined carbohydrates like white bread, fried foods like junk or fast foods, processed meats such as sausages, sugary beverages, solid fats and excess red meat.
Instead, have high fibre-rich foods, leafy vegetables like spinach, lentils, fatty fish, nuts, anti-inflammatory foods or spices like turmeric, tomatoes and unprocessed foods.
3) Reduce the intake of Sugar
Although this may be subsided with the diet column, it is very important to understand as to why we should avoid sugary or refined carbohydrates. Let’s understand the cycle!
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, one function of insulin is to help cells break down sugar(glucose) into energy. When in PCOS, your body turns out to be insulin-resistant meaning your body is unable to take the hormone released by the pancreas hence, it produces an excess amount of it to keep your blood sugar level normal.
The additional hormone(insulin) produced can lead to generating more testosterone by the ovaries which hampers your menstrual cycle. If you are obese or not in the normal BMI range it also results in insulin resistance. Therefore, you should avoid sugary food products as it can aggravate PCOS and also cause Diabetes.
4) DON’T say NO to Exercise
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the foremost important thing for a person suffering from PCOS. People often cannot make time for exercise either due to laziness or a busy schedule. One thing you must understand is that you need to have a normal BMI to keep the symptoms under control, many times we see PCOS patients put on a lot of weight and hence to maintain proper functioning of the body you must dedicate at least 30 minutes of your time for exercise.
5) Don’t hesitate to seek therapy if you are going through depression
A good proportion of women having PCOS go through Depression and they are unaware of it. Do not underestimate early signs of anxiety, depression and psychological problems associated with it. Instead, seek help or go for therapy and let the therapist know about your situation in a detailed manner.
PCOS isn’t a life-threatening disease but a hormonal and lifestyle disorder that can be controlled!! Adopt a healthy lifestyle, take care of your health and remember- Don’t Stress!