What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as Polycystic ovarian disease, is a lifestyle disorder. It is very common among young and middle- aged females and even in teenage girls. These days with the changing lifestyle and food habits it is seen one in every 3rd woman.
As the name indicates in itself that PCOD is a disease of ovaries. Ovary is a female reproductive organ which produces egg and helps in conceiving pregnancy. Affection of ovaries may result in infertility and many other complaints.
How to identify PCOS?
PCOS manifests itself by showing some signs and symptoms such as: –
- Cramps in abdomen
- Irregular periods
- Pain in back and thighs during menses
- Facial hair especially on chin
- Weight gain
- Abdominal obesity
- Mood swings
What are the tests doctor suggest to diagnose PCOS?
- Ultrasound lower abdomen:
This is an imaging test in which a hand-held piece has to applied on the lower portion of abdomen that is below navel. Any abnormality in the ovaries can be displayed on the screen. In PCOS multiple fluid filled pockets and cysts are present on the periphery of the ovaries like a round necklace.
- Hormonal Test:
As PCOS is a result of hormone imbalance, certain hormonal tests are required to diagnose PCOS in suspected females. Serum testosterone, prolactin, progesterone and oestrogen level tests are most commonly used by gynaecologist to diagnose this disease.
This test is used in PCOS to see whether there is presence of insulin resistance or not. In normal individuals it is less than or equal to 6%. Higher than the reference value indicates insulin resistance in the body.
Why Weight gain is commonly found in PCOS sufferers?
PCOS is a hormonal disorder in which female hormones releases in excess in the body. Presence of these hormones in bloodstream in excess amount reduces insulin secretion. Sometimes, body cells lose capacity to take insulin like in insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for glucose absorption. In such conditions body glucose accumulates in the body resulting in weight gain.
Tips which help in reducing body weight in PCOS sufferers
- Reduce intake of Carbohydrate
A balanced diet can be called when 60% of the food is consists of carbohydrate. However, in PCOS body’s normal insulin resistance threshold increases. This results in inadequate absorption of glucose present in bloodstream. Inadequate absorption of glucose due to high insulin resistance causes fat deposition all over body especially on tummy area. Various research studies have been done to see whether low consumption of carbohydrate rich diet reduces weight or not. It is seen that low intake of carbohydrates such as potato, rice, grains, and fruits like banana reduces body weight.
- Reduce intake of added sugar and processed food
Researches have shown that those women who take processed food and added sugar are more likely to gain weight in comparison to those who do not take these items. Added sugar intake increases body’s blood glucose level and body could not produce enough insulin in proportion to sugar intake. This results in accumulation of unabsorbed glucose and deposition of fat in the body.
- Take fibre rich food items such as cucumber, vegetables and fruits. Fibres enhances absorption process in the intestine and improves digestion.
- Take protein rich diet instead of fat and carbohydrate rich food items as protein provides immense amount of calorie without increasing blood glucose level in excess. Thus, to reduce weight take protein rich diet and cut off carbohydrate and fat from your diet. You can take almonds, pulses, ground nut and egg white.
- Take enough sleep:
Hormone system is very complex and sensitive system of human body. Our daily activities, food habits and sleep habits impact hormonal system. Excess of sleep intake or insufficient sleep may cause disbalance in hormone system. It is recommended that for healthy mind and body one should 6- 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Manage stress by practicing meditation for at least 15 minutes in a day. Stress has an impact on adrenal gland which release a hormone, cortisol. This cortisol hormone is responsible for maintaining insulin resistance in our body. Secretion of cortisol hormone in excess due to stress increases body weight.
- Exercise regularly:
To reduce body weight, one should exercise for at least 30- 45 minutes every day. The intensity of exercise can be depending on person’s general condition. For example, one who is asthmatic should not go for strenuous and intense exercise.
- Yoga for PCOS:
There are many yogas for PCOS which helps in reducing weight such as Chakki Chalana Asana, Nauka Asana and many more. Practice these asanas for at least half an hour in a day to reduce PCOS.