Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a word which we are very familiar with because of how common it has become. We all have so many questions around holistic PCOS management like – Why I was diagnosed with it, why me, How can I lose weight, What about my dark neck, How to get rid of these acne, how much time holistic PCOS management actually takes, Will I ever discontinue with my medicines, I am not overweight still my periods are not regular, Can it really be cured?
Let’s know what PCOS is?
PCOS is a syndrome not a disease because it is characterised by a collection of symptoms mainly, irregular periods, high androgens and polycystic ovaries. It is the most common endocrine disorder seen in women of reproductive age.
Every woman with PCOS has different symptoms and also differs in severity because of different genes, different nutrition, different lifestyle and when it comes to holistic PCOS management, it also requires attention to every woman who is living with it and with a different and personalised management approach.
What is holistic PCOS management?
Whenever we talk about holistic PCOS management and treatment with Doctors and Specialists- some common answers we receive is correcting our lifestyle, taking the right nutrition and medication to manage the symptoms.
And in some cases we also receive this false information to eat this food to manage PCOS for 3 months or to take this medicine for some time and you’ll be fine once your periods are regular.
But the answer is we cannot cure PCOS as it’s a lifelong condition which needs an approach which is sustainable and easy to manage but what makes it difficult and worse is our diet which is lacking in nutrition, elevated stress levels, our exposure to endocrine disruptors and all the misinformation that is being spread around PCOS.
As we have understood we cannot cure PCOS, so how does how does PCOS management work?
By knowing the right approach and taking steps towards our holistic PCOS management we can:-
- We can strengthen our system again and start balancing our hormones.
- We can take care of our gut which helps us in balancing our hormones.
- We can see the less appearance of acne and lower androgen levels.
- We can improve our metabolism which helps to manage our weight.
- We can reduce our risk of getting type- 2 diabetes, heart diseases and other chronic diseases.
- We can regularise our periods which increases the chances of fertility.
- We can correct our circadian rhythm which helps our entire body to again start working efficiently.
- We can manage our mental health which helps us manage our anxiety and mood swings.
- PCOS is not a syndrome that management needs perfection it only needs the right guidance, habit building and consistency. We need to nurture our body so that PCOS won’t bother our living and in any way minimise or affect our health in terms of mental issues, fertility, weight, acne etc.
The aims of holistic PCOS management includes:
- providing care that is individualised to your needs
- reducing symptoms
- improving psychological and emotional health
- preventing related long-term health conditions
- assisting with fertility and improving pregnancy outcomes, if required.
The keys to achieving holistic PCOS management include:
- a good understanding of PCOS
- a healthy approach to eating and physical activity
- appropriate medical therapies.
The therapies used to manage such symptoms as irregular periods, fertility challenges, excess hair, acne and excess weight can include:
- the oral contraceptive pill
- insulin-sensitising drugs, such as metformin
- hormones that are called gonadotropins
- testosterone-lowering drugs
- weight-loss drugs
- anti-anxiety drugs.
Supplements that your doctor may prescribe for holistic PCOS management:
Supplements claim to help with hormone regulation, insulin resistance, and inflammation associated with PCOS.
Inositol is a B vitamin that can help improve insulin resistance. It’s also been found to help with fertility in some cases of PCOS.
Chromium supplements may improve your body mass index, which can help with PCOS. They may also stabilise insulin resistance by helping your body metabolise sugar.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of cinnamon trees. Cinnamon extract has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance. Cinnamon also may regulate menstruation for women with PCOS.
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. Turmeric may be promising for decreasing insulin resistance and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Zinc is a trace element that can boost fertility and your immune system. Excessive or unwanted hair growth and alopecia may be improved with zinc supplements.
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil has been used to help with period pain and irregular menstruation. It may also improve cholesterol levels and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to PCOS.
Combined vitamin D and calcium
Vitamin D is a hormone that’s vital to your endocrine system. Vitamin D deficiency is common in women with PCOS. Vitamin D and calcium may improve irregular periods and help you ovulate.
Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil contains vitamins D and A, as well as high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids can help improve menstrual regularity and help get rid of fat around your waist.
Berberine is an herb used in Chinese medicine to help with insulin resistance. If you have PCOS, berberine may ramp up your metabolism and balance your body’s endocrine responses.
Medication that your doctor might prescribe are:-
- Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet) A medication that targets glucose production and insulin resistance, metformin is commonly prescribed as a type 2 diabetes treatment.
- Spironolactone This diuretic blocks excess male hormones. It is not safe to take in pregnancy.
- Birth Control Pills Combination (oestrogen and progesterone) pills provide the right dose of hormones to regulate a woman’s cycle and help prevent complications like endometrial hyperplasia, says Dunaif.
- Clomiphene (Clomid, Serophene) or Letrozole (Femara) These ovarian-stimulating drugs are frequently prescribed when a woman wants to get pregnant.
In summary to holistic PCOS management, here are key concerns to focus on :-
- Weight loss
- Anti-inflammatory diet
- Lower stress
- Vitamin D
Holistic PCOS needs right guidance from expert to hit the root cause. Talk to Gytree’s expert or book “Manage PCOS” Holistic 6 week Program” to get on a holistic PCOS management program.