Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is due to an imbalance of hormones that can cause various symptoms, including irregular periods, acne, infertility, weight gain, and excessive hair growth. PCOS is a complex condition; treatment plans can vary depending on the individual’s symptoms, overall health, and goals.
PCOS can affect more than 10% of women globally. But less than half of women with PCOS are diagnosed. Holistic experts can help you handle your PCOS symptoms and related health conditions. PCOS pros understand that no two instances of PCOS are just alike. They will work closely to develop a wellness plan tailored to your unique needs.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome creates a hormonal imbalance that affects your glands, including adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, and adrenal. The syndrome may or may not lead to cysts on your ovaries. Signs of PCOS can include:
– Irregular menstrual cycles, including missed periods
– Infertility (PCOS is a leading cause of infertility)
– Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
– Hair loss
– Unwanted hair growth in unexpected places
– Oily skin
Polycystic ovary syndrome may also increase your chances of developing high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. There’s no single test to diagnose PCOS. Your practitioner may review a blend of your medical history, symptoms, and blood tests and perform a physical examination to ascertain whether you have this condition. Researchers say the causes of PCOS are complex, but insulin resistance and hormone regulation are crucial aspects. You may be able to handle these variables and ease your symptoms through lifestyle changes and dietary supplements. You should always consult your doctor before you attempt any alternative treatment. They can discuss possible doses, side effects, and interactions.
Some of the most common PCOS treatment plans include the following therapies:
Lifestyle changes for PCOS
One of the first steps in treating PCOS is often making lifestyle changes. These changes can help to manage symptoms and improve overall health. Some lifestyle changes that may be recommended for women with PCOS include:
- Diet: A healthy diet can help to regulate insulin levels, which is important for managing PCOS symptoms. Women with PCOS may be advised to follow a low-carbohydrate or low-glycemic-index diet, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help to manage weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce stress. Women with PCOS may be advised to aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 4-5 days a week.
- Weight loss: For women with PCOS who are overweight or obese, weight loss can be an important part of treatment. Even a modest weight loss (around 5-10% of body weight) can help to improve symptoms.
- Stress management: Stress can worsen PCOS symptoms, so stress management practices such as meditation, yoga, or therapy may be recommended.
Some women with PCOS may also explore alternative therapies to help manage their symptoms. While limited scientific evidence supports these therapies, some women have reported benefits. Alternative therapies that may be considered include:
- Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese therapy involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Some women have reported improvements in PCOS symptoms with acupuncture.
- Herbal supplements: Some herbal supplements, such as cinnamon, may help to regulate hormone levels in women with PCOS. Speaking with a doctor before taking any herbal supplements is important.
- Mind-body therapies: Techniques such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi can help to reduce stress and improve overall health and wellness, which can improve PCOS symptoms.
Diet changes for PCOS
Eating the right foods and avoiding other ingredients can help. A nourishing diet helps regulate your hormones and your menstrual cycle. Eating processed and heavily preserved foods may promote inflammation and insulin resistance.
– Whole Foods: Whole foods are free of hormones, artificial sugars, and preservatives. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes are whole foods that you can add to your diet. Without preservatives and hormones, your endocrine system can control your blood glucose better.
– Balance protein and carb: Carbohydrates and protein affect your energy and hormone levels. Protein stimulates your body to produce insulin. High-carb foods can improve insulin sensitivity. Plant-based protein sources, like nuts, legumes, and whole grains, are best.
– Anti-inflammatory: Adding anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can help alleviate your symptoms. Think about the Mediterranean diet as an option. Olive oil, fatty fish, Tomatoes, leafy greens, and tree nuts can fight inflammation.
– Eliminate coffee: Caffeine intake may be linked to changes in estrogen Levels and hormone behavior. Consider boosting your energy with a decaf alternative, such as an herbal tea. Kombucha’s probiotic properties might also be beneficial. Choose green tea instead of coffee. Green tea has been shown to increase insulin resistance. Besides, it can assist with weight control in women with PCOS.
– Soy products: Before adding more soy into your diet, ask your doctor about recent research. Soy acts like estrogen in the human system. This property may help balance hormones if you have PCOS. But there is also evidence that adding soy to your diet could interrupt your endocrine system. People with a genetic history of estrogen-related cancers, like some breast cancers, should avoid soy products. If your doctor recommends adding soy to your diet, consider soy milk, tofu, miso, and tempeh.
– Iron: Some women with PCOS may experience heavy bleeding during their period, leading to iron deficiency. Doctors might recommend adding iron-rich foods like spinach, eggs, and broccoli.
– Magnesium: Cashews, spinach, almonds, and bananas are magnesium-rich foods.
– Fiber for digestion: A high-fiber diet can help improve your digestion. Beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Lentils, lima, pears, and avocados are fiber-rich.
– Supplements: Supplements claim to help with insulin resistance, hormone regulation, and inflammation associated with PCOS. Speak with your doctor before taking any nutritional supplement.
– Inositol: Inositol is a vitamin B that may help improve insulin resistance. It’s also been proven to help with fertility in some instances of PCOS.
– Chromium: Chromium supplements can improve your body mass index, which can help with PCOS. They might also stabilize insulin resistance by helping your body metabolize glucose.
– Cinnamon: Cinnamon is obtained from the bark of cinnamon trees. The Cinnamon extract has been proven to impact insulin resistance positively and may regulate menstruation for women with PCOS.
– Turmeric: Turmeric may be useful for PCOS as an anti-inflammatory agent and decreases insulin resistance.
– Adaptogen herbs: Adaptogen herbs can assist your body in balancing these hormones. Talk to your physician before taking any herbal nutritional supplements.
– Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is also known as “Indian ginseng.” It can help Equilibrium cortisol levels, which might improve the stress and symptoms of PCOS.
– Holy basil: Holy basil, or tulsi, addresses chemical and metabolic stress. It can help decrease your blood sugar, decrease your cortisol levels, and prevent weight gain.
– Chasteberry: Chasteberry has been used for centuries to Assist with reproductive conditions. It can improve some symptoms of PMS, though its impact on fertility requires more study.
– Licorice root: The root of the licorice plant contains glycyrrhizin, which has several unique properties.
– Probiotics: Probiotics help with your digestion and gut health. They can play an essential role in treating PCOS. They also decrease inflammation and modulate sex hormones like androgen and estrogen.
Healthy weight: Maintaining a healthy weight helps to reduce insulin Immunity, modulate your period, and decrease your risk of conditions related to PCOS.
Exercise: Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. But too much exercise can interrupt your hormones, so speak to your doctor about a healthy equilibrium. Gentle, low-impact yoga or pilates can be practiced for longer durations. Swimming and mild aerobics are also advised. Talk to your doctor about the type of workout which would benefit you most.
Good sleep hygiene: Sleep affects stress levels and helps modulate cortisol to balance hormones. But sleep disturbances are common for women with PCOS.
Reduce stress: Reducing stress can modulate cortisol. Many of the strategies mentioned previously, such as yoga, getting enough sleep, and cutting caffeine, can reduce stress levels.
Avoid endocrine disruptors: Endocrine disruptors are chemicals or components that interfere with or block your body’s natural hormonal reactions. Some endocrine disruptors mimic male and female sex hormones, confusing your reproductive system. They are often found in canned foods, soaps, and cosmetics.
Yoga for PCOS
The science of yoga works at levels considerably more profound than just the physical body level. Yoga can help release the deeply stored stress in the system, which can help improve PCOS symptoms.
Yoga Asanas (yoga postures) designed for PCOS help open up the pelvic area and promote comfort, and pranayamas (breathing exercises) are powerful methods that help calm the mind. Soothing meditations work at a very deep level to help detoxify and de-stress the entire human system. The powerful mantra of Sudarshan Kriya can help treat negative emotions and mood swings.
Acupuncture for PCOS
In a 2009 study of 20 women with polycystic ovary syndrome, researchers found that 16 weeks of electro-acupuncture treatments led to significantly more regular menstrual cycles and lower levels of male hormones. Electro-acupuncture (where needles are connected to a system that creates continuous electric impulses and then placed at particular points on the patient’s body) may calm nerve activity, improving insulin resistance, according to the study’s authors.
Chinese herbs for PCOS
A preliminary study indicates that herbal formulations used in traditional Chinese medicine (like shakuyaku-kanzo-to, changbudodam-tang, and yongdamsagan-tang) can be useful in treating polycystic ovary syndrome. A study published in 2009 indicates that acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine may be more beneficial than herbs in treating the problem.
There is enough research to make a case for acupuncture as an alternative treatment for PCOS. Acupuncture Can Help PCOS by:
– helping with weight loss
– enhancing your sensitivity to insulin
– increasing blood flow to your ovaries
– reducing cortisol levels
Functional medicine for PCOS
Functional medicine provides science-based tools to diagnose and treat PCOS patients effectively. For example, a thorough Functional Medicine physical exam can help diagnose accurately, as hirsutism and acanthosis nigricans are common physical findings.
A recent Cochrane review concluded that lifestyle modifications might enhance the weight, free androgen index, and BMI in women with PCOS.” Lifestyle interventions are crucial to assist patients with PCOS to alleviate symptoms and reduce health risks. For example, a study showed that a plant-based diet, lifestyle changes, and aerobic exercise decreased PCOS symptoms.
Ayurvedic treatment for PCOS
Following the Ayurvedic view, PCOS can be connected with Aarthava Kshaya. Studies are completed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ayurveda treatment program on subfertility with PCOS. The answer to the treatment was listed, and therapeutic effects were assessed by symptomatic relief and during Trans Vaginal Scan and LH and FSH hormone levels. The results demonstrated that the Ayurveda therapy regimen can successfully treat subfertility because of PCOS.
Ayurvedic treatment takes a holistic approach to PCOS management. A custom approach helps in re-balancing the hormones naturally. Ayurvedic treatment balances tissue nourishment, rectifies the imbalance of dosha-bio-energies that regulate the human body and boosts metabolism. Ayurvedic remedies also assist in slow and healthy weight loss, reduce hair and facial hair growth, and reduce snoring. Ayurvedic therapy not only helps in controlling PCOS; it also helps in restoring health and well-being.
Homeopathy for PCOS
Homeopathic remedies for polycystic ovarian cysts are made from natural substances with no unwanted effects and present opportunities for managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Sepia occupies the top position among the medications for the treatment of PCOS. The symptom of Sepia is late and scanty menses. Sepia is also considered to treat infertility cases because of PCOS. Abnormal hair growth on the face, particularly on upper lips, may also be well controlled with Sepia.
A doctor may prescribe medications in some cases to manage PCOS symptoms. Several medications may be used in the treatment of PCOS, including:
- Birth control pills: Oral contraceptives can help to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels.
- Anti-androgens: These medications can help reduce androgens’ effects on the body, such as excessive hair growth and acne.
- Metformin: This medication is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes but can also regulate insulin levels in women with PCOS.
- Clomiphene citrate: This medication can help to induce ovulation in women with PCOS who are trying to conceive.
- Letrozole: This medication is another option for inducing ovulation in women with PCOS.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended as part of PCOS treatment. The most common surgery for PCOS is ovarian drilling, which involves making small holes in the surface of the ovaries using a laser or other tool. This procedure can help to reduce androgen production and induce ovulation. Ovarian drilling is typically only recommended for women who have not responded to other treatments.
Be wary of supplements and other remedies that make broad claims. Though there’s a fair amount of research on natural remedies for PCOS, more precise information is still required to encourage many alternative treatments.
Talk to your Physician
If you consider any natural treatment choices for PCOS, work with your physician to produce a treatment plan. While herbal supplements and other therapies can help PCOS treatment, they are not substitutes for a customized, continuing dialogue with your doctor about your symptoms.
Conclusion PCOS is a complex condition that requires individualized treatment. Lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, and alternative therapies may all be part of a comprehensive PCOS treatment plan.