PCOS Awareness Month

What is it and 4 top tips to help with symptom management.

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and September is PCOS awareness September is PCOS awareness month, a metabolic and hormonal condition that affects 1 in every 10 people with ovaries. The diagnosing of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) can be put into 3 categories that commonly overlap but include excess androgenic hormones, infrequent or lack of ovulation and polycystic morphology. Symptoms may differ depending on the category of diagnosis, but can often include excess facial hair, irregular or lack of periods, oily skin, mood changes and difficulty with fertility.

What are some potential causes?
PCOS may be influenced by a combination of different causes. Each case of PCOS is different and personal and can stem for different causes including:
– genetics
– vitamin D deficiency
– hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis dysfunction
– inflammation
– stress

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Photo by Nadezhda Moryak on Pexels.com

PCOS can be an uncomfortable and confusing condition, with those suffering often told that weight loss and cutting carbs is the key to reduced symptoms. This advice can often be confusing and cause weight and diet cycling in people, resulting in a negative relationship with food and their bodies. Thankfully, PCOS symptoms can still be supported without the need for weight loss and restrictions.

Here are 4 top tips to help support PCOS using nutrition and lifestyle support:

1. Including protein, fat, carbohydrates and fibre with each meal.
Balanced meals are vital for the support of blood sugar, often irregular in those with PCOS due to a heightened level of insulin resistance. Carbs do not need to be excluded from the diet, but ensuring that we eat them mostly with protein, fat and fibre sources allows for slower digestion and less of an insulin spike.

2. Adding omega-3 rich foods to the diet.
Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that helps to support immune function. Inflammation is often heightened in PCOS and may contribute to fatigue symptoms. Increasing sources of oily fish, nuts and seeds is a great way to add up your omega-3 points.

3. Incorporating movement into your weekly routine.
Movement and exercise can help support cell sensitivity to insulin, ensuring we can uptake glucose at a normal speed. Whatever form of movement you enjoy, be that walking, dancing, yoga, weights etc, adding this into your weekly routine can be a positive way to support your body and reduce potential insulin sensitivity.

4. Good sleep quality and quantity.
Sleep is vital to restore and reset the body’s functions, ensuring our hormones are working as needed. When we aren’t sleeping enough, our stress hormones increase which can cause our blood sugar levels to raise, increasing the demand for insulin. Ensuring we are sleeping well can help with fatigue symptoms and aid blood sugar levels.

Although PCOS is incurable, incorporating helpful habits alongside medication and supplements as needed may help support your wellbeing if struggling. As further awareness is raised for the condition, more information is being shared for support and communities are being made to show that if you are suffering, you are not alone.

If you’d like to find out more information or gain further support, contact Greener Nutrition using the following link. https://greener-nutrition.com/contact/

Dewailly, D. et al. (2013). Definition and significance of polycystic ovarian morphology: a task force report from the Androgen Excess and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Society. Human Reproduction Update, 20(3), 334-352.
Leo, V.D. et al. (2016). Genetic, hormonal and metabolic aspects of PCOS: an update. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 14(1), 1-17.
Prapas, N. et al. (2009). Genetics of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Hippokratia, 13(4), 216-223.

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