PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects 1 in every 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and several metabolism problems that may affect their overall health, appearance, and emotional state.
Today we’ll dive into what PCOS is, its symptoms, and the best type of foods for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. So if you want to know more, keep reading!
What is PCOS?
As we’ve seen, polycystic ovary syndrome (also known as PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. This hormonal imbalance stems from an excess in insulin which tells the body to produce more testosterone (the male sex hormone) causing problems in the ovaries. The name, polycystic ovary syndrome, refers to the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries.
In a normal situation, the ovaries make the egg that is released each month (if not fertilized) as a part of a healthy menstrual cycle. But, when somebody suffers from PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be.
In some cases, the person who suffers it doesn’t produce enough of the hormones needed to ovulate. Too much insulin destabilizes the creation of female hormones and causes a hormonal imbalance. Women with PCOS often have high levels of androgens which cause many of the symptoms of PCOS.
Common PCOS Symptoms
The symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Also, some women start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period. Others when trying to get pregnant but have a lot of trouble succeeding, and even more so after they’ve gained a lot of weight without other factors that could’ve led to it. It depends on each individual and their body. The most common PCOS symptoms are:
- Irregular periods. Having irregular periods is the main sign that you’re suffering from PCOS. As we’ve seen, a lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women can go 3 months without having a period or not having a regular cycle which is considered to last between 25 to 30 days.
- Heavy bleeding. Since the uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, the periods are heavier than usual.
- Hirsutism. Since there is heavier androgen production, women can experience hair growth on their face and body, including on their back, belly, and chest.
- Acne. Male hormones can also make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts in different parts of the body.
- Weight gain or difficulty to lose weight.
- Thinning hair, or hair loss on the scalp, male-pattern baldness.
- Darkening of the skin in some areas such as the neck, the groin, and under the breasts.
Steadying glucose levels lead to less insulin which then reflects in a lower testosterone level. It’s crazy how much this lifestyle and nutrition change can help you improve your life and well-being and help alleviate PCOS symptoms.
By changing your lifestyle (your diet, being active, resting well, etc.) and taking appropriate dietary supplements you may be able to manage the symptoms and ease them. However, you must know that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution or approach to treatment. You should always speak to your doctor before trying alternative treatments or taking any supplements. Keep in mind that this is a journey and it may take you a while to find the things that work for you.
The best type of foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
We’re strong believers that food can many times be used as medicine and is in many cases underestimated by professionals. Of course we understand many conditions genetic or irreversible need medication, however, food can also help aid symptoms of many issues from the digestive system to the immune system. It’s important to adjust your nutrition to what feels good to your own body, especially when suffering from PCOS.
Many studies have revealed the promising role of the ketogenic diet in treating PCOS symptoms and improving the quality of life of many women. As we’ve mentioned earlier, people who suffer from PCOS usually are insulin resistant. The ketogenic diet is well known for stabilizing blood sugar and reducing insulin levels and insulin resistance, improving many conditions such as diabetes. Following a keto diet also helps promote weight loss, balance hormones, and promote a regular menstrual cycle.
Best snacks for PCOS
Healthy snacks are probably one of the most difficult things to find, especially when you’re on the go and suffer from PCOS. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Usually, the typical snacks are packed with sugar and nasty ingredients that will only harm our bodies and give us even more sugar cravings. And that’s the opposite of what we want to achieve here. However, there are a few snacks that won’t give you cravings, sugar spikes, or lower your energy levels. Let’s dive into them!
We couldn’t go without mentioning our beloved High fat Funky Fat Chocolates. Our chocolate is like no other. If you’re looking for a healthy, delicious, keto-friendly, and versatile snack that doesn’t affect your blood sugar, these high-fat chocolate bars are what you’re looking for. Whether it’s PMS or not, you will for sure crave chocolate at some point and what better than to give your body one that is also functional. They’re made with the best ingredients that will help you control your PCOS symptoms while giving your sweet tooth a treat. They fill you up, give you no glucose spikes and improve your mental clarity, energy, and focus.
Also, we say that they’re versatile because you can just eat the chocolate as it comes or create fun and delicious snack recipes to have your snack at home or on the go. There are all kinds of recipes from sweet dessert-like ones to sweet and salty to simple 3-ingredient recipes such as some whipping cream with chocolate-dipped raspberries.
If you prefer savory snacks over sweet ones, we recommend you try some crudites with cream cheese or low-carb dip sauce. This snack is also great to take with you in a little food container. It’s healthy, delicious, and super easy to make. You could also take boiled eggs or cheese as a snack.
If you prefer to lean more into store-bought snacks, you can always rely on them as long as they’re high-fat, keto or low-carb, in order to keep your blood sugar stable and help your polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms. Some great ideas are snack bars, turkey sausage sticks, nuts and seeds (unfried), etc.
The main thing we want you to take from this article is that you need to learn to listen to your body and its necessities to be able to help it as best as possible. Find what works out best for you and in order to do that, you need to research. We always advocate for solving health problems naturally, in a holistic way, and finding the root cause of the problem instead of using bandaids and ignoring it. After that, you can determine which lifestyle, habits, and nutrition changes you want to make in order to stay healthy and feel your best, which should be the priority.