Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common hormonal imbalance that affects 1 in 10 women in the United States. Although the syndrome is widespread, women’s symptoms seem to vary. Side effects can include anything from mood swings to hair loss, cystic acne, weight gain, irregular periods, and facial hair. One of the most common triggers of PCOS is insulin resistance. This has detrimental inflammatory effects on the body. Insulin resistance is when your cells are not able to take up insulin-bound glucose. As a result, the body struggles to burn off glucose. This ultimately leads to weight gain and, potentially, type 2 diabetes. When insulin and glucose are left floating around in the bloodstream, they can wreak havoc and cause inflammation.
The ovaries become stimulated to produce more of the androgen hormone (sex hormone), leading to adrenal dysfunction. This cascade effect that insulin triggers on your hormones can lead to facial hair and cystic acne. Once adrenal dysfunction is triggered, cortisol levels become too high and end up overriding your body’s sex hormones. This contributes to mood swings, irregular periods and infertility.
If you’ve received a PCOS diagnosis, don’t delay on starting a treatment plan. The longer you allow symptoms to continue, the longer it may take to reverse, and the more new symptoms will appear. Consider speaking with a Registered Dietitian who specializes in women’s health. They can help to guide you on your journey toward reversing PCOS. The following are a list of steps you can take to regain control over your body and eventually get your symptoms to become dormant.
1. Intermittent Fasting
When cells have been continually exposed to high levels of glucose, they become insulin resistant. The insulin is left floating around the bloodstream, contributes to low-grade chronic inflammation. Consider intermittent fasting to reboot your cells and improve their glucose uptake. There are many different forms of intermittent fasting. It is best to start with eating every couple hours, within a 9 hour period of time. This means you are having breakfast at 9:00 am and eating your last meal at 6:00 pm, being sure to fit in all your calories within that window at a pace that keeps your blood sugar balanced. In order to improve glucose uptake, studies suggest allowing your cells to take a break, or fast, from continually being exposed to glucose.