PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting 9-18% of the women. It’s not only one of the main causes of ovulatory infertility, but is also the road towards type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndromes, cardiovascular diseases as well as cancers. With more and more research on PCOS, it has been estimated that nearly 40% of the women globally will be suffering from the same in the next 10 years.
In addition to the increased metabolic disorders, PCOS has also shown to have major effects on depression and anxiety which justifies the alarming depression rates among the Indian female population (Currently touching 25% as per the WHO 2020 data). Moreover, it is evident that the imbalance in the hormones directly affect the quality of life among the females, resulting in compromised nutrition and poor lifestyle putting a threat of malnourishment on the future generation.
Ever thought how can this viscous cycle be stopped? Well, if the food can harm, it can heal too. As per a Journal published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a reduction in weight by 80% nutrition and 20% exercise; making a complete 100% lifestyle change; can successfully improved the metabolic and reproductive parameters among women with PCOS.
Considering it as the 1st line of defence, women need to be encouraged to be educated and aware of the clinical markers of PCOS. The best nutritionist in Mumbai says that this involves irregular menstruation, excessive weight gain, unwanted/excessive hair growth on face and body (hirsutism), acne as well as dirty looking patches on the skin called acanthosis nigricans (which is a marker of hyperinsulinemia). Such symptoms appear during teenage (aged between 13-18years) which negatively affects the body image thereby leading to body shaming,eating disorders (anorexia and bullemia) and severe mood swings.
As per the initial approach, a pelvic ultrasound is required for appropriate detection of the cysts along with appropriate laboratory tests. However, putting a female immediately on oral contraceptives, insulin sensitizing medication and hormone regulatory medicine can portray immediate results; although, might have detrimental side effects, thereby worsening the situation 5 years later for her.
Henceforth considering the most important line of defence, diet and lifestyle changes should be the immediate approach in order to help these women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that this approach is the most effective and the safest among all, without any known side effects. As per the best nutritionist in Delhi, women who follow a low glycaemic index food diet with greater emphasis on a strategized nutrition plan and appropriate exercise are more likely to reduce weight and regulate the hormones. Additionally omega-3 fatty acids have been considered highly beneficial in limiting the condition of PCOS. However, this needs to be taken in appropriate dosages and portion size to avoid toxicity. On the other hand, nutrients like magnesium, cinnamon, zinc, selenium have been considered as the pillars of lifestyle management as they regulate hunger and appetite.
Therefore, nutrition management for PCOS is extremely important as it accounts for the risk of long term complications. This needs a proactive approach for treatment and lifestyle corrections from the earliest stage possible. Hence, it is evident that dieticians are the pillars and the advisors for the same, who can not only provide the base for a lifestyle change, but can also be the educators for the management of the disease.
At Qua Nutrition- Signature Nutrition Clinics, the nutritionist has been working with cases of PCOS every year, bringing about a lifestyle change, optimizing health and educating the women to have a healthier future. They are encouraged to take a step towards their health in the most scientific yet convenient manner as the ultimate goal is to sustain and practice what they start preaching!