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Polycystic ovarian syndrome: Meaning, Causes, and Management tips at home

According to health experts, 1 in 5 women in India are affected by polycystic ovarian syndrome while over 70% of women with PCOS have not been diagnosed.

Polycystic ovary syndrome or commonly known as PCOS is one of the common lifestyle disorders that affect a woman’s hormone levels. Women affected by PCOS produce higher than normal amounts of male hormone and often find it hard to get pregnant.  According to health experts, 1 in 5 women
in India are affected by this hormonal imbalance. September is observed worldwide as a “polycystic awareness month”

What is Polycystic ovary syndrome?

To put it simply, polycystic ovary syndrome is a problem with hormones that affect women between 15 to 44 years. This hormonal imbalance affects the woman’s ovaries, the reproductive organs causing irregular menstrual cycle, and an increase in the male hormones. The common symptoms of PCOS include heavy bleeding, polycystic ovaries, weight gain, darkening of the skin, thinning hair, acne, etc.  Early diagnosis and treatment along with lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

What causes PCOS?

While the exact reasons for PCOS are unknown, experts believe that high levels of male hormones prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally. Certain factors such as heredity, insulin, and excessive low-grade inflammation may also play a major role in the development of PCOS. Studies show that up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. One of the major causes of insulin rejection is Obesity. Studies have also linked excessive inflammation to higher androgen levels which can contribute to PCOS in women.

How to Manage PCOS at home?

Lifestyle changes, creating mental awareness go a long way in combating polycystic ovary syndrome in women. Diets, exercise, and weight loss are essential parts of the treatment PCOS. Here are some basic PCOS management tips you can try at home.

Lifestyle and Diet change:

Studies show that losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can effectively improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, and reduce heart disease and diabetes risks. A person suffering from PCOS must make sure to regulate eating junk food and shun high-calorie foods. Ladies, replace your comfort food with healthier options like oats, Dalia instead. Opt for a low glycemic diet from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to regulate your menstrual cycle.

Be Active and Exercise:

Exercise helps low blood sugar levels. If you are someone who has PCOS, increasing your daily activity, and participating in different exercise formats may prevent insulin resistance. You do not need to get a gym membership and do a ton of weight lifting. All you need is consistency and hard work. A 30-minute moderate-intensity exercise at least 3 days a week will also do the trick. Exercise combined with a healthy diet can do wonders for women affected with PCOS.

Mental health awareness of PCOS

The impact of PCOS on mental health is significant. Women affected with PCOS often find it hard to rear children bringing a lot of tension, anger, depression, and anxiety. The impact of PCOS is far-reaching and can lead to some of the most distressing, painful, and uncomfortable quality of life. Despite being one of the most common hormonal problems in women, the lack of awareness has left many unaware and unassured. PCOS often touted as “the thief of womanhood” has been a source of shame for many, which is why extra care and empathy from friends and family are of utmost importance.

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