If you’re one of the unfortunate 5 million women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), then you are no stranger to the uncomfortable symptoms. Women with PCOS may have higher levels of male hormones, called androgens, which can cause hair thinning, acne, irregular periods, and excess hair growth on the face and body.
If left untreated, PCOS can lead to more serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, gestational diabetes,stroke, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. These side effects are even more likely to occur in women who are overweight or obese. The cause of PCOS is unknown, but insulin resistance, obesity, and family history (having a mom or sister with PCOS) are all risk factors.
What Can You Do To Reduce Your PCOS Symptoms?
Currently there is no cure for PCOS but lifestyle changes and natural supplements may help to manage symptoms. Below are 8 natural ways to manage your PCOS symptoms:
Being overweight or obese is linked to PCOS. If you are overweight, losing weight may help to reduce the severity of your symptoms. Reduce your weight by practicing healthy lifestyle habits such as eating a healthy diet rich in whole foods and getting regular exercise.
Eat Healthy and Stay Active
A healthy body weight is linked to better health overall and less risk of developing type 2 diabetes and PCOS. By eating healthy and exercising regularly, you can control your blood sugar levels therefore reducing your risk of PCOS complications. Avoid processed foods, sugary beverages, and foods high in animal fat and cholesterol.
Ramp Up Your Calcium and Vitamin D
One study compared two groups of women suffering from symptoms of PCOS. One group was given a regular dosage of Metformin, a drug used to treat PCOS, while group 2 was given Metformin plus 1,000 mg of calcium and 100,000 IU of vitamin D. After a month, group 2 saw a significant reduction in BMI (body mass index), less abnormalities in their menstrual cycle, and improvement in other symptoms of PCOS compared to the control group.
According to one study, PCOS may be a low-level inflammatory disease. Inflammation can be a factor in many common diseases and health conditions. Lower levels of inflammation are associated with better overall health. You can help to lower inflammation in the body by eating anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, tomatoes, olive oils, fruits and spices such as turmeric.
Eat More Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice commonly used in desserts for its fragrant flavor. Some studies have shown that cinnamon has a positive effect on regulating blood sugar levels. It may also help regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS. Additionally, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful for treating chronic inflammation.
Berberine is an herbal supplement often used in Chinese medicine. It’s been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance. Berberine may increase your metabolism and balance your endocrine responses. Berberine can be found in supplement form and may be an effective treatment for PCOS symptoms.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea has long been touted as one of the healthiest drinks in the world. Some of the benefits of green tea include acting as an anti-inflammatory, increasing fat burning potential, decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, and may help you lose weight. Drinking green tea or taking it as a supplement may help to treat your underlying causes of PCOS.
Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep can increase your stress levels and upset your hormone balance. Women with PCOS are twice as likely to struggle with sleep problems. Sleep disturbances can be caused by a variety of factors including excess caffeine, stress, anxiety, or poor sleep habits. Aim to get more sleep by reducing stress and other factors leading to poor sleep quality.
Managing your PCOS symptoms starts by addressing any underlying causes. Lifestyle factors can affect the severity of your PCOS symptoms and should be considered. By eating healthy and getting enough exercise, you can greatly reduce your symptoms or complications of PCOS. Natural supplements may also be useful in treating common risk factors and complications of PCOS. By combining healthy lifestyle choices with natural remedies to improve your PCOS symptoms, you are one step closer to living a happier, healthier life.