Life With PCOS: Here’s How To Manage Your Condition
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS affects millions of women worldwide and is a leading cause of infertility. PCOS is associated with many health problems that can affect physical and emotional wellness, so managing it is essential to improving one’s health and quality of life. Because PCOS is incurable, many women seek all kinds of advice to help lose weightand address common symptoms. However, much of this guidance comes from online, which can be confusing, misleading, and potentially harmful. Constantly scrolling on social mediacan make it challenging to find the right help and can take away time from more healthy activities. Fortunately, there’s no need for complex routines or methods; following the important pillars of health can make life with PCOS easier. Here’s how you can manage your condition:
A healthy diet can help you manage your weight, improve your PCOS symptoms, and help you prevent chronic illnesses. You can incorporate nutritious foods that provide essential nutrients into your meals to create a balanced and PCOS-friendly diet. Some of the best foods for PCOSinclude dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens; these vegetables are high in fiber, which can help keep you full for longer, control blood sugar and combat inflammation. Other veggies like broccoli and cauliflower and berries like blueberries and strawberries are also fiber-rich and great sources of antioxidants. Healthy fats found in nuts and seeds can also help improve issues with insulin resistance. Eating an appropriate amount of these foods daily can help you keep your PCOS symptoms at bay. Reducing your intake of processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates can vastly improve your well-being.
Physical activity can enhance your metabolism, aiding in weight loss and making PCOS more manageable. Exercise has also been found to improve reproductive functions. It reduces infertility and social and psychological stress that can impact fertility outcomes. A combination of cardio, strength training, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) significantly impacts your health, boosting insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, heart and metabolic health, and more. Stay consistent and strive to get vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, which you can divide throughout the days as you see fit. It’s also important to find a workout you enjoy, which can help you stick with it for longer and make the process more fun.
Weight loss can help alleviate PCOS-related issues; it improves insulin levels, reduces androgen levels, and can also lead to improvements in fertility and help restore ovulation. Losing PCOS weight can be difficult due to your biology, but your doctor may prescribe you prescription weight loss medications, which can be used as PCOS treatment for weight loss. These drugs help level the playing field so you can lose weight more efficiently. Prescription weight loss medications like Metformin counteract insulin resistance by improving the sensitivity of peripheral tissues to insulin. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drugs like Saxenda and Wegovy mimic a hormone in your gut that reduces appetite and cravings. These medications can help you lose 15% to 20% of your body weight. A medical professional can work with you to prescribe the right medication to ensure the most effective results.
Sleep is crucial for supporting normal hormonal balance when you have PCOS. However, PCOS can affect your sleep quality; those with the condition are more likely to experience poor sleep quality and chronic daytime sleepiness. The risk of obstructive sleep apneais also heightened in those with PCOS, and leaving it untreated can contribute to a range of health problems, including type 2 diabetes. Fixing your sleep routine and addressing sleep-related conditions can help you manage your PCOS. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day to get a consistent sleep rhythm. A relaxing bedtime routine can also help you prime your body and mind for bed so you don’t stay up too late. Getting 7 to 8 hours a day is ideal for a healthy body, whether you have PCOS or not.