10 PCOS commandments every person must know!
Dr. Renuka Dangare

Dr. Renuka Dangare

Feb 10PCOS

10 PCOS commandments every person must know!

This article is compiled by Sanjana Varma, a freelance writer of Proactive For Her. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjana-varma-b34a63141/

Figuring Out PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal, metabolic and possible auto-immune condition affecting at least 1 in 10 women worldwide. It is the world’s leading cause of fertility issues in women.

No two women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have the exact same symptoms. This makes PCOS diagnosis challenging, as does the fact that many other conditions can present similarly.

To be formally diagnosed with PCOS, you must meet two of the following diagnostic criteria:

  1. Irregular or absent periods
  2. Biological or physical signs of hyperandrogenism (high androgen levels) without another medical cause
  3. A string of small follicles (cysts) on an ultrasound examination

PCOS Symptoms

Symptoms of PCOS may begin shortly after puberty, but can also develop during the later teen years and early adulthood.

Other symptoms include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Unwanted hair growth/Hirsutism
  • Thinning hair on the head
  • Infertility
  • Acne
  • Mood changes
  • Pelvic pain
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems

Is there a cure for PCOS?

There is no cure yet, but there are many ways you can decrease or eliminate PCOS symptoms and feel better. Your doctor may offer different medicines that can treat symptoms such as irregular periods, acne, excess hair, and elevated blood sugar. For women desirous of a child and struggling with infertility issues, fertility treatments are available to help them get pregnant. An active lifestyle and a sustainable diet is the best way to address the root of PCOS, insulin resistance.

pcos commandments

What Needs To Be Done?

PCOS diagnosis can come as a shock to many. The condition entails a lot of stress on your body. Help is always available !

First things first, take a deep breath. There is no need to stress yourself. This article will give you 10 easy steps that will help you navigate through PCOS.

Ten Commandments To Control PCOS

1. Educate yourself about the condition

Knowledge is power and especially handy when it comes to dealing with PCOS. There are so many “experts” and sources to learn from that it may often confuse a newly diagnosed person. The best way is to ask your care provider for reliable medical sources that you can trust. Care providers can be nutritionists, skin care specialists, mental health providers and gynaecologists. Never be afraid to ask your questions. And in matters of doubt, always trust the experts.

2. Follow up and be regular with doctor’s visits

Follow up on tests and doctor visits as recommended. By understanding the causes, symptoms and possible treatments, you can begin to see the path to healing. With that knowledge under your belt, you are ready to start healing. Treatments are determined by your age, symptoms and your personal preferences. Your treatment will include medication and lifestyle changes suitable to your body. It will be individualistic treatment. It is always important to have a good relationship and open line of communication with your doctor. If something isn’t working for you, you can discuss alternate treatments with providers.

3. Make sure you are having a nutritious diet

A lot of emphasis is given on lifestyle management when it comes to PCOS treatments. PCOS persons especially struggle with the stigma and shaming surrounding weight loss. Please understand that it is harder to lose weight, if you are intending to, when having PCOS. Instead of focusing merely on the weighing scale, take stock of the nutrients you feed your body. Make sure you are filling your plate and your belly with healthy, fresh, locally sourced food. Food wastage and overeating both should be avoided. If you feel overwhelmed with “diet advice” seek out a nutritionist who doesn’t make your diet seem like a punishment. And only pick diets that seem sustainable in the long run. Having more water, fresh food and avoiding refined and processed foods are the first steps you could take in that direction.

4. Choose an exercise regime

You must exercise regularly. Involving in any physical activity will improve your insulin resistance, which is the root cause of PCOS. If left uncontrolled, you can develop diabetes later in life.. Movement relieves stress and clears your mind and does not merely serve the purpose of weight loss. Whether it is a walk at lunchtime, yoga, swimming, gardening or a strength training class, any time spent moving is time well spent. Keep moving in little spurts throughout the day — take the stairs, park far from the store or stretch.

You can get fitness bands/smartwatches to track your progress. Workout in groups if you can’t work out alone. Join a gym, learn yoga or go for long walks every day. Music can make exercising less daunting. If you are fond of dancing off the calories, you can opt for Zumba/aerobics classes. Choosing a regime that keeps you motivated is important. Work out to keep yourself happy !

5. Consider supplements

You can boost your health by taking dietary supplements recommended to you. Load up on whole food such as nuts, lean meats, organic fruits and vegetables. A lot of PCOS persons are deficient in Vitamin D, chromium, zinc, selenium and Vitamin B12. Supplementing your diet with these vitamins as well as myoinositol and d-chiro inositol have shown to improve egg quality and reduce insulin resistance. Make sure you have done your research when taking these supplements and ALWAYS consult a doctor before starting one.

6. Prioritize mental health

Let’s face it, PCOS can cause a lot of mental stress. It tips our hormone balance and can even lead to depression. Mood swings and lack of sleep will leave you tired and lifeless. You can doubt your decisions and feel hurt.There are various support groups for PCOS that you can join. Seek the help of a counsellor or support group to guide you through these tough times.

Try to maintain a journal that tracks your progress. Give priority to yourself. Give yourself permission to heal. Opening up to family and friends will heal you faster. Remember, you are not responsible for your condition. You are never alone in this.

7. Work on sleep and stress

Setting a healthy sleep schedule does wonders to boost hormonal balance. . Try to sleep at least 6-8 hours a day. Research says that 6.5-7.4 hours of sleep a day can really improve insulin resistance .Sleep can help curb stress, anxiety and clear your mind of confusions. Many women with PCOS find it difficult to fall asleep. Erratic sleep patterns combined with long periods of stress adds to the complication.

Focus on breathing exercises and guided sleep meditations to help you further. Select an app according to your taste and feel yourself embraced by sleep.You can also choose from the many resources available online.

8. Show some skin-love

PCOS causes skin problems such as acne, hirsutism, oily skin, skin tags and darkening of skin patches. Skin conditions can be frustrating to manage and can also affect your mental health. Work with a skin care specialist to find products that best suit your needs- whether its daily skin care, make up or medication. Consider taking birth-control pills to help with acne and excessive hair growth.

You can opt for paraben-free products for your skin. Water based products work best for persons with acne. Don’t let PCOS stop you from making your skin glow!

9. Set achievable goals

There are many fad diets, exercises and treatment options. Choose what suits you and stick to it. Understand your limits and craft a plan that is uniquely for you. Seek help if you need it. Record your progress in your journal and get control of your life.

Try to lose weight healthily. A sudden drop in your weight is not healthy. Speak with a nutritionist and understand how much you need to lose per week. If you are the type who doesn't want to stick to one type of workout, find a combination that works for you. The main idea is not to abandon your progress.

10. Love yourself

This is the most important step. Your body may be a roller-coaster of emotions and hormones on some days.. Understand that this too shall pass. The sudden lifestyle change will be difficult. Think of the results, a healthy body and mind are worth the trouble.

Take time to make yourself happy. Indulge in your favorite activity, pamper your skin, eat healthily and keep fit. You are unstoppable.

PCOS is a condition that affects many women worldwide. Though there is no specific cure, it can be managed well with little care and lots of love. Be kind to yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take baby steps and change one thing at a time. You can do it!

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

We at Proactive aim at creating a world-class medical experience for Indian women and adopt gold standards in every healthcare initiative whether it’s a teleconsultation or a webinar. What sets us apart from the rest is our liberal, convenient, and holistic approach to healthcare.

Disclaimer: This information is educational and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or adding supplements

ProactiveForHer is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer out-patient care, diagnostic services and programs for various health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause.  

To know more on the sexual and reproductive health of women, visit https://www.proactiveforher.com/