5 Common PCOS Mistakes People Make
Purabi Gunjal (she/her)

Purabi Gunjal (she/her)

Jun 29PCOS

5 Common PCOS Mistakes People Make

This article has been compiled by Vaibhavi Kodnani, a content writer at Proactive For Her.

Many women of the reproductive age group are diagnosed with PCOS, making it a common condition today. There are certain factors associated with this condition like:

  • Genetics
  • A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, environmental pollution
  • Physical or emotional stress such as heavy workouts
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Insulin resistance
  • Internal inflammation

With the increased number of people being diagnosed with PCOS, there is a lot of information available around this topic. To achieve fast results, people start incorporating too many changes in their life all of a sudden without proper understanding and knowledge. Doing so can have adverse effects rather than being beneficial. Hence, it is best to talk to your healthcare practitioner to understand your condition, its causes, focus areas and the appropriate treatments that will work for you. With the right approach, you will achieve the desired results. It will also help you stay motivated to stick to the planned structure and changes.

pcos mistakes

So let’s look into the most common mistakes that people with PCOS tend to make and how you can avoid them.

1. Treating just the symptoms, not the cause

Every person presents different PCOS symptoms in varying intensities. One of the most common mistakes is to follow short-term treatments to only manage the symptoms. You may get rid of the symptoms for a short period, but you will not resolve the problem. You may notice the same symptoms later on, probably with increased severity. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the root cause of the problem to take care of the symptoms.

For example, if you have skin issues such as acne, applying only topical ointments is a temporary solution and will not benefit you in the long run. Instead, you need to identify the root cause of your acne and treat it alongside too. If the acne is due to high androgen levels in the body, you can opt for a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes that can help lower these androgen levels. It will eventually bring your acne under control too.

To understand this better, here is another example. If the cause behind your PCOS is stress-induced inflammation, you need to control your stress levels to manage your PCOS. With medications or diet changes, you may be able to control the inflammation briefly, but if you don’t manage your stress levels, the inflammation will return, leaving the problem unresolved.

2. Taking too many supplements or not taking them at all

Various supplements claim to cure PCOS. However, it is crucial to note that PCOS is something that needs continuous lifestyle changes. Your doctor will prescribe you supplements and their dosages based on the following factors:

  • Your blood work
  • Your physiological condition
  • Amount of physical activity
  • Amount of nutrients you get through your diet

Even though some supplements may be available over the counter, do not start taking them without consultation from your doctor. Taking supplements without enough understanding can be counterproductive. But do not be under the notion that you will not need any supplements or medications. It is most worthwhile to follow your doctor’s advice.

3. Following random diet plans

One of the most common misconceptions is that losing weight will cure your PCOS. Due to this, people randomly start following gluten-free diets or dairy-free diets or fad diets. They even eliminate entire food groups or nutrients from the diet. All of this is extremely harmful if done unsupervised. Unless your doctor has recommended you follow a certain diet, you should not start it independently.

While losing weight is beneficial, doing it the right way is crucial. Based on your symptoms and causes of PCOS, your doctor will suggest diet changes to you.

4. Making too many changes at once

When people get diagnosed with PCOS, they start incorporating too many changes immediately and expect results too soon. It is understandable that in the beginning, it all seems too overwhelming. But with a slow, steady and consistent approach, you will be able to manage your PCOS successfully. Here are some helpful tips to remember:

  • Set realistic and achievable goals.
  • Plan a proper structure and be consistent towards those goals.
  • Give yourself 3-4 months to notice results.
  • Start with a few interventions and observe the results.
  • Progress gradually and add more interventions when you feel you can handle more.
  • But, do not incorporate too many changes at once, as you will lose motivation to sustain them and worsen your condition.
  • Most importantly, be patient with yourself.

5. Working out too heavily

To lose weight, many start with high-intensity training or spend hours in the gym working out. If your body is not used to exercising and you jump to intense workouts, it can have repercussions such as injuries, physical stress and amenorrhea. As mentioned earlier, gradual progression will take you a long way. If you are a beginner, you can start with 30-40 mins of low to moderate exercise 4-5 times a week. Take enough rest and time to recover to prevent exhaustion. You can eventually either increase the workout time or the intensity of exercises as you progress. Do not do both at once.

Bottom line

To conclude, PCOS is manageable if done the right way. It is best to introduce changes in your life as per your doctor’s recommendations. Reading up articles to learn more about the condition can be a good practice, but always consult your doctor before incorporating any changes. You can even join supervised support groups to meet familiar people and discover and learn along with them. It can be comforting to know there are more like you and make your PCOS journey easier. 

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.