Approximately 5 million people suffer from PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that causes cysts to develop on the ovaries due to the overproduction of androgens. This hormone can also lead to other symptoms such as obesity, hair loss, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and endometrial cancer.
PCOS can also cause a person to become extremely hairy (the condition for this is called hirsutism). It is likely that the bearded ladies of circus fame suffered from this condition. Because PCOS is more closely related to your body’s metabolic processes, it is possible for men to develop this condition.
Image source: https://www.endocrineweb.com
If you suffer from this genetic condition, you are not alone. Below are compiled some suggestions to help you and the millions of other in your struggle against PCOS.
This is an obvious one, but those who suffer from PCOS may find that it is not having the results they were looking for. And it probably won’t. Do not expect a miracle to happen. Many of the means by which you conduct your battle will be more of a reducing tactic than a slimming tactic. The foods you eat will help you reduce your weight but, unfortunately, not in the amounts you would like.
Removing refined carbohydrates from your diet and reducing your portion sizes is a great first step. Your body is becoming insulin resistant, meaning your pancreas has to produce more insulin to keep your blood sugar levels under control. By eating foods high in sugars, you are aggravating the situation, not combat it. They make psychologically make you feel better, but physically they are doing more damage.
Some of the best foods to eat are going to be those high in fiber. Fiber cannot be digested in the stomach, but it does help to slow down the process enough to allow the body to metabolize the hormones in your system. These could include red or green peppers, legumes and beans, sweet potatoes, and a wide assortment of greens. Pumpkin is another good option.
Skip out on the red meats. If you need meat in your diet, go for the more lean varieties such as fish or chicken. Fish also contains omega-3, a chemical that has additional benefits like improving brain functions and reduce the risks of heart disease. With the heart being an area affected by PCOS, this is a great food that keeps you feeling full.
Also, increase your meals to 5 a day instead of 3. At the same time, you need to reduce the sizes of these meals. Smaller meals, consisting of the right foods and more often, allow for a more-measured digestive and metabolic processes. You will also be less likely to snack throughout the day, reducing the temptation to reach for those sugary snack foods.
Get up and get moving. The added weight you may have gained because of the condition may have you feeling depressed, frustrated, and angry. This may cause you to mope around and stay sedentary. This is the worst strategy you can use to combat the condition. Exercising is a major tool to use against PCOS.
Any exercise regimen you begin, go into it with the knowledge that you are doing so to keep your PCOS under control; to counter the effects of the condition, not to lose all of the weight. PCOS is an uphill, and constant, battle. Exercising will keep it from overwhelming your body and your mind.
This can also reduce the depression and other emotions you are experiencing because of the condition. Stress exasperates things by affecting your mind. Settle your mind by focusing on moving. Staying active will release endorphins into your bloodstream, making you happier and allowing you to stop focusing on your PCOS.
Cardio exercises are perhaps the best when battling PCOS. They get the heart pumping and the blood flowing and burn the most calories. Burning off the additional calories held in by your condition will help maintain your current weight. And that is the goal. Do not stress yourself over becoming super fit; you will only be causing yourself pain. Maintenance, not model.
To help control PCOS, doctors will prescribe birth control pills. These help regulate hormone levels in your body, regulating their menstrual cycles at the same time (another symptom of the condition is are irregular periods). Controlling the flow of hormones in the body is truly the first step in controlling your PCOS. Reducing the symptoms will make dieting and exercising more effective.
Sleeping is another factor the can be aggravating your condition. If you are not getting enough, you may start feeling the effects of sleep deprivation. This can actually harm you in more ways than simply making you cranky the next day. If you are sleep deprived, you may be increasing the likelihood of becoming obese. The lack of sleep can activate the dormant genes you have inherited that can cause you to become overweight.
Sleep also regulates the hormones that register you as being hungry. If you are hungry in the night, you are more likely to grab a snack. Aside from your body needing the rest (many of its functions do not begin until you are asleep), the food you consume will sit on your stomach, causing gassiness and other issues. This will prevent you from getting a restful 8 hours (minimum) of sleep.
Battling PCOS is an ongoing effort. You do not have to do it alone. In fact, it is better to share your fight! For your own mental and emotional stability, keep a record of your struggle online. Share in a blog what you are doing and how it is affecting your condition.
Maintaining a level is a victory, and you can show this to others. Help those who are suffering with you understand this, and support each other in your fights! Do not allow one another to give up. Yes, it can be stressful and disheartening at times, but the larger the support system you build, the better you can keep each other going.
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