Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels and problems with metabolism. PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Women with PCOS usually produces higher level of male hormones (androgens) preventing ovulation causing irregular menstrual cycles. PCOS can also lead to other serious health challenges, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, depression, and increased risk of endometrial cancer.
The cause of PCOS is still undefined, but there is evidence genetics play a role in the cause of it. It is a common health condition experienced by 1 out of 10 women. Many women discover they have PCOS when they're trying to get pregnant and are unsuccessful.
Common symptoms of PCOS includes:
- Irregular periods or no periods at all
- Difficult getting pregnant – due to irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate
- Excessive hair growth – on face, chest, back or buttons
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair and hair loss
- Oily skin or acne
If you experience the above symptoms and suspect you may have PCOS, do reach out to a fertility specialist.
Weight management and insulin production and resistance can be managed through dietary control. As insulin plays a significant role in PCOS, managing insulin levels with a PCOS diet is one of the best steps people can take to manage the condition.
There is no standard diet for PCOS now but there are two diets which may help to manage PCOS symptoms, low glycaemic index (GI) diet and an anti-inflammatory diet.
Low Glycemic Indec (GI) Diet
The body digests foods with low GI much slower, meaning they do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as other foods, such as carbohydrates.
Anti-inflammatory foods may reduce inflammation-related symptoms, such as fatigue.