PCOS is a common disorder that is affecting a large population of women these days. This condition causes the ovaries to develop several small follicles and do not release eggs on a regular basis. A study on PCOS rules out the common symptoms to be 'infrequent or absent menses, obesity, and signs of androgen excess which include acne or seborrhoea. Women with PCOS commonly have insulin resistance and elevated serum luteinising hormone (LH) levels, and are at an increased risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular events.'
Why is difficult for women having PCOS to lose weight?
For the body of women suffering from PCOS it more difficult to use the hormone insulin. This causes the body to convert sugar from food into energy and when it is compromised the condition is called insulin resistance. This causes the glucose to build up in the bloodstream without being used by the body.
High insulin levels caused by insulin resistance, also caused body to produce high amount male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels cause excessive body hair growth, acne, irregular periods -- and most importantly weight gain. Weight gain is triggered by male hormones causes most weight to build up around the waist area, which gives puts you at an increased rate of heart diseases and other health issues. People suffering from PCOS find it difficult to lose weight.
However, losing weight may be difficult but not impossible. We asked Dr Anju Ghei-Vice President – Technical operations and R & D, VLCC for some weight loss tips for women having PCOS. Dr Anju says, 'Making simple changes in one ’s lifestyle can go a long way towards controlling PCOS. It is important to maintain a healthy body weight by keeping it in check.'
Here are a few lifestyle changes one should make to lose weight easily.
1. Women with PCOS are often found to have Insulin resistance. One should have a diet which is rich in fibre such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains like Oats, Barley, Ragi, Whole legumes and millets.
2. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as sugary and starchy foods, can make insulin resistance worse; and therefore weight loss more difficult to control. You must cut down foods laced in refined carbohydrates. You must avoid preserved and processed foods like sugary snacks and drinks, white bread, bakery items like pastries, cookies, canned and frozen foods.
3. You must add herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek, basil, thyme etc. into your diet.
4. You should also try to include Probiotics and prebiotics like Psyllium husk and wheat bran into your diet.
5. Women with PCOS should do a daily physical activity. Cardio exercise(s) for about 45 min to 1 hr in 2-3 breaks if required; and 15 minutes of strengthening exercises.
6. You should also involve in stress management like Yoga and relaxation techniques.
You must always keep in mind that a condition is fought by both body and mind. Many a time health conditions like this trigger mental health issues like stress and depression with difficulty in weight loss making matters worse. Also, track your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and get involved in programs that help you quit smoking if you smoke. Most importantly keep a positive attitude.