Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a relatively common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. It is a condition where a number of cysts develop around the edge of the ovaries (polycystic ovaries) in addition to one or more other symptoms.
Irregular or absent periods
Excessive hair growth
Thinning of scalp hair
Difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight
Elevated testosterone levels
Approximately one in five women has polycystic ovaries. In addition, approximately one in ten has PCOS to some degree.
Long term health concerns associated with PCOS include heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes. Being overweight, having high cholesterol or high blood pressure increases this risk. As a result, up to 60% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. 50-70% of women with PCOS also have insulin resistance.
PCOS cannot be cured but the symptoms can be managed through diet and lifestyle. Healthy eating and being active can improve your PCOS symptoms and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In overweight women, the symptoms of PCOS can greatly improve by losing that excess weight. Furthermore, losing weight will reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to produce. As a result, your testosterone levels are reduced and your chance of ovulation improves. Many women with PCOS have difficulty with losing weight. This is where professional advice from a Dietitian will help. Gradual weight loss of 5-7% can restore ovulation, along with decreasing excessive hair growth and reducing acne.
The type and quantity of carbohydrate can influence insulin resistance. The Glycaemic index is a ranking system which shows how quickly your blood glucose rises after eating carbohydrate foods. Low GI diets and increasing physical activity can be useful to reduce the symptoms of PCOS due to improving insulin levels.
How can Personal Health help you to improve your symptoms of PCOS?
In conclusion, our team of Dietitian’s and Chartered Physiotherapists can assist and help you by;
- identifying your specific nutritional needs
- providing dietary and lifestyle advice tailored to you
- helping you to lose weight, if you are in the overweight category, through diet and exercise
- providing dietary advice if you are planning a pregnancy
- developing tailored resources such as recipes, meal plans, shopping lists to help you to achieve your goals
- and finally, providing encouragement and motivation in a supportive, non-judgemental environment
To find out more:
Phone: 01 4964002