What Is PCOD and How to Treat it With Diet and Lifestyle?

PCOD, or Polycystic Ovarian Disease, is a common condition that most of the women face today. It is mostly seen in those who are in their childbearing age. The peculiarity of this disease is that many women do not realize that they have PCOD until they face difficulties in getting pregnant, or suffer from any health ailment.

The condition does not cause any fatal consequences as such but can impact the reproductive system and metabolic health of the system considerably. Though there are several ways to treat PCOD, diet is the safest and natural way to manage this condition. In this article, we are going to tell you ways to design a diet that effectively manages PCOD to a significant extent.

What Type Of Discomfort Do You Experience In PCOD?

In this condition, the levels of male hormones go beyond the permissible limits in the body. In addition to it, insulin is also produced in excess. The combined action of excess male hormone and insulin, causes a wide range of side effects as menstrual irregularities, quick weight gain, excessive growth of public hair like facial and body hair, the formation of acne etc.

As every individual is designed differently, the signs of PCOD may also differ from one woman to another. As the symptoms are not clearly defined, most of the time this condition goes undetected. To help you with the effective diagnosis of the health condition, you need to learn about the commonest signs of the condition.

1. Missed or irregular period

This is the major signal that a majority of women who suffer from PCOD experience. In addition to absent or no periods, a woman may also notice discoloration of blood, spotting, etc. in this condition.

2. Infertility

The next sign of PCOD is infertility. Due to the imbalance of hormones in this condition, a woman experiences problematic and untimely ovulation. This negatively impacts the reproductive system in the body and makes it difficult to conceive.

3. Excess growth of hair on the body and face

Another sign of PCOD is that it causes the growth of hair in public areas of the body. This happens due to excess secretion of the testosterone in the female body.

4. Thinning of hair

Where the hair on the public areas of the body increase due to the high production of the male hormone, it reduces on the head. Many girls and women who suffer from PCOD show the sign of thinning of hair. In some cases, women also experience male pattern baldness. Before the situation becomes severe, it is very important to get yourself examined by the doctor quickly.

5. Acne

Acne is another very common sign, that many women ignore. They relate it to excessive oiliness on the skin (overactive sebum gland), lack of hygiene, unhealthy eating habits and more. However, if you notice that you suffer from acne and pimples quite often and in an uncontrollable manner, then you should not take it lightly. It can be an indication of polycystic ovarian disease.

6. Obesity

This is another big sign of PCOD. Women who suffer from this health condition experience sudden gain in body weight even when they consume a healthy and balanced diet and have an active and stress-free life. So, if you are experiencing an unexplained and drastic weight gain, then it can be due to fluctuations of hormones in the body. It is beneficial to get the assistance of the doctor to understand whether PCOD is responsible for it and how to deal with it.

7. Insulin resistance

The polycystic ovarian disease stimulates the body to enhance the hormone secretion. This leads to high production of insulin hormone in the body that prevents cells to properly use the secreted insulin in the body.

If you relate to any of these signs, then do not delay seeking professional assistance.

How To Treat PCOD?

The treatment of PCOD begins with an effective diagnosis. You need to carefully look at the tiny changes that happen in your body. Identify the symptoms and talk to the doctor about them. You need to know that polycystic ovarian disease is a treatable disease. The sooner you identify the symptoms, the faster you can manage the condition.

Your chances of recovering from the condition will increase if you get timely treatment. Your gynecologist will look at the symptoms, to figure out the actual cause for the problem. On the basis of the diagnosis, she will design the right treatment for you.

What Is The Natural Way To Deal With PCOD?

Talking about the treatment of PCOD, your doctor will prescribe you hormonal tablets that may adversely impact your health and even lead to weight gain in the body. In other words, the consequences of hormonal therapy may give you long-term side effects. Due to this reason, it is wise to look for natural ways to manage this condition.

Diet is one of the ways by which you can safely and effectively treat the condition and gives relief from its discomforting symptoms too. It is not just a treatment for the polycystic ovarian disease, but also a healthy way to live life.  By following a healthy life, you can easily ward off various types of mild to chronic health ailments too. A PCOD diet is a healthy and well-balanced diet that comes with a set of instructions and rules.

1. Give value to Nutrition

If you want to manage PCOD, then you need to make healthy inclusions in your diet.  Oats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, should form the major part of your meals.

You need to load foods that are high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in your diet. Some of the best examples of these foods are green veggies, nuts, pineapples, blueberries, fish, chicken breast, eggs, avocados, and more.

Your diet should be such that it helps you manage body weight. This means that you should incorporate foods that are low in calories, and high in nutrition. Choose slow-digesting foods, high fiber, and protein-rich diet that would help you lose weight. These foods boost your metabolism and keeps you fuller for a longer time.

2. Never Skip meals

Another rule of the PCOD diet is that you can’t skip meals. This is because when you skip meals, it will suddenly increase the levels of blood sugar in the body. The high levels of insulin impact insulin levels, which can worsen your PCOD symptoms. To avoid any discomfort, it is required that have regular meals. In addition to it, also perform thirty minutes of daily workout.

3. Do not Smoke and drink Alcohol

Smoking and Alcohol are not just harmful to PCOD, but also for your overall health. So, it is best to eliminate these unhealthy habits from your lifestyle.

4. Farewell, fast food

Another important tip that you should follow in your PCOD diet is to quit junk and processed food consumption. Ensure that you eat only healthy and nutritious food. Look at the nutritional composition of the food before making it a part of your diet.

Replace pasta, with salads, white items such as rice, sugar and bread with their brown variations. Say goodbye to fast foods, and make fruits like grapefruit, lemon, berries, and lime your best friends forever.

5. Practice portion control

Another tip is to eat in moderation. Eat smaller sized meals at periodic intervals in a day. By controlling food portions, you can easily regulate the blood glucose levels in the body. Add variations in your diet to make it interesting. Form your diet with smoothies, sandwiches, soups, salads etc.

Healthy dishes are often perceived as boring and eating them daily can cause you disinterest in food. A good way is to introduce new cooking methods (like grilled chicken in place of a roasted one) to infuse newness to your routine dishes. It will keep you motivated to sustain this diet for the long term.

Vary seasoning, and dressings to lift the flavor of your soups and salads. As it is going to be the diet for your whole life, you should make efforts to make your dishes tempting while keeping the nutritional level and meal size in check. Get some cooking books that will enhance your culinary skills and teach you new recipes as well.

6. Include foods that have healthy fats

Fats have got a bad reputation in society. Many people associate it with high cholesterol, weight gain, obesity, disordered body shape and a cause for various types of health issues. But you need to know that not all types of fats are harmful to your body. Omega 3 fatty acids, and unsaturated fats are healthy fats/ good fats.

Your body needs them in adequate amounts for sound functioning. They enable effective absorption of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K in your body. Add foods that are rich in these sources in your diet. Some of the best examples are fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, olive oil, and mackerel.

What Types Of Exercises Should You Do On A PCOD Diet?

For a healthy and fit body, you also need to have an active lifestyle. Thirty minutes of any kind of physical workout is necessary to incorporate in your daily routine. Regular exercise helps burn unwanted calories, improves heart health, normalizes blood pressure, expels harmful toxins, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces visceral fat and stress in the body.

In just two months of following a PCOD diet and thirty minutes of daily workout, will not just enhance your physical appearance but also bring internal changes in the body. You will also notice your periods will start to become regular, your excess body weight will reduce, hormone levels (testosterone and insulin) will become balanced and more. In this way, you will get a gradual relief from PCOD. Here, we are giving you some tips to incorporate exercise in your regular regime to get quick relief.

1. Do a combination of strength and cardio

Women who suffer from PCOD often struggle with weight gain. They are either obese, or overweight. To manage your weight, you need to do a combination of strength training and cardio exercises. Your body needs to burn a lot of calories to build muscles.

Muscles also boost metabolism in the body that will again help burn calories throughout the day even when you are in a resting state (not working out). Cardio exercises, on the other hand, will help improve heart health and lose weight. Better cardio improves your strength training abilities. Perform strength training and cardio on alternate days for the best results.

2. Bring variations in your workout

After some time, your body becomes habitual of the same type of workouts. It fails to create the same effect and gives you gains that you have achieved in the initial days of doing that workout. So, if you want effective gains continuously, then keep surprising your body by introducing variations in your workout. Some of the different ways to do cardio exercises are power yoga, Zumba, Pilates, aerobics, cycling, swimming, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions About PCOD

Here we have compiled some of the important questions on the PCOD Diet. Hope it solves your queries.

Q1. What causes PCOD?

The causes of PCOD can be different in different women. Here are the common causes that contribute to this condition:

  • low-grade inflammation,
  • excess levels of a male hormone named “testosterone”,
  • over secretion of insulin,
  • genetics, and
  • unhealthy lifestyle

Q2. What is not allowed to eat in PCOD?

If you are on a PCOD diet, you should avoid

  • foods made from refined carbs
  • all types of processed foods
  • fast foods, junk foods, fried foods, sweet foods and empty calorie food.
  • energy drinks and aerated/carbonated beverages
  • processed meats
  • high-calorie creamy sauces and dressings
  • Solid fats such as lard, margarine, etc.

Q3. What can I do to treat PCOD safely with natural remedies?

PCOD can be treated easily with the following remedies:

Follow a healthy lifestyle as it is a safe, effective, and long-term solution to manage the condition.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight as it helps balance androgen and insulin levels in the body and help restore ovulation in the body.
  • Refrain from fast-digesting carbs as it can increase insulin levels in the body that contributes to PCOD.
  • Do the regular exercise as it helps regulate blood glucose levels in the body.
  • Include foods that are high in fiber and protein to prevent frequent eating and manage calorie intake in the body
  • Include only healthy fats in your diet
  • Practice portion control
  • Eat Mindfully. Prioritize nutrition in your diet.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods as inflammation is one of the causes of PCOD.

Q4. How is PCOD treated with medical measures?

Hormone therapy like birth control medications, metformin and anti-androgens helps increase the regularity of periods, reduce excessive public hair growth, and acne formation.

Q5. Is it possible for a PCOD patient to conceive?

Women who have PCOD face difficulties to conceive and deliver a normal pregnancy. They may face complications in pregnancy. However, healthy life and an active lifestyle can help you manage this condition, and increase your possibilities of getting pregnant and deliver a healthy baby.

6. What are the best exercises to treat PCOD?

A combination of cardio exercises such as running on a treadmill, brisk walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, along with moderate strength training exercises can help with PCOD.

7. What are the common signs of PCOD?

It has been noticed that women who suffer from PCOS show the following signs:

  • irregular or missed menstrual cycle
  • failing to ovulate that causes difficulty in getting pregnant
  • excessive growth of hair on the face, back, chest, and buttocks
  • weight gain
  • hair thinning or baldness
  • excessive oily skin or acne formation

Conclusion

A woman who deals with PCOD, come across a myriad of changes in a physical and emotional state. It is important to not blame yourself for the symptoms that you are experiencing. The imbalance of hormones in your body is what causes this condition. Another thing is to know that PCOD is manageable. By making positive changes in your lifestyle, you can easily treat this condition. The right diet and regular exercise are a healthier and more natural way to manage PCOD. Commit to only a healthy and disciplined lifestyle as it is the key to long-lasting solutions to PCOD.

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