pcos
Hormone, MEDICINE

PCOS – Lifestyle and psychological management

Reproductive phase of life is so unique in a woman’s life and every stage is much treasured and experienced with individuality. Even though there are multiple health issues arise in this entire phase of life, the most common one that most of the women faces nowadays is polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is a major problem affecting all ages of women in the reproductive period, from menarche till menopause, causing major trouble during pregnancy. 

What is polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS)?

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance in which ovaries are filled with fluid-filled sacs and affects normal ovulation and mensuration. Most often, PCOS is associated with increased secretion of the male hormone called testosterone, thereby causing increased acne, excess hair growth, obesity and skin pigmentation. Also, insulin resistance is found to have a major role in causing PCOS. Increased Insulin level would inturn increases androgen hormone secretion. Thus, it is like a cyclic process and multifactorial, where the cause of one increases the other factor. 

PCOS

picture courtesy

Predisposing health risks due to PCOS :

There are several health risks associated with PCOS. These include,

 

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  •  Infertility
  • Heart diseases
  • High blood pressure
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleep
  • Depression and anxiety
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Fatty liver and liver diseases

How to manage PCOS naturally by adopting simple changes in our lifestyle?

Though there is no such permanent solution for curing PCOS, individuals are mainly treated according to their symptoms and requirements like whether you need to overcome obesity, or you plan for pregnancy, etc. 

However, in all the situations, it is possible to control PCOS by changing a few things in your lifestyle.

Physical activity :

It is good to have a regular physical workout, but it is extremely important to have it in case of PCOS. Sedentary life is one such implication for raise in PCOS cases in recent years. Without adequate exercises, it is impossible to have a check on hormonal imbalance. Regular exercises for about an hour per day would certainly help to regularise your periods, decrease weight and to maintain weight in BMI, control mood swings and depression.

Physical activity can be anything of your choice. It could be walking, cycling, gymming, swimming, dancing or yoga and meditation. Anything that triggers your positive vibes would be better to choose as it has to be continued for the long term. Not necessarily you have to do intense workouts which would fatigue your body instantly, and in fact, that is not advisable though. Steadily followed a moderate level of exercises on a regular basis is pretty helpful. 

YOGA

 I personally recommend choosing something in the outdoor in the early morning with the fresh breeze on the face. Spending time with nature will have better healing property, particularly during sunrise, which is rich in Vitamin D. Hormonal imbalance is more likely related to the mind and the body, and that is why it is significant to balance both meaningfully. 

Diet :

There is a famous saying called “ you become what you eat “ and it is very true in the case of PCOS. Elevated blood sugar level would complicate PCOS, and unfortunately, it has a tendency to raise sugar level soon. It is crucial to prefer low-carb diet. 

Food rich in fibres and proteins is helpful to balance the glucose level in the body. Add lots of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Avoid oily items, deep-fried foods,  processed food, food rich in fats and other unhealthy stuff. Hydrate yourself well. Water has the capacity to overcome low-grade inflammation in the body, which is another cause for PCOS.  To know about antioxidant-rich diets, see https://healthandsmile.in/2019/06/20/list-of-antioxidant-rich-food-products/

Rather than sticking on to three meals a day, it is better to opt for multiple meals with a smaller quantity. By doing so, a sudden spike in sugar level is less likely to happen, thereby you could manage the hormonal imbalance.

Adequate sleep :

Sleep is another factor that causes hormonal imbalance. Regular sleep is something that you sleep for solid hours at the same time every day. For instance, if your bedtime is at 10 PM and wakes up at 5 AM, then it has to be consistent every time. Such regular sleep is essential to balance your hormone. Additionally, undisturbed sleep for a minimum of 6-7 hours a day is required to sort out many associated health-related issues of PCOS. 

Is it possible to get naturally conceive with PCOS?

Well, it is pretty much possible to get pregnant naturally with PCOS, providing that your periods are consistent and regular. These three simple yet effective changes are easier to adopt and follow in life. By doing it consistently, there are high chances to regularise your menses and ovulation, thereby you could effectively plan for pregnancy and make it a success story. 

How to maintain these lifestyle changes consistently without any hindrance?

First and foremost requirement in achieving any tasks is self-motivation. A study says that how lifestyle and behavioural management of PCOS can be helpful in attaining these changes effortlessly.

Goal setting :

Make a simpler yet achievable goal. For instance, if you are newly starting physical workout and choosing for a walk, start it with 1 km and gradually increase the distance without over-doing it. However, make sure you show progress in your goal with consistency.

Self – monitoring :

Whatever goal you set, it has to be closely monitored to know and track whether you stick on to your protocol, or encountering any deviation. Weekly or daily planner would help to track your activity and compare with the other day.

Cognitive restructuring :

If your set goal is not convincing or not convenient for you to maintain consistency, it is ok to restructure your plan and adopt a new one. Do the trial and error method, until you find your best plan that suits you. 

Problem-solving:

Learn from the mistake. If you face any issues in your goal, rectify it but never repeat it. Face a new problem and solve it in order to excel better rather than pointlessly getting stuck at one level.

Relapse prevention :

You might get bored and your goal might get diluted at a faster phase, however, retention is your strength. At the end of the day, you are doing it for your health and well-being.

Conclusion :

Although PCOS is a worrisome scenario, an easier way of lifestyle management could effectively help to handle the condition. 

 



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