PCOS Awareness Month 2020: Simple ways to holistically treat the condition

"While it is a gradual process, managing PCOS naturally by addressing the root cause and adopting a personalised approach has its perks," says Dr Rai

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a complex hormonal and reproductive disorder that affects women. Women suffering from PCOS can experience weight gain, cystic acne, ovarian cysts and excessive hair growth on the face, chest, or other parts of the body, and also irregular menstrual cycles and even infertility.

Dr Rashmi Rai, an integrated lifestyle medicine expert, says, “According to research by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, it was concluded, at least 1 in 4 women suffer from this hormonal disorder in India. To begin with, there is no single or actual cause of PCOS and the symptoms vary from person to person, hence a more personalised and holistic approach is of utmost importance.”

Below, she shares a few simple ways women can manage the condition in a natural way: 

READ| How Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is diet driven

Keep your stress levels under check 

Women living with PCOS have higher levels of stress because they are adrenal-run. “This leads to higher levels of a hormone called cortisol which is responsible for insulin production and can worsen PCOS-related side effects” shares Dr Rai. 

Make sure you frequently practice meditation and restorative exercises like yoga to keep stress at bay. It is also important to maintain a healthy sleep cycle as following the body’s natural circadian rhythm is essential to keep the hormones in balance. Make sure you include sustainable products, read the labels carefully, minimize the use of plastics, and if you are someone who practices skincare, steer clear of EDCs. “EDC is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is often found in skincare, makeup, and hair care products. Plastics too contain bisphenols that can cause hormonal imbalances and worsen the symptoms of PCOS,” she shares.

Add herbal infusions to your routine 

PCOS often leads to slow metabolism and that’s why it is advised to add herbal infusions to your routine. Add a pinch of cinnamon in water, this will help stabilize sugar and insulin levels and will also speed up the metabolism. Holy basil or tulsi tea is an excellent natural detox. Make sure you add spearmint tea to your morning routine as it is rejuvenating. Another option can be having chamomile tea in the evening as this can help you unwind and release melatonin, the sleep hormone.

READ| Count on these handy tips to prevent and manage the polycystic ovarian syndrome

Adding supplements to your diet can be helpful

While combating PCOS, you can also consider adding supplements to ensure optimum nutrient levels. “You can consider Omega 3 fish oil to reduce inflammation and other supplements like Inositol, vitamin D, vitamin B complex, selenium and chromium after consulting your doctor,” suggests Dr Rai. These supplements help you manage your overall metabolic profile during PCOS. 

READ| Things to keep in mind when following a PCOS diet

Working out is a must 

Dr Rai says, “Losing 5 per cent of body weight is a great start to improve the metabolic profile while treating PCOS. Exercising ensures that the insulin produced in your body is consumed.” Make sure you go swimming, running, or jogging for a minimum of 30 to 40 minutes. In fact, walking or cycling helps too. However, make sure you are consistent with your routine exercise and do it at least 4-5 times a week and focus on muscle recovery time too. “If you have the type of PCOS with insulin resistance you may even consider strength training combined with cardio or high-intensity strength training under professional supervision,” suggests Dr Rai. 

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