PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is the most common hormonal disorder found among women during the reproductive years of their life.
Some common signs of PCOS are irregular periods, cystic acne, unwanted or excess facial or body hair, heavy cramps, or absence of periods.
In this article, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, one of the best gynecologists in Mumbai, will be sharing some natural ways to reduce PCOS.
Below we’ll see some ways to combat PCOS;
1. Adaptogen herbs
Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar levels; when the muscles, fat, and liver cells don’t respond to insulin appropriately (meaning they cannot take glucose from the blood or store it), it is called insulin resistance. Many factors, like obesity, diet, and physical inactivity, can trigger insulin resistance.
Adaptogen herbs help curb and reduce PCOS. Adaptogens herbs consist of herbs and mushrooms that help the body recover from stress and other illnesses. Adaptogens are supposed to balance the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands, says Dr Hrishikesh Pai, one of the best IVF doctor in Delhi and Mumbai.
Scientists have studied adaptogens, and they have proven beneficial to improving overall wellbeing and health to an extent. Adaptogen herbs are available in the form of capsules and powders.
- Lowers blood sugar
- Lowers cortisol levels
- Fights inflammation
- Boosts energy
- It helps lower blood sugar levels
- It helps in the absorption of glucose
- Lowers inflammation
- (Korean red ginseng has proven to improve irregular menstrual cycle and help in ovulation)
- Regulates estrogen levels
- Balance hormones
- Lowers cortisol levels
- It helps in balancing hormones FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and estradiol.
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Calms stress
- Balances hormones
2. Diet Changes
Insulin resistance is one of the major causes of PCOS. Research shows that certain foods can trigger insulin resistance, worsening PCOS symptoms. Eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods have proven to balance hormone levels and reduce PCOS.
Below, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, top gynecologist in Mumbai, tells what foods to avoid and foods to include;
Foods to avoid
- White bread (pasta, noodles)
- Sugary desserts (ice cream, sweets)
- Bakery foods (pastries, muffins, cakes)
- Fried foods (chips, chicken)
- Processed meats (sausages, hotdogs, frozen pizza)
Food to Include
- Fatty fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines)
- Beans and lentil (sprouts)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
- Berries ( strawberries, blueberries )
- Spices (turmeric, cinnamon)
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds)
- Dark chocolate (more than 70%)
Studies have shown that being physically active helps reduce PCOS and boost overall health.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, the best gynecologist in Mumbai, says that exercise sessions ranging from 30 minutes a day, three times a week, to three total hours per week improves metabolic and reproductive symptoms associated with PCOS.
Exercising moderately is essential in maintaining a balance in the hormones.
Some exercises to consider trying:
- Walking (consider walking 6000 to 10,000 steps every day)
- Jogging (fast-paced jogging is more effective)
- Cycling ( stationary or outside bike)
- HIIT (short bouts of intense work lasting anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds, followed immediately by a period of active recovery of the same length or longer)
4. Get Sleep
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, the best gynecologist in Mumbai, says that a healthy sleep pattern is essential in regulating blood sugar levels. Having a good sleep hygiene routine helps improve women’s reproductive health.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai gives some sleep hygiene tips.
- Go to bed at the time same
- Stop screen time 1 hour before bedtime
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Avoid caffeine after 6 pm
- Try relaxing methods like meditation, mindfulness, journaling, or reading a book before bedtime.
- Try having a relaxing massage or a bath.
Supplements can help regulate blood sugar levels, balance hormones, and combat insulin resistance.
Some supplements include:
- Inositol: Inositol is a vitamin – B that can help lower insulin resistance and sugar levels in women. Inositol is naturally found in some foods like nuts and fruits that provide antioxidants.
- Berberine: Berberine helps in reducing insulin resistance and glucose levels.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps in the regular menstrual cycle and helps in preventing insulin resistance. Studies have shown that taking vitamin d supplements for eight weeks has improved insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels in overweight women.
- Zinc: Zinc is essential for cell growth, hormone release, and women’s reproductive health. Zinc reduces inflammation, fights acne, and prevents hair loss. Women who have less amount of zinc have irregular periods and heavy cramps.
- Fish oil/omega 3: Omega 3 is popular for having anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies show that they also help fight insulin resistance and lower blood sugar.
- Magnesium: Magnesium helps prevent type-2 diabetes. It also helps in lowering insulin resistance and fighting inflammation. Magnesium is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, including spinach, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and nuts.