PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the most common female hormone disorder in the United States. Symptoms of PCOS include fatigue after eating, hair loss, hormone imbalances, sugar cravings, inability to lose weight, and issues regarding infertility.
One of the main patterns seen with this condition is blood sugar imbalances. These imbalances are caused by insulin resistance. IR is a blood sugar disorder typically acquired from eating too many high glycemic carbs and sugars like breads, pastas, soda, chips, etc. Insulin resistance patterns can be seen on a blood test with elevated glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s receptors for insulin become resistant and stop binding with the insulin. This then leads to extra testosterone being produced in the body. These two issues fuel one another furthering the increase of blood sugar and testosterone levels, and making the symptoms from PCOS worse. It turns into a vicious cycle. This can also spill over to autoimmune issues like hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Many of these symptoms are not genetic, and are the product of years of lifestyle choices. In the same way, there are some simple dietary modifications that can be made to help immensely with PCOS symptoms.
Some dietary modifications that can be used to combat PCOS are as follows:
1. Add high quality protein to your breakfast and skip the coffee.
After sleeping 6-8 hours, your body has used up most of its blood sugar. This causes the adrenals to kick in producing the hormone cortisol to cleave off stored blood sugar. This can further the PCOS symptoms. Adding good protein into your breakfast routine and limiting carbs like toast and cereal will help calm the system down.
2. Eat small amounts of protein throughout the day.
This will keep the blood sugar balances stable. If you go long periods without eating, this can make the symptoms worse. You will crave those high carb snacks at first but overtime the cravings will subside.
3. Find your carb tolerance and stick to it.
You will know if you had too many carbs if you feel sleepy and lethargic during the afternoon. This will take time to figure out how much is too much, but you will eventually find a tolerance. Also avoid fruit juices and other sweet drinks.
4. Eat green vegetables during meals with lean protein
Green veges are low glycemic carbs that will aid in stabilizing blood sugar swings. Again, this will calm the blood sugar and adrenal hormone spikes, decreasing the PCOS symptoms.
Most importantly, while undertaking these changes, focus on adding positives and not taking away negatives. This way you won’t set yourself up for failure. Start small and see big results!