Mindful Living

3 Things You Can Do To Manage PCOS

Written By: Kripa Jalan

3 Things You Can Do To Manage PCOS

It’s a silent disorder that affects millions of women around the world.

It’s also the one in which a majority of patients are told that they’ve “just got to live it.”

In fact, most women are told that it’s largely incurable and that birth control is the only way to keep symptoms at bay. 

I’m talking about the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS,) the most common endocrine disorder in women and also one of the leading causes of infertility.

What causes PCOS?

While the exact cause is often unknown, PCOS generally arises from a combination of a few main influences.

  • Childhood trauma
  • The fetal environment
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Environmental pollutants

What are the symptoms?

  • Irregular periods 
  • Fertility problems 
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Weight gain or stubborn weight loss
  • Acne
  • Dark skin patches
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Sleep issues
  • Hirsutism i.e. excess body hair 
  • High androgen levels, like Testosterone
  • Mood changes, anxiety, and depression

Notably, not all women with PCOS experience any or all of these symptoms. In part, this is because there are several different types of PCOS, and symptoms may vary across types and individuals.

For example, PCOS can occur even without the presence of cysts on the ovaries. 

Additionally, several hormonal conditions have similar symptoms, so it’s important not to self-diagnose! And as always, test – don’t guess!

Thankfully, there’s help!

(1) Manage your blood sugar: Yes, some evidence suggests that lower-carb (and low-dairy) diets can be helpful. No, you don’t need to avoid carbs altogether. At B2B, we prefer to think of nutrition in an additive sense, rather than a reductive one. So, we recommend that you focus on what to eat more off, rather than what not to eat. Aim to add adequate fiber and protein to your meals, to manage your blood sugar, insulin, and also energy!

(2) Rethink your workouts: Too much strenuous exercise like HIIT/boot camp style training may contribute to/exacerbate your hormonal imbalance. This is why many women who suffer from PCOS will find success when they focus on lower-impact exercise instead. Some good examples include brisk walks, Pilates, yoga, and barre.

(3) Manage stress and prioritize sleep: A good sleep schedule balances hormones, regulates appetite, and also helps better your mood. Ideally, you want to pair a solid recovery protocol with stress-relieving activities like spending time with loved ones, taking walks in nature, or engaging in any activity that helps you face daily stressors, better!

This information does not constitute medical advice. This is compiled for educational purposes only. 

In some cases, no matter what strategies you try, you may still be struggling with your health. That’s when it’s important to dig deeper to pinpoint the root cause of your concern – so work with a healthcare practitioner to get to the bottom of the problem and identify why you’re feeling the way you are!

If you’re looking for more support and ways to manage PCOS through your lifestyle, we can help!