Almost 10% of women in the world suffer from PCOD. The good news is that PCOD Symptoms can be managed with a few lifestyle changes!

Keep scrolling to learn about the common PCOD symptoms, their causes, and how to manage PCOD symptoms.

What is PCOD?

PCOD, or polycystic ovarian disease, is a medical disorder in which a woman's ovaries frequently generate immature or partially mature eggs. 

Over time, these eggs grow into cysts (sacs of fluid develop along the outer edge of the ovary) in ovaries.

As a result, the ovaries enlarge and release a lot of androgens, which can lead to infertility, irregular menstruation periods, hair loss, and unnatural weight gain.

Losing weight and receiving early diagnosis and treatment may help to reduce the risk of developing long-term consequences like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Common PCOD Symptoms 

Typically, PCOD symptoms develop gradually, and it takes a woman some time to realize that something is wrong and that she needs to see a doctor. Here are some common PCOD symptoms: 


1. Increased androgen levels:  

Excess male sex hormones may result in various physical manifestations, such as excess facial and body hair and partial baldness in some parts of the scalp.

2. Irregular periods: 

An irregular menstrual cycle is the most prevalent sign of PCOD.  While some women may find their periods to be extremely mild, others may endure unusually heavy bleeding. 

This could also be accompanied by not having periods for several months at a stretch. You should consult a doctor right away if you experience any period-related issues. 

3. Hair loss or excessive thinning of hair: 

This symptom, too, is due to the increased production of male hormones in the body. One typical sign of PCOD/PCOS is male-style baldness.

4. Acne on the skin:  

Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts in areas like the face, chest, and upper back. 

5. Weight gain: 

A sudden increase in weight or obesity may be caused due to hormonal imbalances in the body. 

6. Darkening of the skin: 

Dark patches of skin can form in body creases like those on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts. 

7. Mood swings :

Mood changes, depression anxiety, low self-esteem, and poor body image due to PCOD can have a severe impact on the quality of life.


What causes PCOD?

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes PCOD. They believe that high levels of male hormones prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally.


Genes, insulin resistance, and inflammation have all been linked to the increased production of these hormones.

Insulin resistance 

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It enables cells to use sugar, your body's principal source of energy. Blood sugar levels can rise if cells grow resistant to the action of insulin.  One sign of insulin resistance is dark, velvety patches of skin on the lower part of the neck, armpits, groin, or under the breasts. Other symptoms include an increase in appetite and weight gain.

Inflammation

Women with PCOS often have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies. Being overweight can also contribute to inflammation. Studies have linked excess inflammation to higher androgen levels.

Heredity

According to research, certain genes may be connected to PCOD. A family history of PCOD may have a role in the development of the disorder.

Excess Androgen 

With PCOD, the ovaries may produce high levels of androgen. Having too much androgen interferes with ovulation. This means that eggs don't develop on a regular basis and aren't released from the follicles where they develop. Excess androgen also can result in hirsutism and acne.

PCOD Symptoms: Management 

Foods that can be added to the diet-  

1. High fibre foods as these foods can help fight insulin resistance by slowing digestion and lowering blood sugar levels.   

 

Some common examples of foods rich in fibre include - 

  • cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts

  • greens, including red leaf lettuce and arugula

  • green and red peppers

  • beans and lentils

  • almonds

  • berries

  • sweet potatoes

  • winter squash

  • pumpkin

2. Foods that help reduce inflammation may also be beneficial. 

These foods include:

  • tomatoes

  • kale

  • spinach

  • almonds and walnuts

  • olive oil

  • fruits, like blueberries and strawberries

  • fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and sardines


Foods to be limited in the diet 

1. One should avoid highly processed foods like:

  • white bread

  • muffins

  • breakfast pastries

  • sugary desserts

  • anything made with white flour

2. Sugar is a carbohydrate and should be limited on a PCODS diet. When reading food labels, be sure to look for sugar’s various names, including:

  • sucrose

  • high fructose corn syrup

  • dextrose

3. One should also limit intake of sugary beverages like soda and juice, as well as inflammatory foods like fries, margarine, and red or processed meats.

You can also consult with your doctor for an eating plan according to your symptoms.

Other Lifestyle Changes that One Should Consider


Some lifestyle changes can help improve PCOD symptoms -

  • Exercise - According to the researchers, exercise has the greatest influence on body mass index (BMI), fitness, and insulin resistance in women with PCOD.
    Each week, at least 120 minutes of severe intensity exercise is advised.

  • Mind-body exercises - Exercise can also help you feel better mentally. A higher incidence of mental health disorders has been related to PCOD.

    Exercises that engage your mind and body, as well as those that alleviate stress, might be beneficial. Yoga and meditation are the best mind-body exercises.

In conclusion, it's crucial to get a medical diagnosis if you feel these symptoms apply to you. Early diagnosis can help in managing PCOD symptoms. 


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