Did you know? 1 in 5 Indian women suffer from PCOS. While it has become a common occurrence, it puts you through a lot more than you can handle. Anyone who has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) goes through a rollercoaster of emotions each day. Acne, obesity, facial hair and irregular periods are just a few ways in which PCOS impacts the life of a woman. Besides this, women suffering from PCOS go through a lot of mental stress. Popping one pill after the other might seem like the solution but unfortunately it is doing more harm to your body than good. Top gynaecologists and experts recommend that the best way to control PCOS is by taking a natural route. Although the condition cannot be cured, the symptoms can be managed successfully by resorting to natural PCOS treatments.
Through this blog, we aim at discussing all the steps you can take to heal yourself naturally from PCOS.
6 Tried-and-Tested Natural Treatments for PCOS
- Cut Down on your Sugar Consumption
One factor that contributes immensely to insulin resistance is consuming too much sugar. When you have PCOS, your body cannot handle even the slightest spike in your blood sugar levels. Increased sugar intake makes your body more insulin resistant. This further results in weight gain, worsened acne, hair loss and reduced fertility.
If you want to treat PCOS naturally, the first step is to cut sugar out of your diet till your insulin response goes back to normal. Completely eliminate pastries, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks, cereals and processed foods from your diet. If you choose natural sugars in the form of a fruit, try to pair it with a healthy protein or fat source. For example, pair an apple with some almond butter. The trick is to have well-balanced meals. If you’re someone who is addicted to sugar, switch to natural alternatives such as stevia. It has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels but still tastes sweet (1).
- Exercise Regularly
Obesity is one major side-effect of PCOS. The cysts that develop around your ovaries are usually fat and your body takes longer to metabolise them. The only way to get rid of the extra fat is by exercising regularly. It helps in lowering the insulin levels and keeping the blood sugar levels low.
When we say exercise, we don’t mean it has to be strenuous. Even a 30 minute walk or run is a good way to burn excess calories.For a sportsperson, swimming and light aerobics also helps. No matter what exercise you choose, make sure you’re consistent. Gradually lowering your insulin could also help with infertility issues.
- Say no to Intermittent Fasting
If you’re someone who is suffering from PCOS or any other hormonal imbalance, try to stay away from fads like intermittent fasting. Going without food for long periods is said to worsen the condition and can interfere with the normal hormonal balance.Instead of doing a rigid fast, consider a gentle fast. Keep a 10-12 hour eating window. Your last meal (dinner) should be by 6pm and your breakfast the next day by 8am. This pattern of eating gives your body enough time without the need to produce insulin. When the window between your last meal and first meal is longer than this, irregular ovulation occurs and might even make you feel bloated. Thus, eating at a particular time is a natural way to cure PCOS.
- Avoid Consuming High Glycaemic Foods
As already discussed, PCOS is caused due to hormonal imbalances and when the body becomes insulin resistant. The best way to prevent PCOS or reduce its symptoms is by having a healthy and timely diet. As far as possible, avoid foods that have a high glycaemic index. Certain foods that fall into this category include processed foods, sugary beverages, grains and potatoes. Instead, foods with a low glycaemic index should be consumed. Cabbage, broccoli, beans, lentils, seeds, mustard leaves, ghee, whole grains and vegetables are great to balance hormones(2).
- Join MyAva’s Discussion Community
PCOS may be complicated but with the right support, even the most arduous journey can be simplified. To address all your PCOS-related problems, you can even join MyAva’s discussion community. They have six-month PCOS program that comprises tips and expert-backed advice that will make you feel good about yourself. Through the program, you get to interact with other women who are undergoing PCOS too. Besides this, you get access to live workouts, personalised diet plans, and regular sessions with the best nutritionists, gynaecologists and mental health coaches. The community comprises 25,000 strong women and is growing every day.
- Make Special Diet Inclusions
Apart from making modifications in your regular diet, consider adding special inclusions too. Ayurveda is an important component of natural PCOS treatments.It is a holistic approach towards managing PCOS. Many ingredients used in Ayurveda can control insulin and blood-sugar levels. For example, start your morning with bitter gourd juice. Research suggests it has a proven effect in controlling blood sugar. Indian gooseberry can be had as an alternative.
Another way to keep your hormonal balance and weight intact is by consuming hot water with honey and lemon juice every morning on an empty stomach. Most nutritionists swear by this and recommend it to all women irrespective of whether they have PCOS or not(3).
Medicines and supplements are not the only way to cure PCOS. Though the condition cannot be cured permanently, it can always be controlled. Natural treatments and home remedies are the best way to keep PCOS at bay. The simplest way to fight PCOS is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercising daily and getting enough sleep. If you follow this regularly, you’ve already won half the battle.