Four ways to manage your PCOS
What we need to focus on are a few basic lifestyle changes, functional foods and taking a balanced meal to manage the symptoms of PCOS
Last week, we discussed pointers regarding PCOS and one important point was weight gain or fat gain. Visceral fat is a type of fat that accumulates around the abdominal organs and is metabolically active, releasing inflammatory substances and hormones that contribute to insulin resistance and other PCOS symptoms.
The hormonal imbalances in PCOS, such as increased androgens and insulin levels, promote the deposition of fat in the abdominal area. This not only poses aesthetic concerns but also increases the risk of developing other health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. What we need to focus on are a few basic lifestyle changes, functional foods and taking a balanced meal to manage these symptoms. Let’s look at few tips below:
Sitting is the new smoking: It affects circulation, which in turn impacts hormonal balance as well. Exercise plays a crucial role in balancing hormones, improving circulation, metabolism and stress as well. When we engage in physical activity, our bodies produce endorphins, often referred to as ‘feel-good’ hormones. These endorphins help reduce stress and anxiety while enhancing mood and overall well-being. Therefore, aim at doing 8-10k steps daily and engage in 30 minutes of activity or weight training at least four to five days a week.
Seed cycling: It is a natural approach that involves consuming specific seeds during different phases of the menstrual cycle to balance hormones and regulate periods. The practice typically involves consuming flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds during the first half of the cycle (follicular phase) and switching to sesame seeds and sunflower seeds during the second half (luteal phase). Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds provide essential fatty acids and lignans, which can support estrogen production during the follicular phase. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in zinc and vitamin E, which can promote progesterone production during the luteal phase.
Also read: First period: How long it lasts, early signs & self care tips
Omega-3 fats: Omega-3 fats, specifically EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), play a crucial role in hormone regulation and menstrual cycle regularity. These healthy fats are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help balance hormone levels in the body. Omega-3 fats have been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances, such as irregular periods, menstrual pain, and mood swings. Including dietary sources of omega-3 fats, such as fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, can be beneficial in supporting hormonal balance and regulating the menstrual cycle.
Sleep disturbances: Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or bad sleep quality or broken and disturbed sleep or inadequate sleep duration, etc, can disrupt the delicate hormonal equilibrium in the body. The production of hormones responsible for menstrual regulation, such as estrogen and progesterone, can be affected, leading to irregular periods or even amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).
Prioritising sleep hygiene and establishing a circadian rhythm can help in balancing hormones and regulating periods. Focus on left nostril deep breathing to improve sleep quality and stay away from light emitting gadgets at least for an hour before bedtime to improve the production of melatonin which is the natural sleep hormone.
Also read: Seven signs that you might have PCOS