Recently, someone asked if I think eating to reverse PCOS will be as important in the next few years as it is today.
Unless some major changes happen, I think it will actually be more important.
Three main reasons for this are:
1. The obesity epidemic is likely to lead to more women who have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance underlies PCOS.
2. What we eat matters, too. Insulin resistance isn't just the result of overweight. Without major changes, the American diet is likely to lead to more women with insulin resistance.
3. Regarding insulin dysfunction, it doesn't matter which comes first - obesity, bad diet, bad genetics with respect to insulin or PCOS. The metabolic consequences are the same.
So PCOS is likely to become more common. Let's look at a few facts about it and a few tips that women with PCOS can use to reverse it.
A Few Facts About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a hormonal abnormality in reproductive-age women. It affects about 7% of women in that age group.
Women with PCOS have higher testosterone levels than normal for women, along with disordered secretion of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), both necessary for ovulation. The result is anovulation, menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, and infertility.
Metabolically, PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In the U.S., obesity or overweight is found in anywhere from 40% to 80% of women with PCOS.
Women with PCOS tend to have lower than normal levels of gut microbiota (gut flora).
PCOS appears to have a strong genetic link.
The good news is it's possible to prevent or reverse PCOS naturally.
Eating to Reverse Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Here are several tips that women with PCOS need to know so they can eat to reverse it.
• Do cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise.
Yes, these are supposed to be eating tips, but this one is extremely important, so it's first.
-- Do cardio 4 or more days a week for at least 30 minutes each day.
-- Make 1 or 2 of the workouts HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
-- If you can find a gym with a Krankcycle® - seriously, nag your gym to get a few!! - include Kranking training 2 times a week. A Krankcycle is NOT a UBE (upper body ergometer). It will help improve insulin sensitivity in the upper body muscles.
• Decrease your starches and sugars.
Starches are the foods most people call "carbs." But vegetables and fruits are also carbs, so I call starches what they are -- startches. Limit them and sugars.
• Eat vegetables with each meal.
The primary benefit is the increase in fiber, which can help to lower insulin resistance.
• Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Drink more if you've been sweating. It aids digestion and will help prevent bloating.
• Consume whole flaxseeds.
2.5 tablespoons a day have been shown to help with weight loss.