Hormone Madness or PCOS?
Hormone fluctuations occur naturally, such as in puberty, menstrual cycle and menopause. Hormone imbalance may also be caused by toxins or an unbalanced lifestyle. Trying to balance your hormones is a difficult task, and prescription pills might not work for you. If you ever had any hormonal imbalances, then you know it feels like life on an emotional roller coaster. A lot of cases is due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and hormonal imbalance.
-“My doctor told me I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)” I hear this often, and is one of the real reasons why many woman have a hard time losing weight on a typical low calorie diet. Many women might not even know the real reason to why they’re having such a hard time losing the extra pounds, and hormonal imbalances is usually he reason. Statistics show that between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age has PCOS. As many as 5 million women in the United States and Canada may be affected. It can occur in girls as young as 11 years old.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Menstrual cycle and emotional stability
Fertility (Ability to have children)
Appearance in body size and skin related problems.
Because there is no magic pill to shape up the hormonal profile of a women with imbalances, research has proven over time the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle that includes a low glycemic diet.
What causes PCOS?
The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation, and fertility becomes an issue when women are trying to conceive.
Researchers also think insulin may be linked to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store. Many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have problems using it. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen. Consult your doctor if you think the reason you have a hard time losing weight is your insulin.
Does lifestyle and nutrition practices make a difference after the diagnosis of PCOS?
Diet and lifestyle changes can favorably modify the conditions which prevents many women from losing weight. Regardless of any diagnosis or of the PCOS that affects only women; better diets and lifestyle increase fertility in both men and women, it betters health and increase fitness outcomes.
With early diagnosis and intervention one can modify the natural history of PCOS. By adopting a healthy, low-glycemic diet, controlling blood sugar, and maintaining a healthy body weight, those with PCOS can greatly reduce the risks of hormonal imbalances.
Studies show favorable metabolic effects in women with PCOS after adopting a moderately low carbohydrate diet (40% of total calories). Not only does this dietary strategy help improve the metabolic profile, but it also helps to decrease circulating testosterone levels.
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WomensHealth.gov: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Fact Sheet
Nutrition and Metabolism: The Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet on the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Pilot Study
Clinical Endocrinology: Favourable Metabolic Effects of a Eucaloric Lower-Carbohydrate Diet in Women with PCOS