How To Live A Healthy Lifestyle For Women With PCOS

September is the month where many women create awareness around Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is nationally represented by wearing a teal ribbon and increasing the awareness of the disorder.

What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a health disorder that affects the reproductive organs of a woman. It is small cysts or fluid like sacs that are developed on the ovaries and causes hormonal imbalances and other health related issues.

Different types of PCOS
Insulin resistant: This is the most common type of PCOS. It is caused by having an unhealthy intake of sugar, fats and smoking. Women with a large intake of insulin prevents ovulation thus triggering the ovaries to create testosterone.
Pill induced: This is the second most common type. Pill-induced PCOS is caused by birth control which subdues ovulation. Some women may experience ovulation after taking the pill while others may not ovulate for months or years after the effects of the pill.
Inflammatory: Women that experience inflammation, ovulation does not occur. This results in an imbalance of hormones and androgens are produced. Inflammatory PCOS is caused by stress factors or an unhealthy diet.
Hidden cause: This type of PCOS is caused by having thyroid issues and has an effect on ovulation. It can also be caused by having a lack of healthy nutrients that the ovaries require.

Healthy dietary tips

  • Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, women are encouraged to eat a well balanced meal to help maintain hormone levels.
  • Try a low-GI diet which consists of fruit and vegetables, high in fiber, whole wheat and grains
  • Having a healthy supply of fatty foods which includes Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Have a moderate amount of carb intake
  • Try exercising regularly to stay healthy and active
  • Avoid any inflammatory foods
  • Taking vitamin B12 folic acid

Why is exercising important?
Exercising is an important factor for staying healthy especially for women with PCOS. It reduces insulin levels, helps with weight loss and improves your overall mental and emotional well-being. Exercising reduces the risk of infertility and improves your quality of living with PCOS. Your routine does not have to be intense, especially if you are not active. Start your day by walking, jogging, cycling or doing yoga.

Motivation to women living with PCOS:
PCOS awareness 1:
“I am 1 in 10… With it being #pcosawarenessmonth the awareness needs to be shared and heard! Many women have it and they don’t even know it. Many of the symptoms go unnoticed and we end up suffering for so long. Many PCOS cysters know the struggles of having PCOS symptoms and still don’t fully comprehend what our bodies are going through. PCOS has been around for so long and still some doctors don’t have the answers of how to successfully manage symptoms. Many cysters have had PCOS for years and haven’t had access to support or help to overcome it. Like me, when I was diagnosed, I had no clue what happens next – and how to deal with my symptoms. I was told I need to lose weight and carry on with the pill.

THE MOST DISCOURAGING ADVICE AND DEFINITELY NOT THE ANSWER ONE WANTS TO HEAR WHEN BEING DIAGNOSED !

This fueled me to do my own research on PCOS and not treat my PCOS diagnosis like it was a disease that makes one weak. I joined support groups on social media with cysters around the world suffering from PCOS. This really changed my outlook on PCOS and my body for the better – being part of a community of women who share the same struggles and who are so keen to help and support each other. To the women that feel that their PCOS diagnosis is a burden please don’t…Nurture yourself – self care and self love is a top priority, educate yourself if you feel clueless, listen to podcasts, join support groups on the various social media platforms. PCOS is not the end of the world but it’s how you handle it and how you treat yourself that makes all the difference”, says Tracey-Ann Arendse.

PCOS Awareness 2:
“Unfortunately the syndrome stays with you forever, it cannot be ‘cured’. This condition takes all of the things women don’t want and puts them in a package for 1 in 10 of us who suffer.
PCOS is a common condition and it affects everyone differently, some women have a few symptoms, some women have them all and others just have cystic ovaries. Whatever it is, there is not enough awareness around it and not everyone understands it.

Can you imagine struggling with day to day life and all your doctor can tell you is to try the contraception pill? Or provides you with medication for another condition which gives you horrendous side effects and isn’t guaranteed to work? Imagine putting weight on and then despite everything you just cannot get it off or lose a bunch of hair whenever you get out the bath or shower. Imagine wanting more than anything to have a baby but your body just doesn’t allow it, or when it does you are likely to miscarry. Imagine having no one to talk to about that? So this month is the PCOS awareness month. This is a condition we should know and talk about.

On a personal note, because I was misdiagnosed for so long I have developed other conditions and had to have a hysterectomy. I also believe people with PCOS are stronger than ever we deal with an illness that no one believes you have because you have an “invisible illness” .You have to listen to everyone giving advice and criticize you on a daily basis”, says Lesley Ann Pedro.

There is no known cure for PCOS, however it is important to maintain a healthy balanced diet that is nutritional and beneficial for your lifestyle changes.

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