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PCOS Tips

PCOS - How Can Ayurveda Avert It?

PCOS - How Can Ayurveda Avert It?

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a common disorder that can be seen to be mainly affecting women of reproductive age. As the name indicates, PCOS results in the formation of a cyst(s) in either one or both the ovaries. The presence of cysts in the ovary wrecks havoc affecting the ovulation process to a great extent. As a result of PCOS, the eggs do not undergo maturation. A situation may also arise whereby, the eggs mature but the ovary does not release them.

In PCOS, there is an elevated production of the hormone Androgen (often referred to as male hormones). The higher the androgen level in females the more the complications including obesity, infertility, irregular periods, heart ailments, hypertension as well as diabetes and insulin resistance. Hirsutism (excessive presence of body hair, especially on the face, chin or chest), alopecia or acne problems are also commonly observed. Thus, the condition should be treated and managed at the earliest. Conventional treatments though available may not always produce the desired results. Of late, Ayurveda has been making a lot of noise for all the right reasons. In fact, a lot of women have been successfully treated for PCOS and the associated symptoms, all thanks to Ayurveda.

Ayurveda that has been in practice since ancient times believes that a healthy body is one where there is a perfect balance between the various energies or doshas. As per Ayurvedic scriptures, there are three main doshas - Vata dosha (wind energy), Kapha dosha (water energy) and Pitta dosha (fire energy). A disruption of the equilibrium between the Vata, Kapha, and Pitta dosha is what triggers a diseased condition in a person.

PCOS is a problem resulting from the Kapha Dosha. According to Ayurveda, there are seven Dhatus (tissues) in our body. Some of the Dhatus affected by PCOS include Artava Dhatu (Female reproductive organ), Rasa Dhatu (plasma and lymph) and the Meda Dhatu or the adipose tissue.

The Ayurvedic approach to treat PCOS involves restoring the balance between the three doshas.

  1. The use of herbs such as Ashwagandha, Dandelion, Blue cohosh, Tulsi, Neem, Fenugreek, Castor oil, Sesame seeds, Flax seeds, goes a long way to treat the hormonal imbalance along with the associated symptoms of PCOS (infertility, diabetes, to name a few).
  2. In addition to the use of herbs, there are few pranayamas which work wonders in the case of PCOS by relaxing the whole body and restoring the balance between the doshas.
  3. Women with PCOS benefit immensely from Panchakarma. It is an Ayurvedic treatment that involves, oil massages, oil baths (Oleation), Fomentation (a process where the body undergoes intense sweating) to eliminate the toxins out of the body (detoxification) that may trigger the various disorders.
  4. Avoid foods with a high glycemic index. Instead, opt for foods such as grapefruits, cauliflower, peaches, onion, apples and other similar dietary options that have a low glycemic index.
  5. Severely obese patients should make an effort to shed the extra kilos.


 

PCOS - Know Regimen For It!

PCOS - Know Regimen For It!

PCOS, also known as Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome, is a clinical condition in which women’s sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone are out of a proper balance. This leads to multiple growths of ovarian cysts (benign masses in the ovaries). PCOS causes problems with women’s menstrual cycle, pregnancy. It also causes cardiac problems and problems in appearance. Though the exact cause for developing PCOS is still unknown known, doctors say Genetics play an important role in it. Overproduction of the hormone androgen may be another factor behind developing PCOS.

Lifestyle changes are the keys to living a healthy life. This is a commonly known fact though we hardly tend to stick to it. In cases of PCOS, lifestyle modifications are of severe importance. A healthy lifestyle is considered as the main step in managing PCOS. In the case of PCOS patients, lifestyle modifications help in reducing insulin resistance, improving other hormonal problems, improving menstrual cycle, improving fertility and preventing further long-term complications.

Here are some tips to living a healthier life for PCOS patients, to get you started with!

Dietary Changes: Bringing about a change in your regular diet is very important if you are a PCOS patient. Low carbohydrate diets, specifically with complex carbohydrates, which are high in fibre are recommended for PCOS patients. High fibre carbohydrates include whole-grain bread and cereals, whole-wheat pasta, barley, brown rice, beans. Junk foods are to be avoided as much as possible. The intake of simple carbohydrates is to be limited and that of complex carbohydrates is to be done. The Carbohydrate and Glycemic Index (GI) in carbohydrates is important because carbohydrates with a low GI produce lower glucose levels and insulin levels after consumption, in comparison with carbohydrates with a high GI. Good food choices and a consistent eating pattern throughout the day will lead to a more even pattern of blood glucose levels.

Weight check: For PCOS patients keeping the weight under check is primarily important. Weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation. No single specific dietary approach is best, but losing weight by cutting down on your daily calorie intake may help with polycystic ovary syndrome, especially if you're overweight or obese.

Physical activity: Regular exercise seems to be most effective in improving insulin resistance, which is of great significance in PCOS as this leads to many further complications. Regular physical activity helps to reduce androgen, improve insulin resistance. It also helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, induce ovulation, improve fertility, increase energy levels and improve self-esteem.

Thus, lifestyle modifications reduce complications related to PCOS to a great extent and help you in living a healthy, happy life.
 

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PCOS & Endometriosis - How To Tackle Them?

PCOS & Endometriosis - How To Tackle Them?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis are common gynecological disorders. According to recent estimates, 5-10% of women are affected by these disorders. Teenage girls and childbearing women are more prone to these problems. Recently, various celebrities shared their thoughts about PCOS and Endometriosis publicly.

The actress of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley, shared her story about PCOS on Instagram. She wrote that she tried everything to treat her acne before knowing that the culprit was PCOS. Lena Dunham, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, and Padma Lakshmi have also shared their stories of dealing with Endometriosis and how this problem affected their health. Though the symptoms and the affected part of the PCOS and Endometriosis are different, both the problems mess with the menstrual cycle and cause fertility issues. Both conditions are painful and uncomfortable for women, but they are difficult to detect. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders in 2014, women dealing with pain and fertility issues from PCOS are more compared to women having Endometriosis.

What is PCOS?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCOS occurs when the adrenal glands or ovaries of a woman produce more male hormones (androgens) than normal. In this condition, ovaries produce several small collections of follicles and are not able to develop eggs. It is generally caused due to hormonal imbalance. Women suffering from PCOS have prolonged and infrequent periods.

Symptoms of PCOS -

Irregular menstrual cycles
Excessive hair growth around the chin, abdomen, sides of the face, etc.
Weight gain
Oily skin and acne problems
Fertility issues

Endometriosis -

In this condition, the endometrial tissues are lined outside of the uterus instead of inside. The tissues of the uterus lining also grow in other body parts like bowel, bladder, rectum,
ovaries, and pelvic area. 

Symptoms of Endometriosis -

Painful and prolonged periods
Abdominal cramps for one or two weeks before and during the menstrual cycle
Lower abdomen pain before and during periods
Pain during or after sexual intercourse
Pain around the lower back or pelvic area at any time during periods
Pain during bowel movements

Diagnosis and Treatment of PCOS and Endometriosis -

It is always advisable to observe any problematic signs before, during, and after menstruation. This will help the gynecologist to understand whether you are suffering from PCOS or Endometriosis. A gynecologist may also advise her to go for a pelvic exam, physical examination, blood tests, and ultrasound. The treatment will depend on the diagnostic tests, symptoms, age, and severity of the condition. It may include medication to balance the hormones and control the pain. In rare and severe cases, surgery may also be recommended.

Take Away -

Though the condition seems to be similar as both affect the menstrual cycle, both are treated differently. This is why it is advisable to consult a gynecologist before going for any treatment.

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PCOS - Can Food Help?

PCOS - Can Food Help?

PCOS, also known as the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition that affects women of reproductive age (usually between 12-45 years). True to its name, PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by the formation of cysts in the ovary (one or both the ovaries). Androgen, the male sex hormone is produced in small amounts by the ovary. In PCOS, there is an increased production of androgens. The levels of estrogen and progesterone (female sex hormones) also undergo alteration. All these hormonal imbalance affects the functioning of the ovary as well as the ovulation process (the eggs either don't mature or are not released from the ovary).

PCOS and Hair Loss
In the case of PCOS, in addition to the menstrual and fertility problem, many females also suffer from severe hair loss.

There are three phases in a hair growth cycle-

  1. Anagen, a phase where active hair growth takes place.
  2. Catagen, a phase indicative of the transitional growth of hair.
  3. Telogen or the resting phase characterized by shedding of hair.

In PCOS, there is an increased production of androgen or testosterone. The testosterone then gets converted to another hormone called the Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The DHT thus formed binds itself to the hair follicles. As a result of this, the hair follicles abruptly enters into the resting phase, characterized by hair loss. The DHT when it binds to the hair follicles is also known to affect the ability of the hair follicles to absorb the essential nutrients. The PCOS left untreated, this process gets repeated in each hair growth cycle with increased hair loss and hair thinning. The hair regrowth and regeneration also slows down, a condition termed as Androgenic Alopecia.

The PCOS also triggers insulin resistance. As per a study by the University of Oulu in Finland, incidences of alopecia is higher in women with insulin resistance, resulting in hair loss.

Dietary Recommendation To Deal With PCOS-related Hair Loss

In PCOS, the DHT hormone binds to the hair follicle resulting in the hair loss. In addition to the medications and maintaining healthy body weight, a proper diet can go a long way to reverse the damage, thereby controlling the hair loss. However, one needs to have patience as you cannot expect the diet to produce miraculous results within a day.

  1. Enrich your diet with green leafy vegetables. High fiber vegetables can help to deal with insulin resistance to a great extent.
  2. Lean proteins such as tofu, chicken, are healthy options.
  3. Foods with a low glycemic index (such as non-starchy vegetables, quite a few fruits, lentils, peas, legumes, barley, to name a few) work wonders in the case of PCOS and the associated symptoms. It also helps to deal with insulin resistance and high glucose levels, one of the factors responsible for hair loss.
  4. The unhealthy foods options that should be avoided at all cost, include highly processed foods such as pastries, white bread, sugar, white potatoes.
  5. Avoid foods rich in simple sugars or those with a high glycemic value.
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PCOS - What Are Its Causes & Symptoms?

PCOS - What Are Its Causes & Symptoms?

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a common disease of the endocrine system among women who have attained the reproductive age. Women with this condition generally have ovaries larger in size than the usual, containing small pockets of fluids, also termed follicles. These 'follicles' develop in each of the ovaries as diagnosed with the help of an ultrasound exam.

Abnormal or extended menstrual cycles, unusual growth of hair and obesity are some of the common accompanying conditions associated with PCOS. This disorder can interfere with a woman's menstrual cycles, thus making pregnancy difficult. More so, this condition can also impact the way you look and if left untreated for long, can lead to underlying disorders such as diabetes and other cardio vascular diseases.

Causes of PCOS:

  1. Excessive Insulin secretion: Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, which allows the body cells to utilize the sugar; the most important energy store of your body. If you suffer from insulin resistance, your body's ability to utilize the insulin gets affected adversely. This forces the pancreas to secrete more insulin in order to keep up with the body's energy supply. This excess insulin might result in an increase in the production of androgen, which in turn, might interfere with the ovulation ability of the ovaries.
  2. Low- level inflammation: Inflammation is the process by which your body's white blood cells fight infections. Studies reveal that women suffering from PCOS have a low level inflammation which acts as a catalyst in the production of androgens.
  3. Can be hereditary: If you have someone in your family suffering from this syndrome, you might automatically be at a higher risk of developing this disorder.

Symptoms accompanying PCOS:

  1. Abnormal menstrual is the most commonly observed symptom. Women suffering from PCOS may have less than nine periods in an entire year and in some cases, even none. 
  2. Excess secretion of male hormone, which is related to excess androgen production may result in symptoms, such as abnormal body and facial hair, acne and baldness, which is identical to that in men.
  3. Unexplained increase in weight and difficulty losing it as well.
  4. Another fairly noticeable symptom is depression.
  5. Infertility

Best Food For PCOS!

Best Food For PCOS!

Best Food For PCOS!

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PCOS - Have Homeopathy To Resolve It?

PCOS - Have Homeopathy To Resolve It?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is referred to as a condition that leads to an imbalance in the hormonal levels of women between the ages of 18 to 44. Women suffering from the syndrome develop small cysts in the ovaries. These cysts might disrupt the normal functions of the ovaries resulting in hormonal imbalances. If you suffer from PCOS, the secretion of the male hormone androgen (which is present in a small amount in every female) increases abnormally, thereby causing a significant disruption of the ovulation process and the menstruation cycles.

Causes:

Women suffering from obesity or who have a past history of PCOS in their families are at a higher risk of suffering from the syndrome.

Symptoms:

The symptoms that one might experience along with syndrome are as follows:

  1. Appearances of acne along with the development of excess body and facial hair.

  2. Irregular or no periods.

  3. Problems with conception and infertility.

  4. Intense pain in the pelvic area and severe depression.

Homeopathic Treatment for PCOS:

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is curable with the Homeopathic mode of treatment. Homeopathic treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome is very safe and free from any side effect.

Which Homeopathic medicine is required to extract the disease from its roots varies from case to case?

Both the physical and mental spheres of the patient are thoroughly investigated while prescribing the Homeopathic medicine. The complete cure of PCOS is a time-consuming process and it cannot be expected in a few days. It requires complete observation regarding the change of symptoms in the patient and frequent clinical follow-ups. Some of the most beneficial homeopathic remedies for PCOS are:

  1. Sepia – Useful for the symptoms of severe pain in the lower back and abdominal areas along with abnormal menstrual periods.

  2. Apis Mellifica –This homeopathic preparation is effective in relieving the symptoms of severe pain in the ovarian regions along with tenderness in the abdominal and uterine areas caused by PCOS.

  3. Pulsatilla – This medication is very effective in treating symptoms of PCOS such as late and minimal menstrual periods along with rapid mood swings, irritation and a decreased sensation of thirst.

  4. Sulphur – This homeopathic preparation is very useful if there is a presence of severely itchy and painful acne along with other skin related symptoms of PCOS.

  5. Natrum Muriaticum – This homeopathic preparation is useful if you experience significant problems with conception along with irregularity in menstrual cycles, along with an excessive craving for salt in the regular diet, unwillingness towards sunlight exposure, and intense episodes of crying and uncharacteristic shyness.

  6. Graphites – If you are of a stout build or are overweight and regularly suffer from constipation along with PCOS, graphites are one of the best homeopathic medications to relieve symptoms and treat this condition.

These are just a few of the commonly used Homeopathic remedies and are mentioned only to create awareness about the effectiveness of Homeopathic medicines for PCOS. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease.

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Food To Help You Better With PCOD!

Food To Help You Better With PCOD!

A rising number of teenage girls in the country are getting affected with Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease or PCOD. Though an advanced menarche has become very rampant these days, there are many young women who are suffering from a delay in menarche which in turn is leading to PCOD as opined by gynaecologists. Obesity and sedentary lifestyle among young people have caused a rapid doubling of PCOD cases in the past five to eight years.

Occurrence and Symptoms:

Gynaecologists report that they get at least 15 fresh instances of PCOD cases, and a considerable number of teenagers aged 16-17 are not getting their menarche. Such patients are recommended to take a strictly balanced diet which will help them to lose weight. Initially, their mothers think that they would experience their menarche in proper time, but some girls are diagnosed with PCOD when taken to a family gynaecologist. Even worse, they could never imagine that their obesity can pave the way for such a grave health issue. PCOD can cause numerous other problems like delayed and irregular menses, rapid weight gain and tremendous difficulty in losing weight, developing acne and blocked skin pores.

Furthermore, it leads to thinning of hair and excessive growth of hair on chest, back and face. Infertility, continual miscarriage, high blood pressure and high blood sugar are also common with PCOD.

Help yourself with the right diet:

There is no proven evidence regarding the cause of PCOD though gynaecologists are of the opinion that some females possess a predisposition to this disease, and it may run hereditarily in the family. You can alleviate your PCOD symptoms to a considerable extent by regulating your diet properly.

Have loads of fruits and green leafy vegetables and try to abstain from dairy products as many experts believe that dairy products are a direct cause of an increase in insulin levels, which can aggravate skin troubles along with other PCOD symptoms. Avoiding red meat and eating lean meat instead will help the condition and reduce the chances of infertility. It is always recommended to avoid hydrogenated and saturated fats, which are normally found in animal and dairy-based food. Try to put a stop to cheese, cottage cheese, clarified butter, pork, lamb, beef, etc. and certain baked products like cookies, cakes and fudges as they will trigger a rise in your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The following dietary tips can be helpful with the condition:

  • High levels of the insulin hormone cause PCOS symptoms like high blood sugar, increased hair growth, weight gain etc. So, refined foods rich in fat and carbohydrates should be consumed in small amounts.
  • Whole foods in their natural, uncooked form should be consumed fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans etc. These are low glycemic foods that reduce glucose circulation by insulin.
  • Intake of salt should be very limited. You should not consume more than 3 grams a day.
  • Green vegetables have antioxidants. These are good for women with PCOS because they have a high amount of oxidative stress.
  • Your daily diet should contain at least 30 grams of fiber to improve the digestion process and remove toxins.
  • Milk and dairy products are best avoided because milk helps to increase the level of testosterone (male hormone) in the body.
  • Soy products should also be avoided, especially if you are trying to conceive because they interfere with the ovulation cycle.
  • Processed fat is harmful but essential fatty acids found in avocado, fish, olive oil and nuts are important for the body.
  • High levels of male hormones also cause high cholesterol. So foods which have high saturated fats like butter, cream, coconut oil and fatty meat should not be included in the regular diet of women with PCOS.
  • Protein-rich foods like lean meat, fish, legumes, whole grains are beneficial as protein can stabilize blood sugar. These foods also keep you feeling full and prevent over-eating.

PCOD is such a condition which you can never afford to overlook. If you had been facing any of the common symptoms, then it is probably time to pay a visit to a responsive gynaecologist.

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PCOS - Have Homeopathy At Your Rescue!

PCOS - Have Homeopathy At Your Rescue!

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a common hormonal disorder, which occurs in almost every women aged 18 to 24. In PCOS, the level of male hormones that is androgens are more than normal limits. In other women, it is present in smaller quantities. And increase in such levels, cause delay and disturbances with your menstrual cycle. The main cause of this disorder is however, not known, but it generally runs in genes. The symptoms start generally early after your menarche. Obesity is another factor which causes PCOS. 

Some of the signs and symptoms of PCOS are:

Homeopathy focuses on treating and curing the main cause of PCOS and it is, therefore, one of the best alternatives. Given below are some of the best homeopathic medicines for the treatment of PCOS:

  1. Apis Mellifica: If you are suffering from PCOS with a stinging pain in the ovarian region, Apis Mellifica is one of the best homeopathic medicine for you. The pain is accompanied by tenderness over the abdomen and uterine region.
  2. Pulsatilla: You can take Pulsatilla if your periods are late and scanty. You usually feel thirstless. You also suffer from mood swings. You might feel happy at one moment and sad the very next moment. You may as well feel irritated.
  3. Sepia: Sepia is one of the homeopathic medicines in treating PCOS when pain bears down in the lower back and abdomen. Your periods are irregular, either too early or too late.
  4. Lachesis: If you have an aversion of wearing anything tight, Lachesis is a pretty good homeopathic remedy for you. Your periods can slow down your periods due to weak flow. The pain in the abdomen are relieved once your flow starts. Jealousy is another common symptom.
  5. Graphites: Graphites is one of the best homeopathic medicine if you have PCOS along with constipation. You generally have a stout build up. You feel chilly most of the time with a tearing pain in the stomach region.

Facial Hair Due To PCOS - Ways To Deal With It!

Facial Hair Due To PCOS - Ways To Deal With It!

Hirsutism is a medical condition in women in which they grow unwanted and male-pattern hair on areas of the body such as the face, back, and chest. This condition may develop because of extra male hormones known as androgens, mainly testosterone. It can also be genetic. This excess amount of androgen (virilization process) leads to Hirutism. Signs and symptoms of virilization include acne, voice deepening, and increase in muscle mass, balding, reduced breast size, and clitoris enlargement.

Causes -

There are a number of causes which lead to Hirsutism in women such as a tumor in the adrenal glands and ovaries, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, certain medications for the treatment of endometriosis and depression, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, and Crushing Syndrome. Out of these causes of Hirsutism, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the most common.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, abbreviated as PCOS, is the most common disorder in sex hormones among women in their reproductive age. According to Ayurveda, disturbance in balancing three prominent elements, Kapha, Pitta, and Vata, leads to health and medical issues.


Recommendations -

There are a few changes which women can make in their eating habits and lifestyle for treating PCOS.

  • Terminate the consumption of smoking and alcohol.

  • Avoid junk food, oily food, and meat.

  • Avoid sugar as it increases Kapha, consume honey instead which helps in the reduction of Kapha.

  • Avoid using excessive contraceptives.

  • Have a balanced diet.

  • Exercise regularly but avoid heavy physical activities.

  • Maintain suitable body weight.

Take Away -

Hirsutism is a medical condition in females where they grow an unusual amount of hair on face, chest, and back like men. There is a number of causes for Hirsutism but the most common of them all is PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Ayurveda provides medications and treatments for PCOS with some changes in lifestyle and food habits.

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