Why is PCOS So Overlooked?
If you suffer from PCOS you might know what I am talking about, or you might have a doctor who actually listens to you and properly treats your PCOS. I will admit, I use to have a good doctor but he retired and finding a new one who understands PCOS and doesn’t push hormones has been troublesome.
A little background, I also have endometriosis, so it gets a bit trickier with treatment. The problem arises when one doctor decided to go through hormone therapy, but with the hormone therapy came horrible side effects he decided to treat with more medication. The end results was a TIA, which is a mini stroke.
I was done and decided to find other approaches, a more natural approach. Dietary changes, including the PCOS diet, is hard for me to follow. What I wanted to mostly touch on is the insulin resistance in this blog post. This seems to be the worst for those who suffer PCOS and deal with the weight gain.
What Exactly is Insulin Resistance?
First insulin is a hormone, and its created in the pancreas. Insulin also helps control glucose (blood sugars). This is important to maintain control because, without control, it leads to increase of health issues such as diabetes, breast cancer, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease and you guessed it PCOS.
Having insulin resistance can actually make our PCOS symptoms a lot worse. For example, bare with me, because I am trying not to make this article sound to medical. High insulin levels produce hyperandrogenism (excessive male hormones). So that triggers also another lovely side effect of PCOS, hair and a lot of it, in places women don’t want it.
So basically PCOS woman, have what’s called Syndrome X, this is insulin resistant obesity. We have our own syndrome, lovely huh? Well, it’s not so lovely when you’re considered obese and the doctors around don’t want to help you. Thank you, doctor, for allowing my health to worsen in the future but not assisting at the problem at hand!
So What Can I Do?
Diet, Diet, Diet… Yes, stop enjoying everything you enjoy! Choose your foods from the low glycemic index and lower those carbs, raise those protein-rich foods and high fiber foods. Don’t get me wrong we need carbs, but you need healthy carbs. If you suffer from insulin resistance PCOS your enemy is refined carbohydrates (think sugary foods and starches) refined carbohydrates can actually make matters a lot worse.
Food Suggestions (Not a complete list):
High Fiber Foods
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Red and green peppers
- Leaf lettuces
- Green beans
- Winter squash
Now if you’re trying to get pregnanct, the whole dietary needs change drastically, for example, there are reasons to avoid dairy, but if you switch to soy, soy has been known to cause delayed ovulation. Avoiding dairy due to saturated fats that increase oestrogen levels, this then decreases the absorption of certain nutrients which will lead to weight gain.
Over the next few weeks will be touching on a lot more information that is broken down by sections because there is a lot of information to a healthier PCOS lifestyle.
Sources and more information
PCOS Foundation: Insulin Resistance
Oxford Academic: IR and PCOS: Mechanism and Implications for Pathogenesis
American Diabetes Association: Low GI Foods
Photo Attibution: Daria Nepriakhina via Magdeleine