The term Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) makes many women believe that having many (poly) cysts on their ovaries, and being on the heavier side means they may have the condition. But that is not always the case. To be diagnosed with PCOS, two out of the following three conditions have to be present, said nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary.
Three key factors
*Excess androgens: You can check this via a simple blood test which should be done on the second day of the period, and progesterone test should be done on days 21-23 of your period.
*An ultrasound (preferably trans-vaginal) to confirm the presence of many follicles on either or both ovaries.
“If you only have irregular periods, or more follicles on your ovaries, or have excessive hair on your chest/face does not mean you have PCOS. You have to have any of these in combination to confirm the diagnoses, said Chowdhary who was part of the Vogue Beauty Festival 2022.
Here are specific types of PCOS along with the treatment that you should know about:
In case of imbalanced insulin levels, it is advised to get your fasting insulin checked along with checking the levels after every hour, and then again after two hours of consuming 75 grams of glucose drink. If any of these numbers are high, fix your food, said Chowdhury as “70 per cent women fall in this category”. “Managing your carbs properly, and being mindful of gluten consumption can help you. Modern day wheat is not what our ancestors ate; it is a hybridised variety with 30 per cent more gluten. So, keep a check on the amount you consume daily through bread/biscuits/chapatis, and upma. Acne is also common in women with PCOS; eliminating dairy and including A2 and organic varieties in the diet will help.
A lot of women opt for oral contraceptives as the first line of action. But these contraceptive “cut communication between the brain and ovaries. When women get off the pill, it’s hard for this communication to build back”, said Chowdhary.
“As such, many women get diagnosed with PCOS after they stop. A gut cleanse for up to 12 weeks (basis how long they’ve been on the pill) along with certain morning rituals and grounding techniques is a great way to manage the same as most of these women also struggle with anxiety, hair fall, and acne as a side effect of the pill,” added Chowdhary.
If your DHEAS hormone is high, you will have this type of PCOS which can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Finding ways to regulate your nervous system with meditation, yoga, morning rituals, walking barefoot on grass is a good way to manage the condition. Your cortisol will also be high, which can be solved by eating early dinners and following circadian fasting rather than intermittent fasting.
This type occurs because of gut inflammation, most often due to neglecting IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms. It is often accompanied by skin issues like eczema or psoriasis. So, doing a gut cleanse where you only eat anti-inflammatory foods for a while is a good idea. You can slowly introduce other foods once your symptoms start to settle down.
This one is tricky because accepting it is hard. Lean PCOS happens to women who are skinny, busting the myth that being overweight gives you PCOS. The solution lies in building muscle mass by lifting weights, reducing body fat percentage and eating foods that help balance blood sugar levels.