Polycystic ovary disease is a complex heterogeneous disorder of unknown etiology. It affects one in ten women. This is a disorder in which women have multiple cysts in their ovaries due to disruptions in the normal menstrual cycle. Ovaries are enlarged and produce excess amounts of androgen and estrogen. These hormones interfere with the growth and release of eggs from the ovary, leading to anovulatory cycles and irregular menstruation.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women between 15 and 30 years of age. The disorder accounts for 30% of all cases of infertility, with 73% of women suffering from PCOS experiencing infertility due to anovulation.
PCOS symptoms in a woman:
- Menstrual abnormalities like infrequent, irregular or absence of menstrual cycles. Some also present with frequent cycles.
- Acne, hirsutism (male pattern hair growth on face and chest), hair fall from the scalp, or alopecia due to high levels of masculinizing hormones.
- Metabolic disturbances leading to obesity, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, etc.
- Some patients also end up in psychological disorders like depression and anxiety due to personal stress and stress from the family.
According to Ayurveda, PCOS is thought to have been caused by the vitiation of mainly Kapha Dosha blocking Pitta and Vata. This leads to a hormone imbalance resulting in an irregular menstrual cycle. That’s what causes the anovulation. Ayurveda has some promising PCOS treatments. Ayurveda describes natural herbs that can restore menstruation and promote ovulation.
- The treatment regimen includes Kapha alleviation via food and exercise. Clearing obstruction of Vata and Pitta by herbs and treatments.
- Mainly Kapha alleviating diet and exercise are recommended.
- Yoga and exercise pose such as the Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Ardhamatyasana, Pachhomottanasana are beneficial.
- Drink a glass of warm water half an hour before lunch.
- All spices except salt are good for Kapha.
- Foods that are pungent, bitter, and astringent will reduce Kapha.
- “Phala Grita” Ayurvedic ghee for clearing hormonal imbalance is highly recommended.
- Aloe Vera, Shatavari, cinnamon, ashwagandha, fennel, Ashoka are phytosterols useful in regularizing the menstrual cycle.
- “Vasti” and “Virechana” Ayurvedic panchakarma treatments are very useful in this condition.
Ayurvedic therapy is a complementary therapy that can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine. Eating the right food and avoiding certain ingredients may help you manage your symptoms. Your diet will help control your hormones and your menstrual cycle. Eating processed, well-preserved foods can contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance.
It’s all about whole foods
Whole foods are free of added sugars, hormones, and preservatives. These foods are as close as possible to their natural, unprocessed state. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all foods that you can add to your diet. Your endocrine system can help control blood sugar without hormones and preservatives.
Balance carb and protein intake
Carbohydrates and proteins have an impact on your energy and hormone levels. Eating protein stimulates your body to make insulin. Unprocessed, high-carb foods can improve the sensitivity of insulin. Focus on getting enough healthy protein instead of trying a low-carb diet. Plant-based protein sources, such as nuts, legumes, and whole grains, are ideal.
Aim for anti-inflammatory
One study identified PCOS as low-level chronic inflammation. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can help to ease your symptoms. Find the Mediterranean diet as a possibility. Olive oil, onions, leafy greens, fatty fish such as mackerel and tuna, and tree nuts all combat inflammation.
Up your iron intake
Some women with PCOS have serious bleeding during their span of time. This can lead to an iron deficiency or anemia. If you have been diagnosed with either condition by your doctor, talk to them about how you can increase your iron intake. They may recommend that you add iron-rich foods such as spinach, eggs, and broccoli to your diet. You should not take up your iron intake without first consulting your doctor. Too much iron may increase your risk of complications.
Up your magnesium intake
Almonds, cashews, spinach, and bananas are PCOS-friendly foods rich in magnesium.
Supplements claim to help with hormone regulation, insulin resistance, and inflammation associated with PCOS. Supplements aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Speak to your doctor before taking any supplement. Some of them can actually interfere with other prescribed PCOS treatments and medications.
Inositol is a B vitamin that can help improve insulin resistance. It’s also been found to help with fertility in some cases of PCOS.
Chromium supplements may improve your body mass index, which can help with PCOS. They may also stabilize insulin resistance by helping your body metabolize sugar.
Cinnamon comes from the bark of cinnamon trees. Cinnamon extract has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance. Cinnamon also may regulate menstruation for women with PCOS.
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. Turmeric may be promising for decreasing insulin resistance and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Zinc is a trace element that can boost fertility and your immune system. Excessive or unwanted hair growth and alopecia may be improved with zinc supplements. You can also eat red meat, beans, tree nuts, and seafood to get more zinc in your diet.
- Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil has been used to help with period pain and irregular menstruation. It may also improve cholesterol levels and oxidative stress, both of which are linked to PCOS.
- Combined vitamin D and calcium
Vitamin D is a hormone that’s vital to your endocrine system. Vitamin D deficiency is common in women with PCOS. Vitamin D and calcium may improve irregular periods and help you ovulate.
- Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil contains vitamins D and A, as well as high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids can help improve menstrual regularity and help get rid of fat around your waist.
Berberine is an herb used in Chinese medicine to help with insulin resistance. If you have PCOS, Berberine may ramp up your metabolism and balance your body’s endocrine responses.
- Adaptogen herbs
When your body can’t regulate insulin, it can build up in your body and cause higher levels of male sex hormones called Androgens. Adaptogens herbs claim to aid your body in balancing these hormones. Some Adaptogens herbs also claim to ease other symptoms of PCOS, like irregular periods.Use caution and talk with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement, as their claims haven’t been evaluated by the FDA.
- Maca root
The root of the maca plant is a traditional herb used to boost fertility and libido. Maca root may help balance hormones and lower cortisol levels. It may also help treat depression, which can be a symptom of PCOS.
Ashwagandha is also called “Indian ginseng.” It can help balance cortisol levels, which could improve stress and symptoms of PCOS.
- Holy basil
Holy basil, also called tulsi, addresses chemical and metabolic stress. It’s referred to as “queen of herbs.” Holy basil can help reduce your blood sugar, prevent weight gain, and lower your cortisol levels.
- Licorice root
The root of the licorice plant contains a compound called Glycyrrhizin, which has several unique properties. Licorice root has been suggested as an anti-inflammatory agent. It works to help metabolize sugar and balance hormones.
- Tribulus terrestris
Tribulus terrestris has been shown to help stimulate ovulation and support healthy menstruation. It may also decrease the number of ovarian cysts.
Chasteberry has been used for centuries to help with reproductive conditions. It may improve some symptoms of PMS, though its effect on fertility requires more research.
Probiotics don’t just help with your digestion and gut health. They can play an important role in treating PCOS. They can also reduce inflammation and regulate sex hormones like androgen and estrogen. Consider taking Probiotic supplements and eating Probiotic foods, like Kimchi and Kombucha.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can help decrease insulin resistance, regulate your period, and reduce your risk of conditions associated with PCOS. If you’re overweight, some studies suggest gradual weight loss through a low-calorie diet as a promising first-line treatment for PCOS.