PCOS describes an imbalance of sex hormones, particularly of male sex hormones like testosterone. It leads to many cysts forming on the ovaries, that rarely produce fertilisable eggs. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown; however, family history, genetics, hormones, and lifestyle are thought to play a part.
Although not curable, PCOS can be managed effectively. However, it does require support from a range of health professionals, including dietitians.
There are five significant impacts PCOS can have on your health. These include:
PCOS is regarded as an insulin-resistant condition, affecting 80% of women. Insulin resistance describes the bodies inability to effectively absorb blood glucose into the body’s cells. Over time, this can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, which is a condition we want to avoid. Those who are overweight or obese are at an even higher risk of diabetes development.
A low carbohydrate diet may be appropriate to better control the risk of diabetes. Our bodies are better able to cope with a smaller amount of carbohydrate when insulin is impaired. It is also beneficial to partake in regular resistant training (e.g. strength training) and cardio.
PCOS is a very complex condition, with severe consequences if not managed effectively. People with PCOS or who are suspicious of PCOS diagnosis must seek medical attention immediately. Management of PCOS involves support from an interdisciplinary team to ensure a holistic approach to maximise health. If you’re looking for the most appropriate diet to support PCOS, contact the qualified dietitians at CQ Nutrition.
Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac