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How To Heal PCOS

Living with Polycystic ovary syndrome can lead to complications like Type 2 diabetes, depression and infertility.

So if you’ve got PCOS, as it is commonly called, what can you do about it? Let’s explore how to heal PCOS.

Knowing You Have PCOS

The symptoms that alert you to the fact you may have PCOS include:

  • Irregular periods: If you have few menstrual periods, irregular periods, or periods that last longer than is typical for a period, you may have PCOS. As a result, you may have trouble getting pregnant.1
  • Signs of too much androgen: This is a hormone that creates changes to your body when you have high levels of it, such as excess facial and body hair—known as hirsutism. The hormone may also cause severe acne and male-pattern baldness.1
  • Polycystic ovaries: This means your ovaries might be bigger; you may have many follicles containing immature eggs around the edge of the ovary; your ovaries might not work the way they should.1

A diagnosis of PCOS is made when you have at least two of these side effects.1

If you have PCOS, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 5-10 % of women of childbearing age in the United States have PCOS. While that may not sound high, it’s actually about 5 million women, making it one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age.2

As well, the PCOS Foundation reports that less than half of all women with PCOS are actually diagnosed correctly. That means there could be millions more women with this condition. It’s also estimated around 70 % of the time, PCOS is the cause of fertility issues in women who have trouble with ovulation.2

How To Heal PCOS

So if you have PCOS, what can you do to treat it? Formulating a plan with your doctor is the first step, but here are some other ideas to help you determine how to heal PCOS.

Part of treating PCOS has to do with the cause of the condition—and researchers aren’t clear exactly what causes PCOS. Some of the suspected causes are what determine possible treatments.

PCOS could be a result of the body’s regulation of hormones, including insulin and testosterone.3 As a result, medical treatments include birth control pills, which may help decrease androgen production and regulate estrogen.4

Your doctor may also recommend medications to help you ovulate, like the breast cancer treatment Letrozole which may stimulate your ovaries; or the Type 2 diabetes medication Metformin which may be taken in combination with other medication to help improve your insulin resistance and lower your insulin levels.4 Insulin resistance is another possible cause of PCOS.

Here are other treatments that may help heal PCOS:

1. Maintain a health weight: This can help control PCOS symptoms, plus decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other issues that can be caused by PCOS. While it isn’t clear if PCOS makes it hard to lose weight or whether being overweight worsens PCOS symptoms, it does seem that losing even 5% of your body weight can help relieve PCOS symptoms.5 And obesity commonly occurs with PCOS and can make the complications such as Type 2 diabetes worse.1

2. Dietary changes: Since insulin resistance is common with those suffering from PCOS, eliminating simple carbohydrates and sugar from your diet can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep insulin levels low. That means avoiding or limiting simple carbs like white bread, pasta and rice, cookies, chips and soda.5

3. Omega-3 supplements: One study found that Omega-3 supplements could help with hormone levels and regulate the menstrual cycles of those with PCOS.6

4. Regular exercise: Like with any health care plan, exercise is beneficial. It can help with weight loss, help lower insulin levels, and keep blood sugar levels low, as well as help with your mood, improve sleep and be beneficial for heart health.5

See a Doctor 

If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, speak to your doctor about ways to treat your condition, with lifestyle changes and possibly medication. Use our Physician Finder and learn how to heal PCOS. Early diagnosis and treatment may lower the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.1

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