In the modern world, our unnatural lifestyles contribute to the development of countless hormonal imbalances and disorders. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a rare case in this environment, as it cannot be avoided at all in most cases. However, sufferers can alleviate many of their symptoms with proper diet. A good diet for someone with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a low carb, high fat diet. Correctly followed, it can provide relief from many symptoms of PCOS.
A symptom of PCOS that many sufferers hate is weight gain. This is caused by a combination of a crashed metabolism, increased appetite, and water retention. The good news is, only around thirty pounds of this weight is virtually unmovable. By following a low carb diet you eliminate most of your water weight. And by cancelling out the cycle of carb cravings and carb binges, you will find it easier to restrict calories. Altogether, this should help you lose weight. Unfortunately, those last thirty pounds will be much harder work, but for some thirty pounds of overweight may be a dream body after years of obesity.
Excess body hair and thinning head hair
Women with PCOS often find that their estrogen drops unbelievably low. It is a common misconception that PCOS causes a spike in testosterone. Whilst this is definitely the case in many sufferers, the real driver of the imbalance is when ovulation fails, resulting in an estrogen cycle with extreme highs and lows. The spike in testosterone is usually the body desperately trying to rebalance the estrogen count. This is why many PCOS cases are treated with androgens. And when the estrogen cycle is not complete and estrogen crashes, progesterone, a hormone that helps maintain the body, doesn’t spike. This means that whilst male hair patterns begin, all hair falls out early and thins.
An apple body shape
Likewise, women with PCOS often find their body shape turns to the “apple”, with most of the fat on their belly, even if they do not gain much additional weight. This is because the sudden crash in estrogen and progesterone depletes the fats around the hips and thighs, and encourages the storage of fat in a high-stress area: the belly. When eating a high fat diet, especially one that focuses on healthy natural cholesterols, our hormones are given the fuel they need to grow and develop. This results in more feminine, thicker hair, and a slimmer waistline.
Amenorrhea and irregular cycles
Finally, another aspect of increased hormonal production is that once balance is restored, the most common feature of PCOS, which is a lack of cycles or irregular cycles, can be alleviated. Some women get their cycles back, or discover they are more regular once their hormones are evened out. A high fat diet is essentially a natural androgen boost. Which means it is a natural medicine for PCOS.
For some women with PCOS, having periods is not necessarily a good thing. They prefer the times when their cycle skips a round, or dries up, because menstruation for them is a living hell. The lining of the womb can sometimes continue to thicken again and again, only shedding a little, or not shedding at all at each cycle. This leads up to a condition similar to endometriosis, where the lining of the womb is so thick that when it finally sheds it is incredibly painful. By using a high fat diet to encourage more normal hormonal profiles, these women are encouraging their lining to shed every month and moving towards less painful periods.
Oily skin and breakouts
Finally, a common result of PCOS is oily skin and breakouts. These are hormonally driven, similar to the breakouts suffered by teenage boys, and can be quite extreme. The spots can be painful, and leave behind scars. No diet is likely to eliminate this condition entirely. These breakouts are as much a result of the cycling hormones as they are of the imbalance, which means you will always be at risk of them. That said, reducing your carb intake will reduce inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation contributes to excess white blood cell production and death, which leads to clogged pores. Avoid inflammation by eating low carb and you will suffer less painful breakouts.