Part Two: Understanding PCOSNovember 2018
Written by Jessica Worth, Nutritionist, Sydney, Mona Vale
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is next up in this overview of the three common hormonal conditions women experience. This post would have been up last week, but I had the worst head cold I have had in years; so I spent it resting because that’s what my body needed.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is multi-faceted, no single criteria is used in its diagnoses. PCOS is often associated with excess testosterone and blood sugar irregularities. These two issues lead to weight gain, particularly around the middle, hormonal cystic acne around the jaw line, hirtuism (facial hair growth), period irregularities and fertility issues.
How to treat PCOS?
From a nutritionist perspective, I look at PCOS from a hormonal and inflammation standpoint. Generally that is the way I treat clients too. By nurturing the body with whole foods, swayed towards a more keto-style of eating (note; carbs are still very important, but reducing the heavy starch foods supports blood sugar regulation). The liver and how it is functioning is another area I focus on; more often than not I find liver congestion. I also improve bowel clearance (I always end up back at poo don’t I?!?), address stress and self care.
Nutrition tips for try
- Remove alcohol from your diet. No if’s or but’s. Stop drinking.
- Remove coffee. A tall order for some, but coffee is inflammatory for the body.
- Reduce your carbohydrate consumption, so that your diet contains about 30% +/- carbohydrates. I recommend firstly reducing your starch carbohydrates, foods include; grains (bread, rice, pasta), potatoes and other root vegetables such as parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke, corn and pumpkin.
- Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates (cakes, biscuits, muesli bars, chocolate) from your diet. Just do it.
- Include or increase healthy fats in your diet; oily fish, avocado, avocado oil, walnuts, chia seeds and other anti-inflammatory foods.
- Adding cinnamon to your food where possible; it helps support blood sugar regulation. Good quality cinnamon, not cinnamon sugar.
You will also need to modify your lifestyle; exercise to help with weight loss and support detoxification. I don’t recommend HIIT for those with PCOS, purely because the body is in a stressed state and cortisol will only further create hormonal issues. Instead I recommend weight training and gentle exercise like yoga or pilates.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS by your Doctor, seek out a practitioner that can support you as you learn to manage your condition.
Until next time… x
Jessica Worth is a nutritionist who loves to help women achieve their health goals, helping hem navigate the best choices for their body and health. If you’re interested in a consultation with Jess, get in touch now.