Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: How to Beat Hormonal Imbalances

November 3, 2020 2:18 PM

Being a multifaceted disorder, PCOS has varying effects for those who bear its burden such as an irregular menstruation cycle, frequent mood fluctuations, rapid weight gain and increase in facial hair, among others.

As per a report, one out of every five women in India is diagnosed with PCOS. 9Photo source: AP)

By Dr. Gayatri Deshpande,

Hormonal imbalances in women like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) have been amplified among adolescents and young women in recent years by their increasingly sedentary lifestyle coupled with mental exhaustion. As per a report, one out of every five women in India is diagnosed with PCOS. Being a multifaceted disorder, PCOS has varying effects for those who bear its burden such as an irregular menstruation cycle, frequent mood fluctuations, rapid weight gain and increase in facial hair, among others. However, there are some ways that can help you battle hormonal imbalances in PCOS and keep them in check.

Lifestyle Change: Since PCOS is essentially a lifestyle disorder, changes in your lifestyle can help mitigate its effects. Eating healthy can have a greater impact on your body and mind than you can fathom. Keep your consumption of potentially unhealthy food to the minimum and feed your body healthier options such as fruits and vegetables. Attempt to reduce your consumption of inflammatory foods such as sugar and gluten. Keeping your eating habits in check can aid you in managing your weight, which, in turn, can help you balance your hormone levels. Additionally, sleep deprivation too, causes hormonal imbalances. Many women also experience disturbed menstrual cycles consecutively for two to three months. All in all, to improve metabolism and prevent excessive weight gain, adequate sleep & healthy diet at the right time is the key.

Exercise: Another indispensable aspect of battling with PCOS is a steadfast workout regime. Since weight gain is one of the primary symptoms and effects of PCOS, adhering to a consistent, moderate workout regime can help keep your weight in check and help you become fitter and more active. While working out ensures that your hormone levels are in balance, it also increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin which reduces your risk of heart diseases and diabetes. It can also aid in regularizing your menstrual cycle.

Meditation: As per a research by the European Respiratory Society, PCOS can be responsible for lower lung capacity in some women. As an alternative or even as a supplement to your workout regime, you can incorporate yoga and meditation in the activities planned out for each day. Short sessions of yoga and meditation, especially deep breathing, can help alleviate stress and can have a calming effect on the body and mind, thereby helping you to get through your day in a more relaxed and composed fashion. Exercises like the butterfly pose, sun salutation and pranayama are good ways to release stress as well as beneficial in regularizing your menstrual cycles.

Mental Wellness: During this crisis of COVID-19, wellness should be ensured by being relaxed, focused and thinking positive. While working from home, longer hours at desk coupled with no physical activity can augment mental stress for a lot of women. This can worsen the process of dealing with PCOS for those who have polycystic ovaries. Taking a break rather than sitting continuously for long hours can be helpful here. Practising yoga regularly can also help tremendously in reducing mental fatigue. Gaining a sense of control over yourself and your surroundings can only be achieved if you keep your mind and body relaxed. PCOS causes fluctuations in hormone levels which, in turn, cause mood swings.

Thus, it is imperative to envelop yourself with a strong support system of family & friends. Practice self-care in mind; it is important to manage time by making realistic and achievable schedules. PCOS, just like any other disorder, needs medical treatment. Major lifestyle changes, along with the will and determination to adhere to a changed lifestyle, are required to deal with PCOS.

(The author is Senior Consultant, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital. The above article is for information purpose only. Please consult a medical professional before starting any medication/therapy. Views expressed are personal.)

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