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What is PCOS?

How can diet & exercise help?

PCOS is also known as Polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS affects many women’s hormone levels.

With PCOS women produce a higher-than-normal number of male hormones. This being said this hormone imbalance will cause you to miss/skip a period. This also makes it a lot harder for you to get pregnant.

PCOS affect the ovaries the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone. These hormones regulate your menstrual cycles. Ovaries also produce a small amount of male hormones called androgens.

In PCOS, many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries. The word “polycystic” means “many cysts.”

Doctors don’t know exactly what is causes PCOS. They think it may be caused by high levels of male hormones which prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and eggs normally. It is also said that genes, insulin resistance, and inflammation are linked to excess androgen production.

PCOS affects women between the ages of 15 to 44. This is because it is their childbearing years. Studies have shown that between 2.2- 26.7 percent of women between these age groups have PCOS. Studies have also shown that there are a lot of women with PCOS that do not realize that they have it. One study showed that there is up to 70% of women that haven’t been diagnosed with PCOS.

The most common symptoms of PCOS are:

Irregular periods – A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women with PCOS get fewer than eight periods a year.

Heavy bleeding – The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you do get can be heavier than normal.

Hair growth – More than 70 percent of women with this condition grow hair on their face and body — including on their back, belly, and chest. Excess hair growth is called hirsutism.

Acne – Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.

Weight gain – Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese.

Darkening of the skin – Dark patches of skin can form in body creases like those on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.

Headaches – Hormone changes can trigger headaches in some women.

A diet full of whole natural foods is beneficial to help regulate the hormones that are being affected by PCOS. Foods such as cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts, greens such as red leaf lettuce and arugula, red and green peppers, beans, lentils, almonds, berries, sweet potatoes and winter squash.

Lifestyle changes, such as introducing 30 minutes of walking daily and introducing exercise, will help you lose weight and help your state of mind. Also, adding yoga, journaling and meditation will all help to regulate your hormones.


Information taken from:

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Kaitlyn Beaver

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