PCOS Disease

Polycystic Ovarian Disease – 5 Things you should know about it

Polycystic Ovarian Disease is a hormonal disorder resulting in enlarged ovaries and cyst formation. PCOS disease develops either early in life during teenage or later during adulthood. It is difficult to identify PCOS because of undefined causes and several symptoms. Many women fail to understand the severity of PCOS and subsequently it is left untreated.

With the rate of prevalence of PCOS is growing, it is vital that one is completely aware about it. Being completely aware about the condition is very important. Every woman should know the following 5 things about PCOS.

1. It is quite common: PCOS is a health problem that affects 1 in 5 women The prevalence of PCOS is higher in younger women and also correlated to a sedentary lifestyle. Factors like stress, genetics, unhealthy diet and erratic diet patterns may also lead to PCOS.

2. Can be controlledPCOS is a hormonal disorder that can be controlled with natural remedies. One can try a combination of herbs like Shilajit, neem, and devdar. The anti-inflammatory property of these herbs reduces inflammation (symptom of PCOS) and aids regulation of estrogenic level of the body. Along with this, one can practice yoga to release the anxiety and stress caused by PCOS disease.

3No Identified cause: The exact cause of this hormonal disorder is still unknown. However, doctors believe that many factors like genetics, unhealthy lifestyle choices and diet play a role in the occurrence of PCOS. Other possible causes include excessive prenatal exposure to androgens (male hormones) and insulin production.

4. One may face only a few symptoms: Not all women suffering from PCOS experience all symptoms. One may experience different symptoms depending on age, lifestyle choices, diet and environmental conditions. The severity of the symptoms may also vary from mild to extreme.

5. May lead to other health issues: PCOS is a serious health issue. If left untreated, the hormonal imbalance may affect the overall health. Women are at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, Hirsutism (facial hair) and Alopecia (baldness). It has now become imperative for one to undertake a healthy lifestyle to reduce the PCOS symptoms and avoid further complications.

PCOS is a very common hormonal disorder and ironically one of the most underdiagnosed disorders as well. It is a serious health issue and one must understand there is a silver lining to it thus, preventive action is critical. With certain changes in one’s lifestyle this disorder can be managed. Nurturing  health with smart daily choices will help to balance the hormones and protect against major health risks of this disorder.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease

What is PCOD and How Does It Affect Your Body?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS/PCOD) is an endocrinal disorder that has become increasingly prevalent across the world. It is estimated to affect well over a hundred million women worldwide and is the most common cause of female infertility. Despite the high prevalence rates of PCOD, there’s still a general lack of awareness about the condition.

What is PCOD?

To a large extent, the name ‘PCOD’ is itself confusing, as it doesn’t always cause ovarian cysts to form. In fact, some women with PCOD never develop cysts, while other women with ovarian cysts don’t suffer from PCOD at all. The defining feature is instead the imbalance of hormones, which can result in a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. The precise causes of PCOD are still not clearly understood, but it is associated with genetic factors, inflammatory response, and poor insulin sensitivity.

How PCOD Affects Your Body

PCOD can affect your body in a variety of ways, causing a wide range of symptoms. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms and in some cases the condition can even be asymptomatic for years.  While pelvic pain is one of the best known symptoms of PCOD, it’s important for you to be aware of the other ways in which the condition can affect your body.

Irregular Periods: Menstrual irregularities are a common feature of PCOS, along with missing periods or painful periods. This irregularity is a direct result of hormonal imbalances. Changes in flow can also be connected to thickening of the uterine lining or endometrium.

Weight Gain: Studies show that up to 80% of women affected by PCOS also suffer from weight gain, which increases the risk of more serious conditions. Although PCOS makes weight management more complicated, losing just 5-10% of bodyweight is known to produce significant results, reducing the severity of symptoms and lowering the risk of complications.  

Hair Growth and Loss: Growth of facial and body hair is another common change that women with PCOD have to contend with. This problem is estimated to affect up to 70% of women, with hair growth also increasing on the torso, arms, and legs. Many women suffer from hair loss on the scalp as well, which is similar to male pattern balding. These PCOD symptoms appear as a result of high androgen levels.

Acne: The increase in male hormone levels with PCOD causes an increase in adult acne on the face and back. If your acne does not respond to conventional treatments that are otherwise effective, it is most likely that PCOD is the underlying cause.

Infertility: Hormonal imbalances that interfere with ovulation don’t just affect the menstrual cycle. They also lower the chances of conception as the ovaries are less likely to release eggs. Up to 80% of women with PCOD tend to suffer from infertility, but this is not irreversible. Lifestyle changes with diet, exercise, and Ayurvedic medications can improve the chances of conception.

Other Complications: In addition to PCOD symptoms, there is also an increased risk of chronic lifestyle diseases that pose a more serious threat. Increased insulin resistance with PCOD raises the risk of prediabetes and type-2 diabetes, with 5-15% of patients developing diabetes within 3 years of a PCOS diagnosis. Changes caused by PCOD also raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease dramatically.

While these PCOS effects are troubling enough, the emotional and mental toll is even higher. Hormonal changes can cause severe mood swings. In addition, infertility and the effect of PCOS symptoms on physical appearance exacerbates feelings of depression and triggers body image disorders. This makes it hard to cope with the condition, but there is hope. Seek help and support from others who have battled and overcome PCOD. You can also limit the impact of the disease by embracing natural treatment options, including Ayurvedic medicine for PCOD, diet modifications, and exercise routines.

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polycystic ovarian disease

Is There Any Cure for PCOD

Tackling PCOD Naturally

Polycystic ovarian disease or syndrome (PCOD/PCOS) has become one of the most pervasive problems in India today, affecting as much as 36% of women in the reproductive age group. While the stats are in themselves disturbing, PCOD also causes fear because of its categorization as a chronic disease. In other words, there is no permanent cure for PCOD. However, this can be misleading, as PCOD can be effectively managed through natural methods like Ayurveda. In fact, dietary and lifestyle modifications can be so effective at treating PCOS that you can have just as good a quality of life as anyone else. Olympian champion Carissa Gump and global fitness icon Jillian Michaels are proof of this!

Overcoming PCOD with Natural Remedies

Natural remedies for PCOD can include a wide range of herbs, herbal supplements and extracts and Ayurvedic formulations. What’s notable about these natural treatments is that they pose little to no risk of side effects and do more than just treat PCOD symptoms. In addition to addressing the underlying causes of PCOD, natural treatments can also help mitigate the risk of PCOD complications such as infertility, diabetes and heart disease. Seeds like fenugreek and cumin can be used as PCOD remedies as well as added to your diet. Research shows that fenugreek intake may improve hormonal balance, normalize menstruation and reduce cyst formation. Similarly, cumin is believed to help regulate hormonal levels in women with PCOS because of its content of phytoestrogens. It also has proven anti-diabetic and cholesterol lowering effects, protecting against PCOD complications.

Herbs like amla, ashwagandha and tulsi, which are commonly used in Ayurvedic PCOD medications, can also help to treat PCOD naturally. These herbs work through a variety of mechanisms, including their strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. The anti-androgenic properties of herbs like tulsi can help to restore a healthy hormonal balance, reducing PCOD symptoms. All of these herbs also help to regulate blood glucose levels, increasing protection against insulin resistance and diabetes.

As is often the case, many herbal ingredients can be more effective in precise combinations. You can refer to Ayurvedic texts to prepare your own PCOD formulations or use polyherbal Ayurvedic formulations from reputed brands.

How Your Diet Can Help Treat PCOD

Ayurveda has long emphasized the importance of healthy eating for the prevention and treatment of ailments. This is particularly important when dealing with PCOD and there’s growing recognition for such recommendations. A review published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome states that diet therapy can help to improve metabolic and reproductive functions, as well as insulin resistance. These positive changes are achieved both through the quality of nutrition and as a benefit of weight loss or weight management. Researchers point out that in obese or overweight individuals, weight reduction of just 5% can lead to improvement of most PCOS symptoms.

An Ayurvedic diet for PCOS is your best bet, as Ayurveda emphasizes balanced eating and does not recommend restrictive diets. You should instead focus on natural or whole foods, while limiting or avoiding any intake of processed and junk foods. This is in keeping with current scientific literature, which suggests that PCOD is associated with a higher intake of simple sugars, refined carbs, sodium and saturated and trans fats. To get a personalized diet plan it would be best to consult an Ayurvedic physician or dietician with an Ayurvedic background, as some food choices and combinations will depend on your dosha type.

Why Fitness Matters

The importance of weight loss for PCOD management in cases where weight gain or obesity is a problem has already been established. Physical activity and exercise can obviously help considerably in this regard. However, it should be pointed out that regular exercise is also recommended for other benefits. Studies show that regular physical activity can help improve insulin resistance and reduce androgen levels. This means that hormonal imbalances, which are at the root of PCOD can be resolved, while the risk of diabetes is also reduced. Keep in mind that experts recommend low and moderate intensity exercises for PCOD, as over exercising can also disrupt hormonal balance. For this reason, Ayurvedic recommendations for yoga are likely to be most beneficial, along with aerobic exercise and Pilates.

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