If you suffer from unexplained weight gain, acne, irregular or missing periods, or anxiety and depression, you may have PCOS.
Most women are told that PCOS is completely incurable and that birth control is the only way to keep symptoms at bay. While the birth control pill is a useful tool, it certainly isn’t a cure for PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women, affecting up to one in five of us. It’s also the number one cause of infertility in the US.
The good news? There are important lifestyle changes you can make that can help you immensely reduce and even cure your PCOS symptoms for good.
1. Manage your blood sugar and insulin.
With insulin resistance being directly related to PCOS, it is important to manage your blood sugar and get it under control in order to manage symptoms.
Start by eliminating processed foods like refined flour, corn syrup, processed meats, and sugar that cause large spikes in blood sugar. Next, focus on a whole foods diet high in fiber, fat, and protein.
Try something like a veggie omelette with avocado, or a berry smoothie with vegan protein , nut butter, and cinnamon. Just make sure whatever you’re eating promotes blood sugar stabilization by including protein, fiber, and a source of healthy fat.
2. Get a personalized supplement routine.
Supplements can be incredibly helpful to control symptoms of PCOS. At Parsley Health, some of our favorites include Myo-inositol to balance blood sugar, along with chromium, cinnamon, and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
We may also use adaptogenic herbs including ashwagandha, maca, and cordyceps. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about what supplements you should consider based on your specific needs.
3. Change the way you exercise.
While we know that exercise is important to help manage PCOS symptoms, too much strenuous exercise including HIIT workouts and boot camps may only be contributing to your hormonal imbalance.
Excercise triggers spikes in cortisol and stokes your sympathetic nervous system. This is why many women who suffer from PCOS will find success when they shorten the duration and volume of their workouts and focus on lower-impact exercise instead. Some good examples include brisk walks, pilates, yoga, and barre.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.