The PCOS Management Plan
The PCOS Management Plan involves a combination of changes in diet and lifestyles. Here are 5 main recommendations:
1. Healthy and Balanced Diet – low sugar and high protein/fiber/anti-inflammatory diet that can aid in weight loss and the fight against diabetes.
Avoid food that has high sugar content, as well as processed sugar, such as white bread, pastries, desserts, soda, cola.
Foods with a low glycemic load, that do not cause a big spike in insulin, and high-fiber foods can help combat insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar on the blood. They include vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, pumpkins and berries.
Lean protein such as fish, toufu, chicken are also better alternatives to red meat, that are higher in cholesterol and fat content. Fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines, are also recommended.
Other food that contain healthy fats includes chia seeds, dark chocolate, avocado and nuts.
Anti-inflammatory food and spices, such as turmeric, cinnamon, tomatoes, kale, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, can help reduce acne and menstrual irregularities.
In addition to having a balanced and healthy diet, staying active is key in management of PCOS. Research has shown that daily activity, low-sugar intake, and a low-inflammation diet, resulting in weight loss, may lead to improved ovulation in PCOS women.
Experts suggest that at least 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular exercises is the most ideal. These exercises includes brisk walking, jogging, burpees, bear crawl, swimming, cycling, etc.
Stress reduction is an essential part in regulating our emotions and hence, modulation of our hormones.
We can reduce stress through self-care practices, such as getting enough sleep, avoiding over-commitment, and making time to relax.
4. Herbal Medicine
In our previous post, we discussed how PCOS patients can be differentiated into 4 body types – Kidney deficiency, Spleen-dampness, Qi-blood stagnation and Liver qi depression. (Refer to our previous post to learn more about PCOS body types.)
Based on the different body types. PCOS women can take customised herbal medicine to alleviate their symptoms as well as rebalance their body constitute, to better manage PCOS.
Studies have shown that acupuncture therapy may have a role in PCOS by “increasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycaemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss”.