So many women who have been diagnosed with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) struggle with weight and insulin resistance. It is often very difficult for someone with PCOS to lose weight.
PCOS presence itself with metabolic abnormalities, often hyperinsulinemia or insulin resistance.
The excess insulin and insulin resistance that is seen in many women with PCOS raises androgen levels (testosterone, mostly). This affects the sex hormone balance (mostly estrogen and SBGH). Which leads to problems with ovulation and getting pregnant. Insulin resistance raises the activity of aromatase and can lead to estrogen dominance. In turn, estrogen dominance promotes insulin resistance! This leads to a greater accumulation of fat, particularly around the middle. The increase in fat leads can cause an increase in estrogen production…and the cycle continues. You can see how intertwined and interdependent the hormones are. Which is why “eat less, move more” is not the solution for most women who struggle to lose weight.
While it is not clear whether high androgens cause insulin resistance or high insulin causes high androgen levels. Normalizing levels and androgen levels are key to managing PCOS symptoms. (If you are actively trying to get pregnant, you may require other interventions)
How do you lower androgens?
- Low-GI food plan
- Fiber – to remove excess testosterone from your body
- Boost zinc intake. Zinc deficiency associated with higher androgens.
- Omit refined and processed sugar
- Take up yoga – lowers insulin
- Chromium acts as an insulin sensitizer
- Inositol This supplement shows promise in correcting PCOS. Both types: Myo-inositol or D-chiro-inositol seem to be equally effective.
Being aware of PCOS and getting diagnosed as soon as possible is important because not only does PCOS cause problems with fertility, it also puts you at higher risk of obesity, prediabetes, diabetes and heart disease.
Have you been able to control or reverse your PCOS symptoms with lifestyle changes?