How Lifestyle Changes can Cure PCOS
PCOS is the most common cause of fertility issues around the world. It’s a complex issue, but the great news is, it’s reversible by lifestyle changes!
This week I moderated a webinar on Treating PCOS - medicines of lifestyle? with Oasis Fertility, India. I am writing this article to explain PCOS treatment in jargon-free terms, using the webinar and the .
The webinar used the wisdom and experience of two doctors- Dr Priti Nanda Sibal from Maximise Me and Dr Parinaaz Parhar from Oasis Fertility.
Is it PCOS or PCOD?
Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome is preferred by most to the term Polycsytic Ovary Disease. Rather than a disease, PCOS is actually a syndrome since its causes are unclear. What is clear is it is a hormone imbalance- and that different hormones can be out of whack in our bodies.
How does PCOS show up?
There are widely thought to be 4 types of PCOS.
1. The most common way is through irregular periods- missing months or not having periods at all.
2. Acne and unusual hair growth or areas such as chin, chest. Hair thinking can also be a symptom.
3. Through a scan which shows actual cysts in the ovaries.
4. Finally some people with PCOS are overweight but there is also a lean PCOS, where you can be thin and have PCOS.
You may have some or none of these symptoms and have PCOS. The symptoms are also on a scale of severity. See why it’s confusing!
What hormone imbalances cause PCOS?
Insulin resistance - this means that our blood sugar can be high as we cant break down sugar properly. Putting us also at risk of diabetes.
Androgens - these are known as male hormones and so our testosterone levels can be higher than normal
Cortisol - which can affect our adrenal (kidney) function and result in you feeling exhausted.
Progesterone - you might not be producing enough of this, causing your periods to be irregular.
So how can I recover from PCOS?
Medicines can be used to treat PCOS - commonly diabetes medication to help the insulin resistance such as Metformin. In Fertility Clinics they might give you Clomid, Femara and then IVF treatment including Gonal F.
Before these, lifestyle changes are now accepted as the best way to treat PCOS.
So what lifestyle changes should you be doing and why?
The Functional or Lifestyle Medicine approach is to treat the root cause of PCOS rather than the symptoms.
The root causes are:
Stress - Many women who have PCOS seem to be high achievers and their cortisol and
Being overweight - this can change their hormone balance and also affect fertility
Food insensitivities, gut or thyroid issues - these affect inflammation in the body
Dr Priti’s approach is to use: BENDS- Breathing, Exercise, Nutritional Supplements, Diet and Sleep. She has ‘cured’ 450 woman girls of PCOS in this way through individual and group programs
Our doctors both agreed that you should be:
- Doing Pranayama (breath work) and yoga to relax and heal your body
- Doing moderate exercise - something that you like but that’s not too high intensity as that can create stress and more hormone imbalance.
- Not dieting, but rather eating healthily. Bringing good food into your way of life and avoiding processed foods. Eat natural real foods - foods that resemble food, not resemble plastic packaging!
- Focusing on how you eat and which whom you eat- have fun, eat with people you like, eat slowly and don’t be distracted on your devices whilst eating. Allow the nutrients to come into the body and get absorbed.
Does it take long to see lifestyle changes? How can I do it?
Dr Priti has seen amazing results within 3 month coaching packages.
Working with a Health Coach helps you reach your goals.
It’s not about giving you a diet plan. We’ll give you some guidelines as to what and how to eat, but we will also work with you- looking at the root causes for you, as we said it’s complex and different for each person.
We will meet you regularly online to coach you - be a trusted yet accountable friend through the process- and bring in experts and knowledge to ensure you reverse your PCOS!
Why is PCOS important to treat?
It’s important to treat because you may not be ovulating (releasing an egg) which means you won’t be able to get pregnant easily. 70% of people with PCOS have fertility issues.
PCOS can also affect your risk of diabetes, gestational diabetes in pregnancy, cancer and high blood pressure.
PCOS often causes depression.
If you're experiencing any of this, contact us for a free consultation - with no obligation - by filling in our contact form or emailing us directly.
ABOUT THE DOCTORS
Both are allopathic or Western medical doctors.
Dr Priti Nanda Sibal has further trained in Functional Medicine (FM) and is a Fellow in FM and anti-aging. She’s a specialist in reversing diabetes through lifestyle and has written two books on weight loss.
Dr Parinaaz Parhar is a fertility specialist at Oasis and co author of the book: 'The Art and Science of ART'.
Our webinar 'Treating PCOS: Medicines or Lifestyle changes?' - Recording on YouTube
Treating PCOS with Functional Medicine on Doctor’s Farmacy- Dr Mark Hyman and Dr Elizabeth Bonam.