Medically reviewed by Ashwathy V. Pillai, Postgraduate Degree in Dietetics & Applied Nutrition
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , or commonly called PCOS, has become a common health issue among women. According to health experts, PCOS is one of the main reasons of infertility in Indian women.
Nearly one in every five women is affected by PCOS, which leads to excess weight gain when not managed properly.
As lifestyle stress and problems increase for women, PCOS is becoming a very common issue for many.
While PCOS can occur at any age, it is during the puberty phase when girls are most susceptible to developing this problem. The problem manifests itself by the time a woman reaches her late teens or early 20s.
So why do you get PCOS? When you high levels of androgen or male hormones in your body, it prevents the ovaries from releasing the eggs during the menstrual cycle. You get cyst like growth in the ovaries.
You know you have PCOS if you suffer from issues like irregular periods, excessive acne, hirsutism or excessive body hair, obesity, irregular blood sugar, and infertility.
The main symptom of PCOS is an irregular menstrual cycle .
It means menstrual cycle that occurs too frequently, absent periods, suffering from excessively heavy bleeding throughout your period and very painful cramps. It leads to infertility, due to the irregular periods and cysts in the ovary.
Another sign of PCOS is oily skin.
You may also experience acne and pimples even after adolescence and this acne usually doesn’t respond to any treatment.
PCOS can lead to excessive body hair.
Triggered by increased male hormone, hirsutism is a common sign. It affects more than 70 percent of the women. You get excessive hair growth on face, abdomen, chest or upper thigh area.
Why does PCOS lead to weight gain
PCOS can lead to weight gain, and obesity can lead to PCOS. Irregular periods, along with insulin resistance can lead to build-up of glucose in your blood stream, which can cause you to gain weight.
Since it is caused by excess male hormones, so women tend to put on weight around the belly. Also if you are obese, there are high chances that you will get this issue.
High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens .
High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically in the abdomen.
That is where men tend to carry weight. So, instead of having a pear shape, women with PCOS have more of an apple shape.
Abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat . That’s because it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other health conditions.
Here’s how you can deal with weight gain caused by PCOS
Maintaining a healthy body weight is very important for women suffering from PCOS. Here we have given some basic tips to lose weight that will eventually help you in treating symptoms of PCOS.
1. Walk daily
Sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reason for obesity in today’s world.
Some kind of physical activity is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you don’t have time to hit the gym then walk everyday for a better lifestyle. A 30- to 45-minute brisk walk can help you in reducing weight.
2. Avoid eating after 8 pm
Try to eat before 8 pm or keep a gap of at least three hours between your dinner and sleeping time.
This will help you to digest food properly and will not result in gaining weight.
3. Eliminate processed foods
It is rightly said that to maintain the right body weight, you need to focus on both diet and exercise (with the ratio being 70:30). Eating right and eliminating processed and junk foods will work in your favour.
4. Eat slowly
Chew your food slowly as eating fast can make you eat more. Also, when you’re 80 per cent full, stop eating your food. Do not overeat as it will be difficult for your body to burn extra calories.
5. Munch on healthy snacks
Munch on healthy snacks like fruits, mixed nuts or Greek yoghurt. Opt for healthy options instead of eating unhealthy snacks.
6. Consult a doctor
If reducing weight is not helping in treating signs and symptoms of PCOS, then you must consult a gynaecologist. It is important to treat it as it may lead to several serious health issues.
For more healthy lifestyle tips and guidance, contact our Possible Nutritionist today. The first consultation is on us! Click here to avail!