Your body is amazingly complex, with hundreds of microsystems that all work toward functioning as smoothly as possible to optimize your health. As with any complex system, success rides on balance at every level and when something throws off a balance in one area, the effects cast a wide net on the overall system.
Such is the case with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. This is caused by an imbalance in your reproductive hormones, skewing your androgen (the “male” hormone) and estrogen (the “female” hormone) ratios. This seemingly small imbalance can not only interfere with your ability to get pregnant, it can lead to male-like characteristics such as acne, body hair, and thinning scalp hair.
As if that weren’t a wide enough net, studies have found links between women with PCOS and diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea, as well as several types of cancers, including: endometrial, ovarian, uterine, colon, and breast cancer.
So, when it comes time to find a solution for your PCOS, it’s hard to know where to start. At The Private Practice in Southlake, Texas, we believe that one of the best places to start is at home. Since your body is a well-oiled machine that thrives on balance, there’s a lot you can do to encourage more balance with a few lifestyle changes.
The link between PCOS and weight issues goes back as far as 1935 in the original description of PCOS, which cited obesity as one of the most common characteristics. Since this time, study after study has confirmed the connection between weight issues and PCOS, which makes your weight a primary target when treating the disorder.
In order to get started, feel free to come in and talk with me about how we can devise a weight loss program that will deliver the best results. The quick weight loss results promised by fad diets and cleanses are typically not the answer here. Our goal is to help you shed the weight in a healthy, long-term way for continued good health. After all, keep in mind that it’s all about balance, so a balanced approach to weight loss is best.
Control your sugar
Many women with PCOS are resistant to insulin, which is why there’s such a strong connection between PCOS and diabetes. Even if you’re not diabetic, it’s worth reading up on the best way to control your blood sugar levels in order to prevent insulin resistance from developing.
Whether your goal is to treat existing insulin resistance or prevent its development, the strategy is the same — control the levels of glucose in your blood.
To do this, avoid overly sweetened foods and stick to fruit as much as you can. As well, carbohydrates are a big source of glucose, so try and cut back on your carb intake and concentrate on healthy proteins instead. In fact, sticking to a diet that’s full of fruits, nuts, and vegetables is a great way to tackle your blood sugar levels and lose weight at the same time.
Work it out
While watching what you eat and losing weight go a long way toward reducing the impact PCOS has on your life, exercise brings it all together. In order to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular system, nothing beats a good exercise regimen. And exercise will tackle some of the health issues that are related to PCOS, such as high blood pressure.
Rest assured, we’re not suggesting you sign up for the next marathon. If exercise isn’t a part of your daily routine, start small. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or park a little farther away from the entrance to the grocery store. These small steps begin to build and pretty soon you’ll be exercising more frequently with longer walks or tennis with a friend.
Dealing with PCOS can be frustrating, and we’ll work with you every step of the way in order to deal with the quality of life symptoms. In fact, you’ll find that these lifestyle remedies will not only improve your PCOS, they’ll deliver amazing benefits to your overall health.
Give us a call at The Private Practice to get started treating your PCOS, both at home and here at our offices. Or, use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.