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Polycystic Ovarian Disease | PCOD | PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)

 

Increased hair growth, acne, weight gain, skin tags, fatty liver and high cholesterol, polycystic ovaries, an irregular menstrual cycle, infertility, Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You are suffering with Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition which affects 5% to 10% of women of the age group 12–45 years. It is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance.

If left untreated it leads to insulin resistant diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol leading to heart disease and issues with ovulation.

Insulin is an important hormone as it transports sugar from the blood into the muscles of the body, allowing the body to effectively make use of the energy from glucose. High insulin levels wreak havoc on the body, leading to a lot of the symptoms of PCOS as mentioned above.

Obesity can aggravate PCOD because fatty tissues are hormonally active and they produce estrogen which disrupts ovulation. Overactive adrenal glands can also produce excess androgens, and these may also contribute to PCOD

There is a question when women or mothers ask that what do you mean by Polycystic ovaries.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease

Overview

Follicles are sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs. Normally, one or more eggs are released during each menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation. In polycystic ovary syndrome, the eggs in these follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary-. hence the name polycystic ovaries. In other words patients suffering from a polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) have multiple small cysts in their ovaries (the word poly means many). These cysts occur when the regular changes of a normal menstrual cycle are disrupted. The ovary is enlarged, and produces excessive amounts of androgen and estrogenic hormones. This excess, along with the absence of ovulation, may cause infertility.

Diagnosis

 

This diagnosis can be confirmed by ultrasound. Blood tests are also very useful for making the diagnosis. Typically, blood levels of hormones reveal a high LH (luteinising hormone) level; and a normal FSH level (follicle stimulating hormone) (this is called a reversal of the LH : FSH ratio, which is normally 1:1); and elevated levels of androgens ( a high dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate ( DHEA-S) level)

We don’t really understand what causes PCOD, though we do know that it has a significant hereditary component, and is often transmitted from mother to daughter. This is majorly caused due to disturbed lifestyle, excess of stress levels, unhealthy eating habits, skipping breakfasts, zero physical activity.

In this scenario a PCOS diet plays a crucial role in the management of PCOS, not only for weight loss and maintenance, but also to regulate insulin levels. Many women with PCOS are resistant to insulin, resulting in the pancreas producing more insulin in order to be effective.

Now you may be wondering that is it possible to stick to a diet especially who are carb lovers but trust me it is easier to make a clean break and take the leap into a new diet. The more you will eat carbs, the more you will crave for them but it will take couple of days say about 7 to 15 days your cravings will reduce significantly.

PCOD

Do’s

 

  • Eat wholegrain foods instead of processed, refined foods. Also, whole fruit instead of fruit juice will maintain insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Eat foods that are high in fibre as they will also cause a slower, more controlled rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Incorporate legumes and vegetables in your diet as they’re high in fibre and nutrients and will manage your sugar levels.
  • Combine protein and carbohydrates as protein helps to regulate the blood sugar spike caused by the carbs.
  • Eat small, healthy meals more frequently to manage cravings and hunger pangs and NEVER miss breakfast

Dont’s

 

  • Refined carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin levels and should, therefore, be avoided.
  • foods that are high in fat (trans and hydrogenated fats) will lead to weight gain and high cholesterol
  • Avoid food high in G.I Index
  • Processed food items
  • Dairy products
  • Soya and soya products.

While some women with PCOD will have all the classic symptoms and signs, many have what we call “occult PCOD”. This means that they may be thin, have regular periods , no hirsutism and normal looking ovaries on ultrasound, but still have PCOD

For most of the patients with PCOD, weight loss is an effective treatment. But it is also important for patients to look for a permanent weight loss and balanced plan and no random famous weight loss plans or crash diets are effective, they will only give you temporary weight loss result.

Increasing physical activity is another important step in losing weight. Aerobic activities such as walking, jogging or swimming are advised.

Visit your gynaecologist for medication as the drug of first choice for women with PCOD today is metformin ( this medicine is also used for treating patients with diabetes). It is been noticed that many patients with PCOD also have insulin resistance – a condition similar to that found in diabetics, in that they have raised levels of insulin in their blood ( hyperinsulinemia).

A recent treatment option uses laparoscopy to treat patients with PCOD. During operative laparoscopy, a laser or cautery is used to drill multiple holes through the thickened ovarian capsule. This procedure is called laparoscopic ovarian cauterization or ovarian drilling or LEOS ( laparoscopic electrocauterization of ovarian stroma). This should be reserved for women with PCOD who have large ovaries with increased stroma on ultrasound scanning. Destroying the abnormal ovarian tissue helps to restore normal ovarian function and helps to induce ovulation. KINDLY NOTE THIS IS RECOMMENDED BY DOCTORS AT EXTREME SITUATION.

Infertility and IVF Treatment

 

What you eat has a crucial effect on both your general health, like energy and mood, and your fertility. Good nutrition does not mean having to give up all the foods you like, just eating more of the right foods and cutting back on the others. Moderation is the key. It’s fine to allow yourself the occasional indulgence so long as you are eating healthily at least 80% of the time. And if food cravings have been a problem for you in the past, you’ll notice that they will disappear because your body is getting all the nutrients it needs from food that is completely satisfying – so you don’t ever feel hungry.

When you are trying for a baby it is essential that you are eating a healthy diet with a balanced intake of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This will not only give your baby a good start in life but will also give you the best chance of conceiving.

The general advice for eating to achieve healthy eggs and sperm is to have a well-balanced diet which includes:

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Complex carbohydrates – whole grains like brown rice, oats and wholemeal bread
  • Organic foods where possible
  • Oily foods such as fish, nuts, seeds and oils
  • Avoid trans fats
  • Increase your intake of fibre
  • More fish and organic eggs than red meat
  • Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals such as artificial sweeteners
  • Reduce or avoid sugar, both on its own and hidden in food
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine, e.g. coffee, tea, chocolate, colas and alcohol
  • Eliminate processed foods as much as possible.

In case of married patients who are trying to conceive and do not respond to the above measures, ovulation induction plus intrauterine insemination is the next step. If 3 cycles of IUI have failed, then IVF is the best treatment option for patients with PCOD.

Now, for the further treatment also your body should be prepared and healthy enough. So follow the general guidelines mentioned above.

It is very important that we understand that there is no magical formula that’s going to make you all better. But by making above mentioned diet and lifestyle changes now, you can manage symptoms of PCOD and have happy families and lead fulfilled lives where we are happy with our bodies and the way we look.

Consult Dt. Gurleen Kaur, Lifestyle expert & nutritionist at Diet Chemistry: 9810016415

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