Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Weight Gain

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) at the core is a hormonal disorder. Women suffering from PCOS have more male hormones and insulin resistance. Off late obesity and overweight have become a silent pandemic and women with PCOS have to contend with weight gain causing a constant struggle. PCOS also leads to reduced fertility, increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, sleep apnea and uterine cancer.

But there is certainly good news and a lot of hope. We at ZIVA clinics have treated many patients with PCOS who have been blessed with beautiful, healthy children and regained a healthy weight. All you need is proper guidance and lifestyle changes, and you can shed those extra pounds and reduce the seriousness of PCOS.

What is the relation between PCOS and weight gain?

The hormone insulin converts sugars and starches from the consumed foods into energy. As mentioned above, PCOS leads to insulin resistance, i.e. the body cannot use the hormone insulin so glucose accumulates in the bloodstream. High levels of insulin in the bloodstream produce male hormones called androgens. Androgens lead to body hair growth, acne, irregular periods, and weight gain. The weight gain is mostly around the abdomen since it is triggered by male hormones and men carry more weight around their belly. 

What is the best way to lose weight if I have polycystic ovary syndrome?

The biggest upside for weight loss is that you feel so much better, and you cut the risk of many diseases. By losing just 10% of the excess weight, your periods will become regular and insulin sensitivity improves. Below are some tips you can follow to prevent weight loss with PCOS:-

Start with a doctor

Start your journey towards weight by first visiting a doctor. They will weigh you and assess your BMI, which is the ratio of your height to your weight. There are several well-researched medicines for PCOS. Especially, the anti-androgen medications block the effects of male hormones. Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug that not only helps the body use insulin more efficiently but also reduces testosterone production. It has also been found to reduce weight in women with PCOS.

Dietary changes

  • Eat foods with high fibre content and low carbohydrates.
  • Take healthy portions of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 
  • Blood sugar levels can be kept in check if you avoid processed and fatty foods to keep your blood sugar levels in check. 
  • Processed food also increases the salt content in the body, which can again contribute to weight gain, hence prefer home-cooked meals over packaged food.
  • Take control of the food portion size. The appropriate amount of food to be eaten is often less than what is actually consumed. Eat 4-5 small portions a day rather than heavy meals in one shot. Switching over to a smaller plate will help you limit the size of the portion.
  • Overeating is one major problem that increases weight gain even further. Hence, it would be a good idea to track your calorie intake too.

Work out… work out….

30 minutes of exercise for 5 days a week is the most suggested workout plan. There are a wide variety of exercise regimes. You can choose Yoga, Gym, Zumba, swimming or pick up your favourite sport. Try any of them. There is overwhelming evidence that exercise not only improves insulin sensitivity and helps in healthy weight loss too.

Track your health.

Regularly monitor your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is advisable to invest in home testing kits so that you don’t have to go to the lab every time. These testing kits are easy to learn and can be used for regular monitoring from the convenience of your home.

Quit smoking and drinking

Smoking and drinking have adverse effects on PCOS. If you are unable to quit by yourself, consult your doctor and enrol in a de-addiction program.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Once a woman hears PCOS they become anxious about infertility. Please bear in mind that this is not the case with everyone. Switching to an overall healthy lifestyle can reduce the effects of PCOS and regain a healthy weight. Try Meditation and Yoga so that you can sleep well and reduce stress and anxiety. 

After reading the above blog, we sincerely hope that you are motivated to take the necessary steps in reducing weight due to PCOS. You will not feel confident, but will also be happy and light. For more information, our experienced team of doctors at the ZIVA Fertility Centers are always ready to help and talk to you. Come reach us at 91-9100002737, +91-9392834024 or email us at Info@zivafertility.com.

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