PCOS AND NUTRITION
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. The disease can be considered as a common and complex disorder that has emerged with the interaction of genetic and environmental factors.
This disease, also defined as the Stein-Leventhal Syndrome;
• Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)
• Absence or irregularity of menstruation
• Inability to conceive
• Obesity / especially abdominal obesity
• It is characterized by the formation of numerous cysts in the ovaries.
Most women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may experience abdominal fat, difficulty losing weight, excessive carbohydrate consumption and hypoglycemic periods (low blood sugar).
PCOS, rather than being a simple ovulation disorder, is a disease that should be monitored carefully and should not be neglected because of long-term health risks such as Type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular diseases.
In polycystic ovary syndrome; LH and FSH hormones secreted from the pituitary gland are produced abnormally. Due to this imbalance, the menstrual cycle changes and there is no regular ovulation or no menstruation (amenorrhea) every month, and the production of male hormones from the ovaries also increases. These secreted male hormones (androgens) turn into estrogen and this estrogen increases LH production on return and a vicious circle occurs. In general, insulin hormone metabolism, which ensures that blood sugar remains within normal limits, may also be impaired, resulting in a resistance to insulin.
How Should the Nutritional Treatment Be?
A balanced and rich list of PCOS diets can aid weight control, balance insulin levels and reduce the risk of developing polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms. Polycystic ovarian diet to be applied against PCOS symptoms should be individual and prepared by the nutritionist. The polycystic ovarian diet and a diet suitable for diabetes have many common points.
Relationship of PCOS with Diseases
• Some of the women with this diagnosis have Type 2 diabetes or a tendency to diabetes (insulin resistance) or these conditions may develop in these women after a certain period of time. So PCOS alone can pose a risk for Type 2 diabetes.
• The combined prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance and Type 2 diabetes in PCOS patients has been reported up to 35-40% in various studies.
• 40-60% of PCOS patients have obesity and it is often in the form of abdominal obesity.
• Because PCOS is a condition in which androgen (male) hormones are high in the blood, these
high levels have adverse effects on blood lipids (lipids).High triglyceride and decreased HDL
cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in women.
• PCOS is a condition that increases the risk of developing hypertension in older ages.
PCOS and Nutrition Plan
• Some studies on PCOS and nutrition; While recommending a low-carb diet, some studies also recommend a low glycemic index (GI) diet to control insulin levels.
• Low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets can overcome insulin resistance, but should not be preferred for long periods of time, as this may increase the use of proteins in place of carbohydrates and should be adjusted carefully.
• The correct use of carbohydrates and adequate protein consumption at every meal can also keep low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) attacks under control.
• Low-saturated fat foods should be preferred. It is important to avoid full-fat products.
• In order to ensure high fiber intake, the consumption of vegetables, fruits and legumes
should be emphasized.
• In addition to these eating habits, food intake should be done at intervals of 2-3 hours. In this
way, by keeping the blood sugar level in balance, eating attacks can be prevented.
• Regular exercise is at least as effective as diet in insulin metabolism. 30 minutes of moderate
intensity exercise daily will be effective in weight control.
• The importance of teamwork (doctor, dietician, psychologist) should be remembered in
patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and people should be followed in this way.