Treating PCOS naturally is possible, but takes effort and commitment. The name (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) clues you in on what’s going on: poly, meaning many, and cysts, small, (painful) liquid-filled sacs inside a woman’s ovary.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects a good number of things in your body. Symptoms include delayed or non-existent periods, along with painful period-like pains, acne and excessive hair growth or hair loss.
It’s often associated with insulin resistance as a key contributor, as well as hormone regulation. Once diagnosed, treatment is individual, and based on which symptoms are problematic. Depending on what’s driving your PCOS, the treatment would be complementary. Since PCOS is a hormonal disorder, balancing out hormones is a great way of addressing the symptoms of PCOS.
For people with acne, hair problems and irregular periods, doctors may prescribe hormonal birth control. The combination of estrogen and progestin, synthetic hormones that mimic your body’s own, can halt ovulation and regulate hormones so that your symptoms are relieved.
Some women, however, would prefer to address PCOS concerns in a more natural way. This includes reducing the inflammation that causes symptoms, opting for natural hormone-balancing methods and lifestyle changes.
Treat PCOS Naturally By Paying Attention To Your Diet
One way of treating PCOS naturally is through diet. If someone has insulin resistance, diet can be a game-changer. Some diet recommendations include:
- Eliminating simple carbs and sugars (like white bread, cakes and chips) can stabilize blood sugar levels. This can also help shift stubborn fat.
- Eating more vitamin D- and calcium-rich foods (like salmon, broccoli and spinach) can help with menstrual symptoms. A supplement of 1000mg and 100,000IU is shown to be therapeutic. Another way to boost your vitamin D is to spend some time outdoors. Bonus points if you use the time to exercise!
Time Your Calories
Kind of mind-blowing, but totally doable: Caloric timing can play a role in healing from PCOS naturally. In one study, women who consumed most of their calories (980cal) at breakfast saw improvements in testosterone, glucose and insulin levels. Crazy-cool, right? To do this, eat most of your calories with breakfast and scale down your intake throughout the day, so your lowest-calorie meal is at dinner.
Take A Supp
Supplementation can also help regulate hormones. Omega 3 supplements, chromium and magnesium are all important. Taking magnesium at night can improve blood glucose and insulin levels. Chromium supplements can help regulate insulin and blood sugar (a key driver of PCOS), while brain-healthy omega-3s are also ace at lowering testosterone levels as well as helping restart your periods.
Find A Workout Regimen
Kinda, sorta obvious, but an important building block in your healing from PCOS naturally is to break a sweat – regularly. Regular exercise is a key aspect of regulating stress and hormone levels. To stick with a sweaty schedule, make sure you find something you’re interested in, like a sport or activity that involves other people to keep you motivated.
Try A Probiotic
One 2016 study investigated the effects of probiotics in animals. They gave rats with PCOS lactobacillus, a strain of gut-healthy bacteria, as well as a faecal transplant. The rats’ ovaries improved. More research is required in humans, but probiotics are safe to take anyway. While you don’t necessarily need to opt for a faecal transplant, consider investing in a good-quality probiotic supplement and add kombucha and yoghurt to your menu.
Sadly, there is no cure for PCOS, but treatment can relieve symptoms. Each method will be different in each body, so chat to your doctor about your options and alternative methods.