PCOS and ketogenic diet help effectively in treating PCOS symptoms.
So if you suffer from this disorder, do not worry, because this article will completely change your condition, as we will discuss the causes that lead to PCOS, and we address the root causes and not the symptoms. Also, we will talk about the effect of keto diet on PCOS and fertility.
First, let me ask you some questions, and if your answer is yes, then you will definitely need this information.
- Do you suffer from irregular menstruation?
- Are you losing weight constantly without an obvious reason for this?
- Suffer from acne?
- Do you use a lot of products and lotions to prevent your hair loss?
Although these strange embarrassing symptoms may seem unrelated to our topic, however, if you experienced them, it is possible that you suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome.
Although polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder for premenopausal women that usually develops when you are in your teens, approximately 70% of people with this disorder do not even know they have it.
Since PCOS is the number one cause of female infertility, they aren’t diagnosed in the early stages, but it appears later when a woman is trying to conceive.
Here’s the downside: Until now, the exact cause of PCOS has not been identified and there is no known treatment for it.
And it gets worse when conventional medicines are used to deal with symptoms of this syndrome, as these medicines do not solve the true underlying problem of PCOS.
Finally, scientists have been able to understand the relationship between eating less carbohydrates – as with the keto diet – and relapsing symptoms of PCOS.
That’s why in this article, we’ll explore the relationship between PCOS and the ketogenic diet from the ground up.
PCOS and pregnancy:
You know your period is supposed to happen roughly every 28 days!
This happens because one ovary releases a single egg. During this process, a cyst forms around the egg as it matures on the surface of the ovary.
Normally, the sperm will fertilize this egg and you will become pregnant. However, if that doesn’t happen, the uterine wall prepared to receive the fertilized egg will rupture, causing menstruation.
When you suffer from PCOS, menstruation can happen in a month and miss the following month. This is because the ovaries cannot release eggs.
Instead of an egg being released after its maturity and coming out of the ovary, it stays in place and continues to grow. After that, it may form a bag around it filled with fluid.
Cysts are one of the primary symptoms for everyone suffering from PCOS. Normally, the ovary appears normal on an ultrasound, but an ovary affected by PCOS will have many small lumps.
These lumps spread on its surface, which are eggs that have not been released and accumulated over time in the cysts.
A hormonal imbalance that affects luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH can cause this.
When lutein levels are high, your body produces a lot of androgens (which are male hormones such as testosterone).
Usually, your body does not need male hormones, you are a woman and these hormones will disrupt the ovulation process.
Additionally, since women with PCOS have low levels of sex hormone bound globulin (SHBG), they will have more testosterone released in the blood, making the situation much worse.
Is PCOS a disease?
They classified PCOS as an official disease for the first time by the medical community in 1935, but the first medical description of a woman suffering from the condition was in 1721 in Italy.
Now, after all this time, scientists still do not know the exact PCOS causes.
The accepted hypothesis about the PCOS causes is: ” a group of genetic factors that you cannot control and control, in addition to some personal lifestyles, habits, and environmental factors.”
PCOS symptoms range from menstrual irregularities to mood and weight problems.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles, such as random menstrual periods (known as delayed menstruation) and periods when menstruation never occurs (amenorrhea).
- Infertility and difficulty getting pregnant, as having irregular cycles makes it difficult for ovulation to occur.
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
- You may feel anxious, have panic attacks, mood swings, depression, fatigue, and a decreased sex drive also because of a hormonal imbalance.
- Skin tags may appear in the folds of the armpits and neck. You may notice dark areas on your skin, on both your arms and thighs.
- You need not have these symptoms to be diagnosed with PCOS. According to medical references; A woman must meet at least two of the following criteria to be diagnosed with PCOS.
PCOS on ultrasound:
If you have one or more PCOS symptoms, doctors may recommend you undergo ultrasound.
Multiple cysts on the ovaries that appear as “bulges” on ultrasound. Not every woman with PCOS has cysts.
PCOS pain; Is PCOS painful?
While most ovarian cysts cause little pain, when the cysts grow and become large, they may rupture and cause more pain. In this case, you will need professional medical attention.
PCOS hair loss:
Male hormones can thicken your body hair on your chest and abdomen (we know this condition as hirsutism). In addition, it may cause hair loss.
Also, you can also suffer from PCOS acne, all because of the excess male hormones that circulate in your body.
Menstrual irregularity or amenorrhea in PCOS
An imbalance in sex hormones in women suffering from PCOS.
The doctor can diagnose an ovarian cyst through an ultrasound scan.
Now that you are aware of what PCOS symptoms and the underlying causes, you may wonder can PCOS be cured with diet?
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PCOS and weight loss
You should lose a little weight (if your BMI is high) and follow a low-sugar diet as much as possible. The best thing for sure is the keto diet.
Calculate your BMI value to know whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.
Weight loss means lower insulin secretion, which can rid you of all the symptoms and health risks that we talk about.
These actions are what the ketogenic diet offers you.
So let’s talk scientifically about the relationship between the ketogenic diet and PCOS.
Keto diet for PCOS and fertility:
Ketogenic diets have been around since the 1920s and were used to treat patients with epilepsy.
Now, this diet proved it can also reverse diabetes and treat PCOS symptoms. This includes PCOS acne, PCOS hirsutism, and other health conditions associated with PCOS insulin resistance.
Unlike the traditional carbohydrate-rich diet, the ketogenic diet is one high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates.
Instead of your body using glucose for energy, eating low carbohydrates will switch to fat as an energy source. Also, that happens when you enter a state of ketosis, when the energy source will be fat.
In other words, your body will work on fats for energy instead of glucose. In order for your body to work on stored fats, you will need to deprive it of sugar.
As your body becomes adapted to the ketogenic diet, it will use up fats from your diet, then burn stored body fat when it needs more energy.
Most women will notice that they are losing weight quickly, just by relying on the ketogenic diet alone.
Read more; The worst foods on keto diet.
Weight loss and PCOS insulin resistance.
A low-carb diet will prevent you from eating foods that lead to insulin resistance and encourage weight loss.
For this reason, this system has shown positive results in patients with type 2 diabetes and people who suffer from obesity, and these are important factors in the treatment and control of PCOS.
Since it takes longer for the body to digest fats, you will feel full faster and for a longer time. You will reduce overeating and the desire to snack.
In one study, low-carb diets resulted in a 14% loss of body weight, insulin levels decreased by at least 50%, and insulin resistance and triglycerides decreased.
This 14% weight loss may seem small, but this means that a woman weighing 80 kg will lose 12 kg! This achievement may take the BMI out of obesity or overweight and place it within healthy limits.
In fact, women with PCOS have more difficulty losing weight. Surprisingly, 11 women with PCOS applied this diet for six months, they found amazing results.
The women in this study lost an average of 12% of their body weight and their insulin levels decreased by 54%.
Low body weight and low insulin resistance may be enough to rebalance your hormones, treat PCOS, and even help you conceive.
Learn more: How to avoid sugar spikes that makes you gain weight.
PCOS and Keto and pregnancy
Let’s talk more about why and why the keto diet is important especially for PCOS getting pregnant.
With PCOS can I get pregnant?
In an overview of previous scientific studies, the researchers wanted to know if there was an association between diet and fertility hormones in women who are overweight and obese.
The researchers observed a significant improvement in hormones in six out of seven women who adopted a low-carbohydrate diet such as the ketogenic diet.
Experts believe that following a low-carb diet may not only improve hormonal imbalances and aid regular ovulation, but it may also increase the chances of pregnancy compared to a traditional carbohydrate diet.
And remember, in this study women also lost 12% of their body weight.
In the same study, scientists noted that the ratio of luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) improved in all cases, which improved the chances of ovulation.
This is probably the reason 2 women struggling to conceive were lucky and could get pregnant during the study.
Check out how to reverse PCOS, boost metabolism, and restore fertility in 8 steps:
PCOS keto diet
If you have PCOS, following a ketogenic diet will help you at first. But you may need to make some minor changes to find what works best for your body.
To date, studies on the keto diet are still developing to assess its role in treating PCOS.
Now, follow these simple guidelines and you will never complain about PCOS symptoms again:
1-Lower carbohydrates intake gradually:
The most basic of the keto diet is restricting the amount of carbohydrates you should eat. Although this may help many cases of PCOS, it may not give results immediately.
If you are used to taking most of your calories from carbohydrates and you cut off this energy source, your body will become stressed and insulin resistance increases.
So your first step is knowing how much carbohydrates to eat.
A typical ketogenic diet aims to reduce your daily carbohydrate intake to approximately 30g of the daily amount.
If you are consuming 300g per day, the 30g can be very low. No doubt, this amount will be difficult to deal with at first.
Try starting slowly, take 100g. Then, move on to 75 grams, then 50 grams, then 35 grams, and maybe you will reach an average of 25 grams. After that, when you get used to reducing sugars.
Listen to your body. If you need to add more carbohydrates, add just a little at a rate of 5—10 grams to your total net daily carb intake.
Then, when you are feeling well, reduce the amount again to see if your body adjusts.
Although the ketogenic diet works faster the more carbohydrates are reduced, it will take some time for you to achieve the ideal amount of carbohydrates.
When 24 women followed the low-carb diet for eight weeks, they lost the equivalent of 10 kilograms and noticed a significant drop in blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and testosterone levels, all just by limiting the amount of net carbs to 70 grams per day.
2– Eat more fiber
Not only does fiber help control insulin levels and avoid insulin resistance. but it also maintains the digestive system and makes bowel movements smooth, helps you feel full and reduces inflammation.
For this reason, eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day with little to no fiber with every snack.
The best sources of fiber on a keto diet include:
- Chia seeds.
- Flax seed.
- Dark leafy greens (such as kale, watercress, and spinach).
There is a type of fiber that may lower male hormone levels and insulin levels. This type is found in several food sources such as:
- Flax seed.
- Sesame seeds.
Studies proved PCOS women who consumed only about 30 grams of flaxseed per day noticed a significant decrease in their testosterone levels.
Another study showed that obese women who consumed flax seeds better insulin sensitivity than women who did not eat these seeds.
3- Fatty fish and nuts
Fatty fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon, herring, and mackerel contain healthy omega-3 fats.
Studies proved their ability to improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS and significantly reduce glucose, and insulin resistance.
You’ll also find this powerful omega is found in nuts. Like walnuts and almonds, they are both beneficial in lowering androgen levels in women with PCOS.
Therefore, while your genetic factors cannot be altered, a ketogenic diet will be of great help in managing PCOS symptoms.
Check out this book that will help you with recipe ideas and PCOS diet meal plans for 16 weeks.
You should also follow some additional tips for the PCOS treatment plan to succeed:
PCOS recommendation; 3 ways to ease PCOS flare up:
Fortunately, following a ketogenic diet alone may be enough to prevent your PCOS symptoms from developing. Besides, you will see great success when combining these three tips:
- Exercise daily
Workouts can help lower blood sugar levels, prevent insulin resistance, and support a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is also very important for PCOS and weight loss, building muscle, and burning fat.
You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Studies show that exercise is ideal for women with PCOS. When eight women with this disorder followed a 16-week aerobic exercise regimen. Then, they noticed a clear improvement in their insulin sensitivity.
PCOS workout studies:
However, if you had irregular menstrual periods or if you wanted to conceive, stick to 12-week PCOS exercise. In one study led to a repeat period in 56% of the study participants and a return to a normal ovulation cycle in 43% of them.
Daily exercise improved fertility, decreased androgens and lipid accumulation in a four-week study of 45 women suffering from PCOS.
Yoga is another beneficial form of PCOS exercise, and it may improve insulin resistance and balance your hormone levels, and reduce risk factors for heart disease.
Check out The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health.
Want to form a master exercise plan to lose weight? Check this out.
- Reduce stress
Both anxiety and depression are signs and symptoms of PCOS. But stress directly leads to insulin resistance, which directly contributes to the worsening of PCOS symptoms.
Also, exercise has been shown to play a direct role in relieving stress and anxiety.
Therefore, in order to lower your stress levels, you will need to meditate and relax.
When 90 PCOS girls practiced yoga and meditation for one hour per day for a period of 12 weeks, they had better blood sugar and insulin levels, more balanced sex hormones, and more regular menstrual cycles, and their hirsutism was reduced compared to girls who did not They do these practices.
Additionally, practicing meditation and yoga helps you sleep better.
- Get enough sleep
It is difficult for anyone to sleep for a full eight hours, but researchers found in one review that “sleep disturbances were more common in women with PCOS compared to other women. Also, women with PCOS have more difficulty sleeping. ”
When women did not sleep enough for a full night, they experienced greater insulin resistance and menstrual irregularities.
Therefore, you should sleep seven to nine hours every night, and never put your phone on the bed or near you.
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When you combine the benefits of lowering insulin levels in a ketogenic diet with exercise, relieving stress, and sleeping long enough, you attack PCOS from all sides and increase your chances of reversing and easing many of the causes and symptoms of this disorder.