PCOS and Weight Gain
Sunday, September 10th, 2017
Women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are more likely to be overweight or obese because the hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS can cause unexplained weight gain.
With PCOS, the body has difficulty using the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy so body gets into the condition called insulin resistance which causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgen and increased androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically around the abdomen.
Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain which can be detrimental to their health. problems like,Insulin resistance,Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol,high blood pressure ,sleep apnoea and all of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack.
So, the best solution for all these problems are to lose some weight :) Losing weight will make you look better and feel better. If you have PCOS, shedding just 5-10% of your body weight can restore ovulation,regulates menstrual cycle,improve fertilty,improves health during pregnancy and a child health during pregnancy and reduce risk factors for diabetes and heart disease . Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production which may in turn lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss.
The best way to lose weight with PCOS is to- Eat right which means small frequent healthy diet with high fiber and protein and low sugar . Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day ,in any form ,like yoga, cardio, strength or weight training . Take proper sleep of 7-8 hrs a day . Try and keep yourself stress free, take supplements like vitamins, minerals ,antioxidants . Metformin is a medication that helps lower insulin resistance. Supplements like inositol, which is similar to a B vitamin can help lower testosterone levels as well as insulin resistance, resulting in weight loss. Stop smoking,and regular intake of alcohol. If you have BMI over 40 then take help of the surgery like gastric bypass or banding to lose weight.
Whether PCOS is a direct cause of weight gain or not, losing weight and keeping a healthy lifestyle is definitely helpful in PCOS.
By Dr. Varsha Anand