PCOS is a hormonal condition that causes a set of symptoms in females like elevated androgen levels(male hormones), irregular or no menstruation, difficulty conceiving, obesity, Diabetes, Acne, Male-pattern hair growth (Hair on the face, chest, thighs, etc), Mood changes, Depression, etc.
It is the most common hormonal problem affecting females today. About 6-21% of females of reproductive age have PCOS and up to 72% of females with PCOS have Infertility. Around 50-70% of females with PCOS have insulin resistance.
PATHO PHYSIOLOGY – In PCOS, the ovaries start producing excess testosterone (the reason is still unknown) – which stops the release of eggs from ovaries but the egg production is still not stopped – these eggs start building up in the ovaries and look like cysts on ovaries (on USG). There can be multiple cysts in the ovaries and hence produce the above-mentioned symptoms.
DIAGNOSIS – PCOS can be diagnosed by symptoms such as Menstrual irregularities, obesity, and an increase in male hormone levels. Blood tests may show elevated levels of Testosterone, Decreased FSH(follicle stimulating hormones), Elevated Estrogen. In addition, Diagnostic tests such as USG may show the ovaries larger than the normal size with cysts around them.
CONVENTIONAL/ ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT: Currently there is no specific treatment available for PCOS, the medicines are given according to the individual symptoms. Medicines such as Metformin is given to control the Diabetes; Hormones such as Progesterone, estrogen can be given to regulate the menstrual cycle. If the female is not trying to conceive, Birth control pills or IUD can be considered.
NATURAL MEDICINES like Homeopathy can be quite effective in regulating the menstrual cycle, decreasing insulin sensitivity, controlling excess weight, and mood swings. Homeopathic remedies like Pulsatilla, sepia, Natmur, Calcarea carb, Apis Mel, Lachesis, etc have shown to provide relief in the symptoms. Remember to always consult a Homeopath and avoid self-prescription.
HERBS like Ashwagandha, Holy basil(Tulsi), Licorice root, Turmeric, etc can be helpful in supporting female hormones.
DIET & NUTRITION: Foods low in carbohydrates, processed sugars, and trans fats are usually advised for PCOS. Iron-rich diet, noninflammatory foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits, olives, fatty fish should be consumed. Probiotics have also proven to not only improve gut health but also to manage androgen production.
Supplements such as Vit D, Magnesium, Zinc, Omega 3 can be taken.
A minimum of 8 hrs of sleep is advised for females suffering with PCOS as sleep supports healthy hormonal functions and reduces stress.
Yoga and exercise should be a part of everybody’s lifestyle but for the people who have PCOS, some Yoga Asanas/Postures which can be of great help are : Suryanamaskar, Balasana (child’s pose), Badra konasana (Butterfly pose), Naukasana (boat pose), Dhanurasana (Bow pose).
Remember to always consult your doctor if you have symptoms that might be concerning to you. A right diagnosis followed by the correct medications (Natural or allopathic) along with lifestyle modifications can help your health get back on track faster.