To help offset the effects of PCOS:
Sept. 03, 2014
- Keep your weight in check. Obesity makes insulin resistance worse. Weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation. No single specific dietary approach is best, but losing weight by reducing how many calories you consume each day may help with polycystic ovary syndrome, especially if you're overweight or obese. Use smaller plates, reduce portion sizes and resist the urge for seconds to help with weight loss. Ask your doctor to recommend a weight-control program, and meet regularly with a dietitian for help in reaching weight-loss goals.
- Consider dietary changes. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets may increase insulin levels, so you may want to consider a low-carbohydrate diet if you have PCOS — and if your doctor recommends it. Don't severely restrict carbohydrates; instead, choose complex carbohydrates, which are high in fiber. The more fiber in a food, the more slowly it's digested and the more slowly your blood sugar levels rise. High-fiber carbohydrates include whole-grain breads and cereals, whole-wheat pasta, bulgur wheat, barley, brown rice, and beans. Limit less healthy, simple carbohydrates such as soda, excess fruit juice, cake, candy, ice cream, pies, cookies and doughnuts.
- Be active. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. If you have PCOS, increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control.
- Hoffman BL, et al. Williams Gynecology. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=768. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Clinical manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 4, 2014.
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- AskMayoExpert. What is the initial therapy recommended for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) fact sheet. Womenshealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html. Accessed June 4, 2014.
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- Domecq JP, et al. Lifestyle modification programs in polycystic ovary syndrome: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;98:4655.
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