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Manage Your PCOS Symptoms with These Lifestyle Changes

Have your periods become irregular and your hair less abundant?  Do you have unwanted hair growth on your face, stomach, or back? Are you struggling with infertility? The cause may be polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), where small fluid-filled sacs or cysts form on your ovaries.

This condition occurs when your body makes too many androgens, male sex hormones that women typically only produce in small amounts. Insulin-resistant women have a higher risk of developing PCOS. 

If you’re diagnosed with PCOS, know that you’re not alone — the problem affects up to 5 million women during their reproductive years in the United States. There’s good news about PCOS, however: Lifestyle changes can help mitigate your symptoms, and you can go on to get pregnant if you hope to become a mom.

The expertise and warmth that define Dr. Kevin Hooker’s care mean that you’re in the best hands if you seek treatment for PCOS at Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care

PCOS symptoms and links to other conditions

Sometimes, getting diagnosed with PCOS can be a challenge since its symptoms are so diverse, and some don’t seem typically gynecological at all. In addition to fertility challenges and the other signs we mentioned, you may also experience:

Unfortunately, having PCOS puts you at risk for other serious conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and endometrial cancer.

Taking charge of PCOS with lifestyle changes

Dr. Hooker provides innovative treatment for women with PCOS, but there are also steps you can take to improve your condition.

1. Shed excess weight in a healthy way

Obesity is a risk factor for PCOS. Increasing your exercise supports weight loss, which can ease PCOS symptoms. 

It’s also thought that exercise can lower your testosterone levels, and since PCOS is associated with a hormonal imbalance, this is a good thing. We recommend that women with PCOS engage in 120 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly. 

Since increased physical activity helps you to lose weight, you’re also lowering your risk for insulin resistance, a cause of PCOS. Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond well to your pancreas producing the hormone insulin. This leads to an inability to use the fuel you get from food efficiently, so your blood sugar goes up. 

2. You are what you eat

You can also improve your PCOS symptoms by making changes to your diet, such as eating more fruits and veggies and less empty-calorie “junk” foods. 

What does a PCOS-friendly diet look like? More fiber, for one thing. Get 20-25 grams daily by eating fiber-rich foods like berries, legumes like beans and peas, broccoli, nuts, and seeds. 

Concentrate on an anti-inflammatory diet also since women with PCOS are often affected by a kind of inflammation that causes their ovaries to make more androgens. Good anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, tomatoes, whole grains, fatty fish like salmon, nuts and seeds, berries, and citrus fruits. Opt for olive oil, too, when cooking or for dressings. Fish oil supplements with vitamin E are also good.

In addition to adding the foods we mentioned, avoiding excessive carbohydrates and sugars is also a good idea.

3. Mindfulness rules

Unfortunately, but believably, PCOS is also linked to anxiety and depression in women. Adopting a practice like yoga, pilates, or tai chi engages both your mind and body and helps with PCOS symptoms. 

PCOS treatments

In addition to easing your PCOS symptoms with lifestyle changes, Dr. Hooker may recommend different treatments depending on whether or not you’re planning to get pregnant. 

If you’re trying to conceive, he may prescribe medication to help you ovulate. If you’re not looking to get pregnant, Dr. Hooker may advise that you take birth control pills, diabetes medications to help with insulin resistance and special medications that can help decrease unwanted hair growth and acne flare-ups. 

Call Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, at 928-683-1667 to schedule an appointment or request one online so you can be on the road to relief from PCOS.

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