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Role of diet in treating PCOS

Date :01-Nov-2019

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is one of the common health conditions experienced by a lot of women. It is an endocrine disorder found in women, and it has become common due to lifestyle changes. There is a tremendous increase in the number of women who are affected by PCOS. This increasing number can be attributed to food habits.


  • Genes
  • Excess weight
  • Certain inflammations
  • Insulin resistance

PCOS Symptoms


  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Hair growth on face and body
  • Acne
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Headaches

Role of diet
Usually, PCOS occurs for women with a drastic change in food habits where there is a shift from eating fresh home-cooked food to processed food daily. Junk or processed food lacks the required fiber, nutrients, and minerals. These foods will contain a lot of preservatives, chemicals, pesticides, and other chemical fertilizers, which could be harmful and disrupt the endocrine system.

Women affected with PCOS need to reduce the intake of carbohydrates so that the insulin level can be balanced. Consuming processed sugar products can increase the insulin level, which will make the person insulin resistant. Certain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, millets, other grains can be added into the diet list as these are soluble fibers. Lipids also play a major role in the management of diet. PCOS diet includes the reduction of the intake of fried items, oily food, and trans-fat food. Dairy products and animal foods should be reduced as these fats will increase the weight, which would lead to further health issues. Symptoms like acne, hair growth on face and body, certain skin disorders, and psychological problems are associated with high androgen levels. If one could reduce the amount of fat intake, then the androgen levels can also be reduced.

People tend to gain weight faster when they eat quickly as the brain takes time to register that the stomach is full. Doctors suggest to eat slow and to include proteins, vitamins, and minerals in the diet and to consume the necessary meals on time. Throughout the day, a smaller quantity of food needs to be taken so that large amounts will not be consumed at the later hours. Large amounts of food can lead to high levels of insulin release in blood.

Processed sugar in the form of sweets, cakes, biscuits, and other desserts need to be avoided, and women need to consume more herbs, fruits, and leafy vegetables to get better immunity. Tropical fruits like gooseberry/ amla are rich in Vitamin C, which helps to prevent immunity problems found in PCOS. Antioxidants found in berries can help reduce the oxidants formed in the body, primarily due to lipid dysfunction.

Vegetables are always better and tastier when consumed raw or boiled than fried or barbeque. Nuts and dry fruits can add more taste to the food, plus it is healthy as it increases the required nutritional value in the body. Sprouts can add flavor to the salads and could be consumed without cooking.

PCOS diet
 At GIFT IVF, doctors will assist all women with the appropriate diet, especially for women with PCOS.
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Blog Reviewed By: Dr Anitha Mani
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