Living With: PCOS

Few diagnoses can leave young ladies more distressed than PCOS. PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition where, because of hormonal imbalances, a woman’s body struggles with reproductive and metabolic issues such as infertility, weight gain, and more. This endocrine disorder can also have long term health repercussions even beyond the childbearing years, including a higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as higher rates of mood disorders.

Women who suffer from this condition will notice symptoms such as missed periods, weight gain at the midsection, abnormal growth of body hair, and oily, acne prone skin. Pelvic pain is also common, as is infertility from a lack of ovulation, sometimes due to the presence of cysts which form on the ovaries. While the exact cause of this condition is not known, there is a suspected genetic component.

The diagnosis often takes significant time to pinpoint, and the condition requires lifelong treatment. Patients usually work with an endocrinologist, a gynecologist, or both, in managing this disease. From a nutritional standpoint, there are many things that can be done to help the body function more normally. Specific dietary changes, targeted supplements, and lifestyle modifications can all help make significant improvement to a woman’s health and reproductive capability.

As with all medical conditions where dietary modification is necessary, working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a very wise decision. If you are suffering from this disorder, a knowledgable RDN can guide you in the process of making the diet and lifestyle changes that will help improve your health and fertility.