Can a Low Carb Diet Help Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
An estimated 9-22% of menstruators live with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in India. A prevalent endocrine disorder, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility. While many try different methods to curb it, a low-carb diet is a factor often overlooked.
Low-carb diets have been shown to reverse the effects of PCOS. However, to understand how this diet can help, let's first get to know what causes PCOS.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two hormones responsible for the regulation of the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce a small number of androgens, typically called the "male hormones". In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, it is found that the levels of androgen are heightened. Some symptoms include the development of acne, irregular menstruation, darkening of the skin on creases and folds, difficulty in conceiving, and mental health issues like depression.
Insulin is a vital hormone that regulates our blood sugar levels and breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is later absorbed into our bloodstream. However, in cases of constant exposure to insulin, cells develop resistance to it, which causes our bodies to compensate by producing even more insulin. Due to these high levels of insulin, ovaries produce more testosterone.
Typically, all therapies that work towards lowering one’s insulin levels and insulin resistance and aid weight loss can help treat PCOS. Cutting down your carb intake means a lower amount of glucose enters your body.
Per a 2005 pilot study, a Low Carb Ketogenic Diet led to significant improvement in weight, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH ratio, and fasting insulin in women diagnosed with PCOS and obesity over a 24 week period.
A 2016 study has shown that with overweight and obese people, a low-carb diet can improve hormonal imbalance and can actively reduce insulin levels, facilitating weight loss, and improving fertility.
Nancy Dunne and Bill Slater’s book "The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility", covers extensive research conducted by various universities that explained how low-carb diets helped with better glucose tolerance and reduction of androgens.
A low GI (glycemic index) diet was found to be more helpful for PCOS, and resulted in insulin sensitivity, according to this study published in the Journal of Obesity and Weight Loss Therapy.
If you're confused about how and where to start, do not worry! It is important to have a sustainable meal plan to start your journey! By implementing changes in your lifestyle, you can curb major health complications. Coupled with physical activity, you can transform your way of living.
We at Lo! Foods have been endeavoring to bring to you a reimagined range of food products to uplift your health without having to compromise on taste. Apart from the wide range of Low Carb food products, You can now avail our dietician-backed, nutritious low-carb meals delivered to your doorstep.
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