Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Lifestyle Changes that Can Help with the Treatment of PCOS

PCOS, restore hormonal balance, Columbia Fertility Associates

When your doctor diagnosed you with PCOS, it probably wasn’t the happiest day of your life. Though you were glad to finally find out why you experienced symptoms, such as missed periods and heavy bleeding, knowing that your hormones were out of balance made you wonder if you’d ever be able to conceive a child.PCOS

Though PCOS is a common cause of infertility in women, it’s also highly treatable. The condition arises when your body produces too many androgens, which are “male” hormones. That’s why two symptoms of PCOS — facial hair and male-pattern baldness or hair thinning — are more commonly seen in men than in women.

The exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, bit it may be at least partly hereditary. Both low-grade inflammation and too much of the hormone insulin are also factors that can trigger your body to produce high levels of androgens. Luckily, when PCOS is diagnosed early, you may be able to reverse inflammation and control your insulin levels with a few adjustments to your lifestyle.

Your specialist at Columbia Fertility Associates — conveniently located in Washington, DC, Bethesda, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia — helps you balance your hormones by advising the following changes:

Avoid processed foods and sugar

Eating foods that are processed or high in sugar or corn syrup causes your blood sugar levels to spike. If your blood sugar is too high, your body can’t produce enough insulin to process it.

Normally, your body uses insulin to get blood sugar into your cells, where it’s converted to fuel. Without enough insulin to move it into your cells, the sugar remains in your blood. High levels of circulating blood sugar can lead to diabetes, organ damage, and the production of the excess androgens associated with PCOS.

Processed foods and sugar may also trigger your body’s immune response, leading to low-grade inflammation. Inflammation is not only associated with PCOS, but also a range of other health conditions, including heart disease.

Eat more whole foods

Though you may feel deprived by giving up some of your comfort foods, you can tickle your palate with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. We can help you plan a diet that’s good for you and tastes good, too. You can also learn new, healthier ways of cooking old favorites.

One way to easily add in healthier foods that normalize your insulin levels and hormones is to shop around the perimeters of your local grocery store, rather than in the aisles that contain processed foods. You can also take the opportunity to learn more about healthy cuisines from around the world as you explore new kinds of foods and new ways of eating.

Move more

Exercise gets a bad rap because it sometimes feels like a chore. But when you were a kid, you called exercise “play.” Sports, dancing, skating, swimming, and running or cycling with your friends or family all counts as exercise.

If you haven’t been active in a while, we can help you find activities that are appropriate to your current abilities. Adding in more activities gradually, and stressing variety — such as lifting weights two days a week, taking a dance class twice a week, and cycling with family on weekends — helps stave off boredom.

And suddenly you’re losing weight

One of the best ways to control PCOS symptoms and restore hormonal balance is to take off unneeded pounds. In fact, losing just 10-15% of your current body weight may make the difference. By eliminating sugar and processed foods from your diet and adding in a variety of fun physical activities, you’re well on your way to a healthy, stable weight.

Whether you find lifestyle changes fun or daunting, your doctor here at Columbia Fertility Associates is with you every step of the way. In addition to lifestyle changes, we may recommend hormonal therapy or medications to increase your chances of pregnancy. If these therapies don’t work, we may advise surgery or other fertility treatments.

To get your hormones back in balance so you can have the pregnancy you desire, call us at any of our office locations or click the button to get started online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding Antiphospholipid Syndrome

You’re having trouble getting pregnant. You may have even had a miscarriage. Or two. Your doctor says you test positive for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). What is APS, and will it prevent you from having a baby?

Common Causes of a Miscarriage

If you suffer the loss of a pregnancy, you may secretly wonder if it’s “your fault.” Was it because you kept up with your daily run, or had sex, or did something “wrong”? Most of the time, miscarriage is beyond your control.

Fertility Care and COVID19: What You Should Know

You’re eager to start your family. With quarantines and shutdowns, you certainly have enough time on your hands. But is it safe to get fertility treatments when the coronavirus pandemic is raging? The answer depends on your unique situation.

Unpleasant Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

You feel tired all the time, but you can’t fall asleep at night. Your periods are heavy and painful, and you keep gaining weight. Now your doctor says you may be infertile. Could unbalanced hormones be at the root of your symptoms?

Infertility Testing from A to Z

When you discover you’re infertile, you want to know why. What tests do you need? Just a few or all of them? And will the test results give your doctor the information needed to help you get pregnant?

Understanding Male Infertility

When you find out that you’re one of the reasons — or the main reason — why you and your partner haven’t been able to get pregnant, you might feel confused or angry. Why are you infertile? The answer can be complex.