Missing out on your periods? Low energy levels? Weight gain?
Are these accompanied by acne, male pattern hair growth, chunks of hairs falling out of your head, irregular periods, bloatedness, mood swings, depression?
If yes, then let me tell you more about the symptoms of PCOS. It doesn’t stop here. Later on the complications include diabetes, infertility and in severe cases endometrial cancer. But don’t worry it’s a correctable problem, by just changing your lifestyle and diet. Let me tell you everything from scratch. Moreover, let me highlight the female hormonal issues that are a major problem in young girls especially in the metropolitan cities. It’s the time we talk about these issues openly without feeling any form of embarrassment or awkwardness. These issues need to be spoken about.
If you are a girl suffering from this condition or you think you are suffering from this condition, the first thing you need to know is how to detect it early. There are 3 things for this.
- A lot of gaps in your periods or irregular periods.
- The symptoms you read in the beginning.
- An ultrasound report that says you’ve got cysts in your ovaries.
If you have any two out of these 3 , then you are a PCOS. Every one in five girls has this issue. And there’s nothing wrong with you. You just need to educate yourself about this condition and educate yourself about its solution. So let’s get into the science of PCOS.
What is PCOS/PCOD?
Wikipedia defines PCOS /PCOD or PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (/Disease) as a set of symptoms that take place due to an elevated level of androgens (or male hormones) in the female body. So it’s something going wrong with your hormones if you are a female.
Now here’s what happens under normal circumstances in a female body. This is how your body works.
Every woman has got ovaries and those ovaries produce eggs every month. Any internal function that happens inside your body is due to change in the hormonal levels of your body. This actually induces the formation of an egg. There’s a gland in your brain called Pituitary gland that releases luteinizing hormone or LH into your bloodstream. Every month there’s a sudden spike in LH levels and there’s a high amount of LH suddenly released. This sudden surge causes your ovaries to release one egg. So the released egg settles in the fallopian tube which is a part of the female reproductive system. And if a sperm comes and fertilises the egg, it develops into a foetus. But if the egg is left unfertilised, it’ll be excreted from the body during menstruation along with the lining of the uterus. So this is what happens under normal circumstances.
But with someone who’s suffering from PCOS, the hormones are all over the place and here’s what happens. If a woman is suffering from PCOS, the level of LH in the bloodstream is constantly high, so there’s no chance of a spike in the LH levels. And that’s why there is no release of eggs from the ovaries. These usually-high-levels of LH are sometimes accompanied by high levels of insulin. And this is where your hormonal system is completely out of place. This is also accompanied by release of androgens (or male hormones) inside a female body. And this gives rise to the symptoms of PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS
PCOS has a lot of symptoms which primarily arise due to the above hormonal imbalance. The first is a super low metabolism. So it becomes difficult to lose weight and easier to put on weight. And due to elevated androgen levels, there are a lot of changes happening to the body such as irregular periods, facial or body hair growth, acne, depression, mood swings, weight gain etc. Sometimes girls don’t get their periods for months at a stretch or sometimes the period lasts for 10 days with heavy flow. A lot of times, females get acne on one side of the face which represents the affected ovary. But all these are immediate short term effects. If PCOS isn’t treated early on, the long term effects include infertility, diabetes and ovarian cancer at the worst. And that’s why it’s a major concern in the 21st century. So it needs to be taken care of there and then.
Causes of PCOS
There’s no fixed reason for PCOS to affect someone. It may be genetic too but doctors and medical experts strongly believe that it usually results because of a defective lifestyle or lack of exercise and insufficiency of adequate diet.
From our history, we know that human beings are the supreme predators on this planet. We are just evolved monkeys but the highest kind of primate on this planet. We have overtaken bears, lions, wolves and tigers to become the utmost predators on this planet. We have also learned about food chains in school. Human beings are at the top of every single food chain in the world. As we are the most evolved predators on this planet, our bodies are made to perform a variety of physical activities like running behind animals, throwing spears and hunting. That’s what our bodies are built to do. Our bodies are built to exert themselves.
Also, the correct kind of food is the correct fuel that we’re supposed to take inside our bodies. For the longest time that’s what was happening. Human diet was clean and our lifestyle was satisfactory. But in the last 100 to 200 yrs, our lifestyle has changed . The world has become modern and we started using machines. And in the last 20 to 30 yrs, our lifestyle has changed for the worse. That’s why issues like PCOS are on the rise in such a horrible way because our lifestyle has been affected very badly.
We have 2 major enemies in our society right now. Sugar and all processed food. We have heard a lot of girls saying that they can’t give up sugars and dessert. They need chocolates to be happy. Sugar is an addictive substance that’s ruining your body. If you could pick one food that’s the absolute worst for your body- it’s Sugar! It’s making you gain weight and it’s potentially causing all these other hormonal issues in the body.
Again there’s no fixed reason for PCOS. But it’s all linked to having a dirty diet and lack of exercise. That’s what doctors agree on. If you go to a doctor, there will be one or two outcomes. Either they will give you some kind of medicine, which is not the correct way of treating PCOS. Or they’ll tell you to fix your lifestyle. They’ll tell you to exercise and eat clean. And if you’re talking about eating clean then remember rule number one is to give up sugar completely.
Remember, PCOS is a condition where your body is signalling that “HEY something’s wrong with this machine so you’ve to repair that. You’ve been putting the wrong fuel inside your body. And the second thing you’re doing wrong is that you’re not exerting your body enough.
Let’s begin the healing process
Follow the 3 R’s
No sugars. No processed foods.
The food that takes more time to cook, also takes more time to get digested by our body.
Start taking fibers,sprouts, veggies, salad, fruits, wholegrains, and a lot of greens. Get your proteins and carbs intake right. Drink lots of water. Remember our bodies are built to climb trees, hunt animals and run superfast. Exercise is very important. Push your body to a limit where you are sweating and you are feeling your muscles grow in terms of strength. In the 21st century that’s what we’re not doing. And all these issues are combining and coming up in the form of PCOS in women.
Minimize your stress levels. Meditate. Stop your late-night shows and maintain a proper sleep cycle.
It is advised to consult a gynaecologist, especially when the situation doesn’t get in control.
Also check during the day, how you spend your time. If the job requires sitting all the time, there’s always a pressure in our abdominal region, our back and kidneys and so these areas are going to suffer. Therefore, every half an hour we should be walking. Whenever we remember, we should be stretching ourselves upwards. We should try to be active at lower levels. Furthermore, if the clothes which we’re wearing are very tight, that does not allow free movement of our abdominal area. So clothes should be very comfortable and not very tight.
Girls out there! Take charge of your body. Ignorance is not the key. So listen to your body. If you’re getting mood swings, keep quiet so that you don’t get into heated arguments with your loved ones. Do everything that makes your body’s metabolism work well. Connect with your body and don’t criticize. Don’t self-hate during your journey of healing.
Exercise. Dance. Get your happy hormones out. Stay healthy! Stay happy!