Guide to PCOS & Nutrition
Best Diet Tips, Foods and Recipes for Curing PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS (aka Stein-Leventhal syndrome), the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age, affects approximately five to ten percent of women worldwide. The condition involves the excess production of androgens (male hormones), which causes ovulatory dysfunction. In a normal menstrual cycle, a follicle containing an egg develops and degenerates after releasing the egg (ovulation). Women with polycystic ovaries do not release an egg regularly and have ovaries containing multiple clumps of underdeveloped follicles.
Polycystic ovaries may have no symptoms, in which case they are rather harmless. However, in some cases the cysts cause a number of symptoms, resulting in a polycystic ovary syndrome. These symptoms may include acne, obesity, excessive body hair often on the face and breasts (also known as hirsutism), and irregular or no periods, which may lead to fertility problems. Women with PCOS are also believed to be at an increased risk of heart disease. Furthermore, PCOS is strongly associated with problems related to blood sugar balance, such as insulin resistance and diabetes.
In fact, some studies suggest that PCOS might be caused by either insulin resistance or endocrine dysfunction, although more research is needed to confirm the cause of PCOS. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body does not respond to normal levels of insulin, and as a result, the body secretes more insulin into the bloodstream in an effort to reduce blood glucose levels. Some experts also believe that high levels of insulin may cause increased androgen production by the ovaries.
Interest in the nutritional approach to treating PCOS has received much attention in recent years. A diet promoting weight loss has proven to be particularly effective at beating PCOS. In addition, an increase or a decrease in the intake of certain nutrients may be helpful. HealWithFood.org's Nutrition Guide to Fighting PCOS is dedicated to providing comprehensive nutrition and diet related information for women suffering from the polycystic ovaries and PCOS. This online guide covers the optimal diet and the best foods for women with PCOS, and it features an extensive collection of recipes calling for the best anti-PCOS foods.
To start learning about PCOS and nutrition, choose one of the topics below: