- Maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active. Any form of regular exercise will help reduce insulin resistance. Additionally, regular exercise will start a domino effect reaction of positive influences on your mood, sleep, and stress levels. Exercise also helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a significant problem for 35–60% of women with PCOS and a high waist-to-hip ratio is linked with the characteristic high insulin, androgen, and estrogen levels that disrupt normal ovulation and fertility. Simply losing just 5% of your weight can lead to more regular menstrual cycles and ovulation. Decreasing the carb load as mentioned above will help you reach and maintain a health weight.
- Restore balance with nutritional and herbal support. You may benefit from a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin with a mineral balance high also in antioxidants. Other micronutrients that help to offset insulin resistance include the B vitamins, such as B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), B12, C, D and E; and specifically the minerals vanadium, chromium, magnesium, and manganese. By taking a daily omega-3 supplement this will help you counterbalance the systemic inflammation that almost always goes along with insulin resistance. For more specific hormonal and endocrine support, herbs such as chasteberry, raspberry leaf, kudzu, red clover, and milk thistle, as well as traditional adaptogens such as ashwagandha, astragalus and maca can be extremely helpful.
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- Reduce stress and create a balanced life. Many often overlook the fact that women with PCOS describe their lives as being riddled with anxiety. More often than others in the general population, and that those who experience difficulty conceiving also report higher rates of depression. Getting the support you need, either on line or with one on one support has been shown to be helpful to many that need it. Find what works for you.
- Visiting web sites that are specialized in treating PCOS can also be very helpful. PCOS Diva, PCOS Challenge, and In Cyst on the Best!. They offer information, support, recommendations, and tips for women with PCOS, whether you’re trying to conceive or not.
- Detoxify. By following our Nutritional and Lifestyle Guidelines closely, not only helps with insulin regulation, but also promotes optimal metabolism (detoxification) of sex hormones. Another thing to consider is to check your environment for endocrine disruptors For example, the ovaries have been shown to be very sensitive to bisphenol A (BPA), a widespread industrial chemical found in polycarbonate plastics. A simple solution is to stop using plastic containers for your food and beverage containers. And start using ceramic, glass or stainless steel.
For more information, read our articles on detoxification. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of dietary changes. For most women we see at the clinic, eating low carb is the single most helpful part of the plan. And we’ve had amazing success in helping women improve their chances of pregnancy just by using these simple steps. There have been many advances made in reproductive technology in recent years for women with PCOS. You can discuss your fertility treatment options with your practitioner or a qualified fertility specialist. But remember, in over 25 years of experience, we have found that a woman’s fertility treatment outcome is brightest when she first makes the above-recommended changes to restore her hormonal balance.
Yes, you can you heal your PCOS!
We often urge women to try many, if not all, of the dietary and lifestyle recommendations above to enhance their bodies fertility. Usually this change is recommended for at least 6 months and at that time the next steps can be addressed as the cycles have become more regular.