PCOS is a very popular disorder among women of reproductive age, as it affects 1 in 10 of them, although not all of them show symptoms. If you already heard about it, you probably know that it results in imbalanced hormones and impacts your metabolism, which can reflect on your physical and mental health. What are the best supplements for PCOS? Keep reading until the end to find out.
- 1 What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS?
- 2 Causes
- 3 Symptoms
- 4 Natural Supplements for PCOS
- 5 Can You Get Rid Of PCOS?
- 6 When Should You Seek Medical Care?
- 7 8. Conclusion
What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS?
PCOS is a disorder affecting women of reproductive and childbearing age. Some of its most common symptoms are excess androgen levels (aka the male hormone), as well as irregular or prolonged periods of menstruation. These symptoms are a reflection of the malfunction of ovaries as they start developing follicles and releasing the eggs irregularly.
The causes of PCOS are not clear. Studies have shown that a lot of women with PCOS have insulin resistance in common. This means that the body fails to use insulin the right way, which results in high insulin and androgen levels.
Women with PCOS who suffer from obesity can endure more irritating symptoms as both of the disorders work on increasing insulin levels. It can also be a genetic disorder but there is no scientific proof to back this hypothesis up. If your mother, aunt, or sister have it, chances of you developing it eventually are pretty high.
Women with PCOS usually suffer from the first symptoms right after puberty and around their first menstrual period. But sometimes it can come later in life in the form of weight gain or obesity.
There are many PCOS symptoms and they differ from a person to another:
- Irregular periods: The regular cycle is 28 days. If you have periods between 21 and 40 days, your cycle can still be regular. Any cycle of less than 21 days or more than 40 days is considered irregular.
- Prolonged periods: Periods usually last between 3 to 8 days. Women with PCOS usually have a longer menstruation period.
- Heavy periods: Women with regular periods will lose less than 80ml (from 6 to 8 teaspoons) during each one. Women with PCOS suffer from heavy periods and end up losing more than 80ml.
High levels of Androgen
High insulin levels can cause the ovaries to produce more Androgen hormones (also known as the male hormones) such as Testosterone. You can notice the excess of androgen levels by showing unusual facial and body hair, suffering from the typical pattern of male baldness (which begins at the hairline), and sometimes by having dark skin on the back of the neck or under the arms, or having severe acne as a result of the hormonal imbalance.
Follicles are underdeveloped sacs surrounding the eggs which are being released during ovulation. Patients with Polycystic Ovary suffer from follicles malfunction as they become unable to release the eggs, which also means that it stops the ovulation.
Natural Supplements for PCOS
Supplements for PCOS also mean supplements for irregular menstrual cycles, anxiety, hair growth, weight loss, etc.
1. Magnesium and PCOS
It is very common to hear about Magnesium and PCOS, as it is one of the best anti-stress nutrients and PCOS supplements. It works on calming your nervous system, helps you relax and have a better-quality sleep by balancing your HPA axis (responsible for stress), improves your insulin resistance and thyroid function, promotes estrogen metabolism, and much more.
Some of the foods high in magnesium are bananas, avocados, almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the vitamins for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome that helps a lot with regulating menstrual and ovulation periods. It is also good for insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity.
You can have your body producing Vitamin D by being exposed to the sun. Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as red meat, egg yolks, oily fish (small forage such as sardines and anchovies, or larger pelagic such as salmon and tuna…)
Cinnamon is a spice usually extracted from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It is one of the PCOS Supplements that work on balancing insulin levels and helps with insulin resistance, which eventually reduces the symptoms. It also reduces bad cholesterol and blood pressure and boosts your overall health.
You can add it to your dessert, hot chocolate, matcha… Or sprinkle it on your toasts and lattes, etc.
Inositol (also known as vitamin B8) is one of the vitamins for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome that encourages hormonal and ovarian support and works on managing and treating some of PCOS symptoms, since it helps with insulin resistance and reduces androgen levels. It can also help with fertility since it works on regulating ovulation periods.
Inositol can be produced through the carbs you consume, or can also be found in foods such as fruits, grains, nuts, and beans. You can also opt for inositol supplements as a powder or capsules that you can drink with water.
Probiotics have amazing results as PCOS supplements, especially when it comes to gut health. Gut health is actually related to a lot of PCOS symptoms such as skin conditions, mood swings, mental health, and of course your immune system and overall health. They will also balance androgen and estrogen levels in your body and combat insulin resistance, along with reducing inflammation and helping with your digestion.
Some foods that are rich in probiotics are kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kimchi, etc. but you can also opt for probiotics supplements.
6. Omega 3
Foods that are rich in Omega 3 can help you regulate your menstrual cycle and reduce testosterone levels. It can also play a big role in losing fat (especially around the waist).
We recommend consuming Cod Liver Oil, as it has high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (vitamin D and A).
Zinc is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that works on boosting your immune system and improving your fertility. It also balances your HPA axis responsible for stress hormones. You can find high amounts of Zinc in oysters, seafood (crab or lobster), red meat, poultry, nuts, beans, grains, etc.
Zinc supplements will also help you control unusual hair growth and partial or complete baldness (known as alopecia).
8. N Acetyl Cysteine NAC
What is N Acetyl Cysteine? NAC is an antioxidant that works on decreasing inflammation and getting rid of oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when the balance of antioxidants and free radicals is disturbed, which eventually damages your cells. NAC comes to adjust this balance by boosting antioxidants in the body through glutathione production. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, NAC is very useful for women with PCOS since it also decreases insulin resistance, testosterone, and helps balance your menstrual periods.
Can You Get Rid Of PCOS?
Technically speaking, women with PCOS can’t really get rid of it, but they can work on the management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and treat its symptoms. Without even resorting to drugs, you can ease the symptoms by making simple changes to your lifestyle and making it healthier, as well as consuming natural remedies.
Follow An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Your immune system is often triggered after recognizing a foreign element in your body, which results in inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet, as its name states, consists of avoiding inflammation that can be caused by several foods such as: refined carbs, red and processed meats, french fries, sodas, etc.
There are many ways to handle stress easily. Start by devoting time to taking care of yourself. You can opt for meditation, listen to relaxing music, design the perfect morning routine that helps with your daily anxiety and stress, or anything else you can think of that makes you feel peaceful.
Physical workouts can also help you reduce stress. Consider some low-intensity workouts like going for long walks, swimming, pedaling on a bicycle, etc. Exercise will also improve your sleep drive and help you sleep better for longer hours.
When Should You Seek Medical Care?
These natural supplements will help you ease the physical symptoms of PCOS, but if you suffer from extreme ones such as severe acne, excessive hair growth, drastic weight gain, you might want to consult with your doctor for an evaluation.
You need to know that it is very common to find women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Unfortunately, it can lead to heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, or endometrial cancer.
These 7 natural supplements are no easy-fix to the problem, and their efficiency differs from a person to another. But, either way, they will still provide your body with nutrition and boost the benefits of your PCOS-friendly diet. They are available, safe, and affordable solutions that you must try until you find the best one for your body. Consider trying them before turning to a treatment plan.