Have you been on treatment for PCOS and been advised by your gynecologist to lose weight? Let me clear your doubts about can PCOS be cured by losing weight? Through this article I will try to bring to you some facts about obesity and PCOS.
The relationship between PCOS and obesity are not yet fully studied and understood. But most studies reveal a strong correlation between obesity and PCOS. Most women diagnosed with PCOS are overweight is what various studies have shown.
Let us elaborate on what happens in PCOS and obesity
Women with pcos produce high levels of insulin so as to overcome the decreased sensitivity to insulin known as insulin resistance which is a prominent component of PCOS. Increased insulin levels stimulate excessive androgen production which are male sex hormones which in turn lead to male pattern of fat distribution. Therefore women with pcos accumulate fat in the upper body and abdomen.Obesity aggravates the problem of insulin resistance thereby keeping the vicious cycle going on.So one of the ways out to minimize the effects and symptoms of pcos is to break the troublesome cycle.
Now we will be able to get to the answer to can pcos be cured by losing weight?
Though the pcos problem itself may not completely go away but reduction of its symptoms and effects may be achieved by attempting at weight loss ,thereby decreasing insulin resistance and associated problems.So losing weight is thought to be a major part of pcos treatment.
Now if infertility is your major problem associated with PCOS
What causes infertility in women with PCOS?
The excessive insulin produced sometimes causes overstimulation of the pituitary and excessive production of LH which is a hormone that stimulates the ovaries.The overstimulation results in development of multiple small follicles in the ovary none of which mature to the point of ovulation.This failure to ovulate during a menstrual cycle in some women with pcos results in infertility.
Can infertility in pcos be cured by losing weight?
Most women with pcos can conceive spontaneously just by losing weight. Weight loss reduces the insulin resistance ,thereby decreasing the insulin production which further brings the hormones involved in ovulation under control.
It also explains why some women who are obese even without PCOS have anovulatory cycles and fail to conceive.
Losing weight with PCOS
For some women it may seem impossible to lose weight with pcos as pcos itself triggers fat deposition.But as the saying goes “nothing is impossible when there is effort and persistency”.So persistent efforts to eat healthy and exercise regularly will help one achieve weight loss in pcos.
In pcos exercise may be in any form such as walking,jogging,yoga ,aerobics etc.But getting a moderate level of exercise on a day to day basis is important.
What to eat?
The diet should include plenty of green leafy vegetables,fruits,coloured vegetables,fish rich in omega3 fatty acids and lean meat such as skinless chicken and turkey.Snacking on whole nuts will provide your body with essential unsaturated fats.
What not to eat?
The foods to avoid in PCOS are sugary foods,saturated fats and dairy products.Sugary foods will lead to increased insulin production.Dairy products contain IGF-1 which mimicks actions of insulin in the body leading to worsening of pcos problem.
How much weight to lose?
You may target to lose anywhere around 5 % of your body weight.The improvement in symptoms may start becoming evident with that much of weight loss.In many women ovulation also resumes with losing about 5% of their body weight.The actual target depends on your initial BMI and the extent of problem and needs to be decided after discussing with your doctor.
Hope this article has given you a detailed and convincing answer to ‘can pcos be cured by losing weight?’.