Your doctor will administer tests to determine if you have PCOS. If you are diagnosed with the condition, work with your doctor and dietitian to make lifestyle changes to continue to live a normal life.
Learn more about PCOS Symptoms here.
PCOS is a condition that causes a hormonal imbalance in women of reproductive age. Each woman's PCOS symptoms are different. Many studies have explored the link between blood sugar, insulin, and PCOS. Here's what science has taught us:
✔️ Regulating your hormone levels is an effective way to control your symptoms and improve fertility issues related to PCOS. Control hormone levels by consuming nutritious, high fiber foods, and eliminating blood sugar issues associated with PCOS.
✔️ Modest weight loss (5-10%) through exercise and a specific PCOS diet can alleviate common PCOS symptoms.
Facts to Remember about PCOS
Check out the 5 Things Every Woman with PCOS Should Know
Start with your PCP and OB/GYN. Be prepared to discuss your signs and symptoms, as well as your family's reproductive medical history. If they believe that your condition may be PCOS, ask them to refer you to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists specialize in hormone-related disorders.
Your PCP, OB/GYN and Endocrinologist will conduct a symptom assessment and review your blood work to check hormone levels and make a diagnosis. Your OB/GYN may also perform an ultrasound on your ovaries to detect cysts or follicles symptomatic of PCOS.
To learn more about our approach to helping you manage your PCOS click here
Research suggests lifestyle change to be the FIRST line of treatment for women dealing with PCOS. Women who achieve weight loss of as little as 5-10% of their body weight experience a significant improvement in ovulation rates. Before speaking with our dietitians to build a PCOS diet, discuss your specific diagnosis and treatment plan with your doctor in detail. Bring all of this information to our dietitians so that we can build a PCOS diet tailored specifically to you. Our recommendations will vary depending on the presence and severity of your specific symptoms.
The Basics of a PCOS Diet
Vitamins and Minerals Important for PCOS Symptom Relief and Food Sources
|salmon, eggs, mushrooms, fortified milk and juices|
|tuna, almonds, eggplant, strawberries, corn, oranges, beans|
|eggs, turkey breast, himalayan salt, salmon, yogurt|
|tuna, salmon, pork, fortified whole grains, turkey, eggs, cottage cheese, spinach|
|avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, whole grains, bananas|
Many people try fad diets as a way to alleviate their PCOS symptoms. But should they?
People who suffer from inflammation caused by lactose, gluten, or soy will find advantages to following dairy-free, gluten-free, or soy-free PCOS diets. However, in regards to a PCOS diet, no scientific data currently exists to support restricting or avoiding entire food groups or specific items to improve symptoms.
We know that to improve PCOS symptoms, it helps to lose 5-10% of your body weight and and exercise regularly. Your dietitian will be able to work with you to determine a specific PCOS diet to optimize your health.
Vegan diets consist of eating grains, vegetables, and fruits. If following a vegan diet for PCOS symptom management is an option for you, it is imperative to include high quality carbohydrates that do not exceed 45% of your daily food intake.
Because vegan diets consist of vitamin- and mineral-rich whole foods, it can be tremendously useful in alleviating PCOS symptoms. Research has shown that following a proper vegan diet can improve ovulation, regulate menstruation, and reduce risk for future conditions associated with PCOS, such as type 2 diabetes. Speak with our dietitians and nutritionists to ensure you are eating a nutritionally sound vegan diet to reduce weight and manage PCOS symptoms.
The Ketogenic Diet, (Keto) is a special high-fat, low carbohydrate diet designed to control seizures in individuals diagnosed with epilepsy. In recent pop culture, the Keto diet is viewed as a quick weight loss solution. Because the Keto diet is an extremely strict, nutritionally unbalanced diet, we do not recommended it for PCOS management. In order to create a lifetime of nutritionally sound habits, follow the advice of your dietitian to manage you PCOS. Avoid the Keto diet.
We do not recommend Intermittent Fasting for long term PCOS symptom relief. If you have PCOS, it is very important to consume multiple small meals throughout the day. This approach will allow your insulin levels to self-regulate and remain balanced. If you are intermittent fasting, your large meals cause Hyperinsulinemia (excess insulin in blood). Hyperinsulinemia increases androgen production, increasing the clinical effects of PCOS!
Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy weight are key in managing PCOS symptoms. Consuming a diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will aid in healing your body from the inside out. Anti-inflammatory foods can also make a big difference. The following food choices will help keep blood sugar levels stable while helping to achieve a healthy weight to manage complications associated with PCOS.
Eating meat low in fat will aid in weight loss and keep you feeling full longer.
Eating carbohydrates that are high in fiber will work to lower insulin levels and lower inflammation in the body.
|Antioxidant Rich Fruits and Veggies
Antioxidants will work to decrease inflammation in the body, boost immunity, and help to prevent obesity.
|Heart Healthy Fats
Fat is a biological necessity and will increase hormone production, aid in vitamin absorption, and improve heart health and brain function.
To achieve weight loss and improve PCOS symptoms, speak with our dietitians about proper portions, and portion sizes. This ensures that you are getting the right amount of nutrients you need to manage your PCOS.
Let your intuition guide you. A PCOS Diet emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed healthy food to enable vitamin absorption, nutrient intake, and weight loss. It is important to stay away from refined sugars, white flour, and excessive sugary beverages. These products increase blood insulin, which results in greater androgen production... ultimately worsening PCOS symptoms.
Steer clear of:
Weight loss can be difficult for women with PCOS, but it is achievable. It is important to remember that weight loss with PCOS will be gradual and slow due to the hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and blood sugar issues associated with PCOS. To reach your weight loss goals, work with your doctor to incorporate medications that will work to improve insulin sensitivity. Weight loss will be possible when you combine a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper medication. Remember, weight loss may be slow, but once you lose ~5-10% of your body weight, your PCOS symptoms will be largely controlled.
Should I still need to follow a PCOS Diet if i am not overweight?
Not all women with PCOS are overweight or obese. About half of all PCOS cases are women fall within a normal weight range. Women diagnosed with PCOS will have ovaries that are over sensitive to the effects of insulin, resulting in excessive androgen production. Even if you are not overweight, by eating a well balanced diet, you can decrease the effects of insulin on your ovaries.
In addition, even women who are considered a normal weight are at an equal chance of developing risk factors associated with PCOS, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, infertility, and type 2 diabetes. It is important to consume a high quality diet to support blood sugar control and hormone balance. In addition, establishing a regular exercise routine to maintain a healthy weight to prevent these conditions is important.
Controlling PCOS symptoms and hormone levels is your best strategy for improving fertility for PCOS. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diet, fertility, and PCOS. Work with your dietitian to create a balanced, high quality, whole food, high fiber PCOS Diet that meets your needs.
Achieving weight loss will increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Studies suggest that women with PCOS are able to become pregnant once their PCOS is well managed. In addition to helping to manage PCOS symptoms, weight loss can help facilitate pregnancy, decrease maternal risk once pregnant, and lower miscarriage prevalence.
Your symptoms are unique to you. Your nutritionist tracks your food with you and makes specific recommendations to help you feel better.
Based upon your daily routine, we will build a custom plan to help alleviate your PCOS symptoms.
Success does not happen overnight. If something isn't working quite right, we make changes right away.
We have helped hundreds of women manage their PCOS to meet a variety of goals. Whether its weight loss or just feeling better, we know how hard it can be to take the first step.
We hope you will allow us to help you tackle your health issues head-on.
Our dietitians and nutritionists build custom plans tailored to help you manage your PCOS and reach a variety of goals. Our expertise includes:
Managing blood sugar and insulin levels
Weight loss for PCOS
Let's tackle your PCOS challenges. Why wait another day?