Hundreds of thousands of Indian women suffer from PCOS/PCOD, and the number keeps rising at an alarming rate.
1. Adopt the right mindset
Women tend to ignore irregular periods and other related symptoms UNTIL they get married or begin a family. PCOD has a number of negative effects on the health of its sufferers – weight gain, hair loss, face hair growth (hirsutism), acne, mood swings, etc. Leaving it unattended will lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity.
PCOD should be addressed at an early age (i.e., late teens or early 20s). Most gynecologists do not recommend lifestyle changes unless you are trying to conceive (TTC). To regulate periods, they may prescribe hormone tablets/contraceptive pills; however, these pills often come with side effects. Adopt the right attitude – we are going to address PCOD for our own good health, not just to have a baby. The same applies after you deliver a baby as well.
2. Address stress inducing situations/people
The mental pressure women face today is immense. The pressures and responsibilities of studies, work, commute, household and career. With age, our responsibilities only multiply. Moreover, when we are married and have difficulties conceiving, society (including close relatives and friends) makes fun of our situation instead of giving us genuine support.
Be aware of people and situations that stress you out. Keep as far away from them as possible. Reduce your stress by cooking, cleaning, reading, listening to music, going for walks, spending time in nature, or gardening, whatever helps you. Let’s not use junk food, ice cream, chocolate, tea, or coffee to relieve stress. From my experience, these might only provide temporary relief from stress, but they have a ton of side effects.
3. Eat only when hungry
Previously on PCOD, I mentioned “Never skip breakfast” but I have learned from experience over the past few years that skipping or delaying breakfast until you are hungry is okay. The same topic was covered in a detailed post.
Avoid mindless grazing, such as watching the TV and eating snacks as you process information in your mind. Consider eating 2-3 healthy meals a day. You can have a handful of nuts or fruit mid-morning/evening if feeling hungry.
4.Limit dairy intake
Today’s commercial dairy products contain growth hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals that are unwelcome. The amount of dairy I consume has decreased greatly, though not to the point of quitting.
Paneer, cheese, and other heavy dairy products are not digestible to my body. Apart from coffee and a small bowl of curd, I don’t drink milk or any other dairy products. Take a week without dairy to see what a difference it makes.
5. Be active throughout the day
We all know that exercise is important. Unfortunately, most people (including myself) do not move much after an hour of exercise in the morning.
Walking to buy groceries and vegetables (rather than ordering online), participating in physical activities (gardening, cleaning, cooking) etc. are some of the ways we can keep ourselves active. The days I am physically active throughout my day, the better I sleep. Otherwise, the days when I am sedentary, my sleep becomes disturbed.