‘Healthy lifestyle can control PCOS imbalance’

10% women in India have polycystic ovarian syndrome, says study

Mumbai: A recent study has revealed that around 10% of women in India have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). While there is little support available, experts claim, women with PCOS have to follow a strict diet and exercise regime.

 “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex metabolic, endocrine and reproductive disorder that results in overproduction of male hormones, and is associated with insulin resistance (IR), multiple small cysts are formed in the ovaries,” explains Dr Sandhya Kadam, MD, Ayurveda.
Dr Sandhya Kadam

Hormone imbalance affects the regularity of periods, and can also cause problems for women when trying to conceive. PCOS may also cause serious health concerns such as diabetes and heart disease.

Studies claim that PCOS is also linked to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. Women with PCOS have lower life satisfaction and poorer health up to their late reproductive years.

Radhika Joshi, an engineering student of BITS Pilani, was suffering from PCOS,
while she was preparing for engineering entrance exams in Kota.

"During those days, I could hardly involve myself in any kind of rigorous physical activity, and had rapidly gained almost 18 kgs in 2 years.  I had irregular menstrual cycles and also had an episode where I kept bleeding for over a month. I had to take steroids in both the cases,” said Radhika.

Dr Archana Joshi, Radhika's mom, a Paediatrician with over four decades of experience, advice is, “Parents are not much aware about the quantity of food a child must be allowed to consume. Overfeeding children has adverse effects on their health. Moreover, physical activity is a must for everyone."

“However, when I returned home on my vacations, I regularly exercised in a gym, following the intense physical activity, I had normal periods,” added Radhika.

Explaining in detail, Dr Sandhya, said, “To correct the imbalance caused due to PCOS, lifestyle changes is a first-line therapy."

"One should take up some form of exercise to stay fit. Healthy diet and appropriate exercise will help control lifestyle diseases such as PCOS,” said Dr Archana.

Dr Sandhya stressed on prevention of excess weight gain by adopting dietary regimen and structured exercise as per Ayurveda and yoga guidelines, respectively. She said, "Food which is easily digestible, with high fiber and low saturated fat should be consumed."

“Diet should include, Ragi, Shashtishaali (red rice), barley, leafy vegetables, pears,  plums, prunes that contain fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, dry fruits like figs, dates and raisins,” added Dr Sandhya.