Q1. How is PCOS diagnosed?
Most doctors use the Rotterdam criteria to diagnose PCOS. Women who have at least two of the following symptoms may have PCOS:
- Irregular periods
- Cysts on the ovaries; and
- Symptoms of high levels of androgens
Q2. Can PCOS be cured completely?
There is still no definite cure for PCOS. However, exercise, diet and certain medications can eliminate or decrease symptoms of PCOS.
Q3. What are commonly prescribed medications for PCOS?
Birth control pills, anti-androgens, insulin-sensitising drugs and other fertility treatments and drugs such as Clomid may be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of PCOS.
Combined birth control pills contain both progestin and estrogen. These hormones help to regulate the menstrual cycle, improves symptoms such as acne and hirsutism and also decreases the risk of endometrial cancer in women.
Q4. How can women with PCOS improve their chances of pregnancy?
Successful weight loss for women who are overweight, medications to induce ovulation, and in some cases, surgery may help to improve the chances of pregnancy.
Q5. Are natural sugars safe for women with PCOS?
No, women with PCOS are advised to avoid even the most natural sources of sugar such as coconut sugar and maple sugar from their PCOS diet plan as they contain high amounts of fructose.
Stevia is considered a relatively safe sweetener for women suffering from PCOS. This plant-based sweetener is completely free of glucose and fructose and can be included as part of the Indian diet plan for PCOD in limited amounts.
Q6. Should fats be eliminated from the PCOD diet completely?
No, fats should not be completely eliminated: they are a vital part of the Indian diet during PCOD and should be had in appropriate quantities. Trans fats and hydrogenated fats should, however, be avoided.
Healthy fats to consider in your PCOD diet food chart include avocados, oily fish, olive oil and unsalted nuts and seeds.
Q7. What are some safe dairy alternatives for women with PCOS?
Lactaid, a type of dairy milk that has lactose removed, is safe for women with PCOS. Apart from this, soy milk is also a safe alternative.
Q8. What are some safe dairy alternatives for women with PCOS?
Tea is not only safe; it is also considered a great addition to the PCOD diet chart. Green tea and Spearmint tea especially are shown to reduce symptoms of PCOD in women.
Some of the best herbal teas that you could include in your Indian diet for PCOS also include liquorice root tea, dandelion root tea and cinnamon tea, among others.
Q9. Why is weight loss important for women with PCOS?
Most women with PCOS tend to gain weight. While the exact cause is not known, weight gain is possibly triggered by high androgen levels.
For most women who are overweight, weight loss alone helps to regulate their menstrual cycle and improve their cholesterol and insulin levels. Following a workout routine and PCOS diet chart for weight loss can help in weight regulation.
Strength training can stimulate metabolism, reduce insulin resistance, lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss, all of which are useful in treating PCOS. However, too much exercise can increase the levels of cortisol or stress hormones in the body and worsen symptoms of PCOS.
Q10. Can goods baked with almond or coconut flour be included in the PCOD diet plan for weight loss?
While almond flour and coconut flour are a healthier substitute to refined white flour as these flours are made from nuts. Nuts are calorie-dense and should, therefore, be restricted or had only in limited quantities in your Indian diet for PCOD,
As a healthier alternative, besan or chickpea flour has a low glycemic index and is, therefore, safe to include in the diet chart for PCOS patients.
Q11. Can a lack of sleep cause PCOS?
Lack of sleep can definitely aggravate symptoms of PCOS in women. Researchers found that women who had disturbed or inadequate sleep were at a much higher risk of having menstrual irregularities and developing insulin resistance.
PCOD is a lifelong condition, and while there is still no definitive cure or treatment for the condition, it can be managed and controlled in several ways. The best way to treat PCOS is to find out what diet and lifestyle changes gives you positive results!
The symptoms and severity of PCOS may vary from woman to woman, and there is, therefore, no one-size-fits-all approach to treating this condition. Eating healthy and staying active can prevent most long-term complications associated with PCOS.
Consult top dietitians on MFine to get expert advice and guidance on a suitable diet plan for you!