Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), was originally known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. The other names given to it are functional ovarian hyperandrogenism, ovarian hyperthecosis, and sclerocystic ovary syndrome. It is an endocrine disorder, which effects the female population during the reproductive stage of their life. This condition arises when multiple cysts form in the ovaries. The ovaries enlarge, resulting in increased production of androgenic and estrogenic hormones that trigger hormonal imbalances.
The main symptoms of a PCOD patient usually include irregular menses, hirsutism, acne, and infertility. These patients are at high risk of developing insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus (Type II), dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer, and depression. Another, major problem faced by these patients is weight gain. Reducing weight is very important in such cases as this can help regularize the menstrual cycle and decrease the insulin levels.
Diet plays a very important role in the treatment of PCOD and its symptoms. PCOD patients who are not overweight can take 50 to 55% of calories from complex carbohydrates; but patients who are already obese and insulin resistant, should restrict to their intake to 40% or less, depending upon their condition. Simple carbohydrates are strictly to be avoided as they tend to increase the blood sugar level. These patients should follow a low glycemic index diet to get the best results.
Here are some dietary tips that you can follow to tackle the problem naturally. Eat small meals at regular intervals of time. Avoid maintaining long gaps between meals and then eating large amounts at one time. Simple carbohydrates like refined sugar, sweets, chocolates, and candies can trigger more cravings and hunger pangs; therefore, complex carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index such as whole wheat flour, whole grains, and green vegetables should be incorporated in the daily diet instead.
When it comes to fats, select monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil and canola oil) and omega 3 fats, which are found in flaxseeds and fishes like sardines (tarli), mackerel (bangda), and king fish (surmai). Restrict your intake of saturated and trans fatty acids. Include fresh fruits and vegetables to boost your body’s immunity. Last but not the least, drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water and consume a high fiber diet to prevent constipation. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise can help a PCOD patient to achieve her target more effectively.