Women's health: How to tackle PCOS - Times of India

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PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian syndrome is a heterogeneous complex metabolic, endocrine, reproductive disorder affecting 9.13% Indian adolescents, about 2.2% to 26% women in the age range of 18 to 45 years in India.

It is characterized by irregularity in menses, hirstuism, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalance, acne, weight gain, obesity mood swings, food craving, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Today Dr Kalyani Singh Associate professor in Lady Irwin College (Department of food and nutrition) and Neha Agarwal Research Trainee under Dr Singh will help us understand this disorder in detail.

PCOS and related research: PCOS has become a great concern because according to research it can lead to infertility, cancer and difficulty to conceive. The normal menstrual cycle is between 22- 35 days but for PCOS patients it is beyond 35 days so the medical treatment involves a 21 day course of oral contraceptives to regularize the menses. Some other medicines are also prescribed for different symptoms like controlling acne, insulin sensitizer, antidepressant etc. Along with medical treatment, it is important to manage PCOS through proper nutrition and regular exercise. The key diet for PCOS patients is a diet low in carbohydrate and fat, and high in fibre.

Importance of carbohydrate counting: Patients with PCOS will benefit from carbohydrate counting, a commonly used method for diabetes food and meal planning. This is based on research showing that carbohydrate is the primary nutrient affecting postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels and that all carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels approximately the same when eaten in similar amounts. Carbohydrates can be measured in grams or carbohydrate servings- a portion of food that contains 15 g of carbohydrate. i.e. one carbohydrate serving .

Tips for dietary management of PCOS: Women with PCOS should eat more vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk, sources of pufa's and mufa's (olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, soya bean oil, whole grains cereals, oats) yogurt and soy beverages. Intake of high omega-3 fat (fish, fish oil, flax seeds, GLV, whole grains), which improves insulin resistance and lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Excessive use of salt and sugar should be restricted. Caffeine is to be avoided.

Snacking tips for PCOS women: Apart from fruit snacks with berries and citrus fruits-
- Apple and peanut butter dressing
- Boiled eggs (with or without yolk)
- Oats namkeen porridge with soya granules
- Soaked almonds and nuts can be consumed
- Dried flaxseed or pumpkin seeds sprinkled in dishes (rich in n-3 fatty acid)
- Omelette with lots of veggies like tomatoes, spinach and pinch of pepper

Tips to be more physically active: Reduction and maintenance of weight is important for PCOS patients to decrease insulin resistance, for better lipid profile, and early recovery from the symptoms of PCOS. 90 minutes exercise is suggested which can include, aerobics, yoga, jogging, or simply walking. Exercise can be done in intervals also like 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening which add up to 30 minutes. For improving insulin levels lifting weights is suggested.

23 Sep, 2011

Source: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNFGMoCji8ZWLpTCL5nVpSxehANDeA&url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Womens-health-How-to-tackle-PCOS/articleshow/10089151.cms
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