Diet for PCOS

PCOS is a hormonal disbalance that affects women of reproductive age. In this disorder, a women's ovaries may expand and create a high number of harmless fluid-filled sacs (follicles). It is a prevalent disorder with more than 1 million cases annually. To deal with this, a special diet for PCOS is essential to increase the quality of life.

Diet for PCOS
Diet for PCOS

Diet for PCOS

PCOS, also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. When you have PCOS, the harmless fluid-filled sacs called follicles, intended for producing eggs, fail to release the mature eggs. Women frequently learn they have PCOS when they have problems getting pregnant, however, it begins as early as age 11 or 12, just a few months after the first menstrual cycle. It can also start in the 20s and 30s. Your typical monthly cycle may be impacted if your body has excessive androgen. An improper hormonal balance inhibits the egg from correctly growing or releasing. Women with PCOS, frequently experience missed, delayed, or irregular periods.



Although the exact etiology of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is unknown, it may be a result of both hereditary and environmental factors. 

  1. High levels of androgen - Even though all women produce modest levels of androgens, they are commonly referred to as "man hormones." Androgens regulate the emergence of masculine characteristics like male pattern baldness. More androgens than usual are present in women with PCOS. In addition to causing excessive hair growth and acne, higher than normal androgen levels in women might hinder the ovaries from producing an egg (ovulation) throughout each menstrual cycle. 
  2. High level of insulin - A hormone called insulin regulates the process by which food is converted into energy. When a body's cells do not react to insulin as they should, this is known as insulin resistance. Your blood levels of insulin rise over normal as a result. Insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS, especially those who are overweight or obese, practice bad eating habits, get insufficient exercise, or have a family history of diabetes.


These days, PCOS is fairly widespread and affects many women. Although these symptoms are treatable, other women may not even experience any of them, making a diagnosis difficult. If someone's overweight, their PCOS symptoms may worsen. These are some signs of PCOS that you could observe-

  1. Irregular or non-existent periods
  2. Excessive period pain combined with a lot of flow
  3. Excessive androgen, or male hormones, can result in hirsutism or the development of hair on the face, back, and chest
  4. Oily skin and acne-like breakouts
  5. Unhealthy weight gain
  6. Pain in the pelvic region
  7. Hair loss or hair thinning
  8. Deeper, lower voice
  9. Depressive and anxious symptoms


PCOS cannot be detected with a single test. Your doctor may examine you physically, do several tests, asks you questions about your medical history, and diagnose PCOS while also ruling out other potential reasons for your symptoms. 

  1. Physical exam - Your doctor will measure your waist size, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index (BMI). Additionally, they will check your skin for acne, discoloration, or additional hair on your face, chest, or back. Your doctor may examine you for any symptoms of hair loss or other health issues (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
  2. Pelvic exam - A pelvic exam may be performed by your doctor to look for signs of excess male hormones and to determine whether your ovaries are big or swollen.
  3. Sonogram - This examination checks the endometrium and your ovaries for cysts using sound waves (lining of the uterus or womb). 
  4. Blood tests - Your androgen hormone levels are measured through blood testing. In addition, your doctor will look for additional hormones linked to other prevalent health issues that may be misdiagnosed for PCOS, like a thyroid illness. Your doctor may also check your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 


PCOS cannot be cured, however, its symptoms can be controlled. Your symptoms, family planning goals, and your likelihood of developing long-term health issues like diabetes and heart disease will all be taken into account as you and your doctor develop a treatment plan. Many women will require a mix of therapies such as -

    1. Home remedies
    2. Medicines

Medicines that control hormones can be used to treat this. Treatment that uses a laser or cream to remove hair also seeks to lessen symptoms. The specialist may suggest drugs or minor operations boost fertility it is desired. Surgery may be suggested if reproductive medications are ineffective. With treatment, the majority of women can become pregnant.

Experts that use a holistic approach to treatment claim that there are natural solutions to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and support hormone regulation. Before making a decision, it is best to discuss your options with a medical practitioner because a thorough, integrated treatment plan, which may involve drugs as well as adjustments to your lifestyle habits, is necessary to fully treat the problem. One with PCOS should-

  1. Embrace a healthy diet - Evaluating your diet is crucial because controlling blood sugar levels is key for treating PCOS. Your body requires the right kind of nourishment to maintain healthy hormone levels and blood sugar levels throughout the day. Eat foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats to maintain satiety and control blood sugar. Pay special attention to leafy greens and high-fiber vegetables, low-sugar fruits (such as berries, apples, and melons), healthy fats (such as those found in nuts, seeds, and avocados), and lean proteins like skinless poultry and wild fish. 
  2. Get enough sleep - When you struggle with stress, anxiety, or insomnia, getting that level of proper sleep can be challenging. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try breathing exercises, turn off all electronics at least an hour before going to bed, spend money on high-quality bedding, and keep your room cool. 
  3. Drink in moderation - Alcohol can contribute to weight gain and blood sugar levels while also contributing to inflammation in the body. Women should limit their alcohol use to one drink per day at most, and they if must have alcohol, they should go for low-sugar, low-calorie beverages like red wine, which has antioxidant properties. 
  4. Manage your stress - There are countless strategies to relax and reduce stress, such as medication, warm baths, reading, and taking long walks. 
  • There are three diets that can aid PCOS sufferers in controlling their symptoms-
  1. A low Glycemic Index (GI) diet - Foods with a low GI diet are digested by the body more slowly and do not raise insulin levels as fast or significantly as other foods, such as some carbs do. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and other unprocessed low-carbohydrate foods are all included in a GI diet. 
  2. An anti-inflammatory diet - This diet may help with symptoms like weariness linked to inflammation, such as berries, fatty salmon, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil. 
  3. The DASH diet - The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is frequently advised by medical professionals to lower the risk of heart disease. It might also aid in treating PCOS symptoms. Fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products are abundant in a DASH diet. Foods that are heavy in sugar and saturated fat are discouraged by the diet. 

  • How is a special diet for PCOS effective?

Insulin levels in PCOS patients are frequently reported to be higher than usual. The pancreas is where the hormone insulin is made. It assists the body's cells in converting sugar (glucose) into energy. Your blood sugar levels may increase if your body does not create enough insulin. This can also occur if you have insulin resistance, which prevents you from adequately using the insulin that you do make. Your body may try to produce excessive amounts of insulin if you have insulin resistance in an effort to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Your ovaries may start to create more androgens like testosterone if your insulin levels are too high. A greater body mass index may also contribute to insulin resistance. People with PCOS frequently struggle with this problem as a result of insulin resistance, which can make weight loss more difficult. A diet rich in refined carbohydrates, such as starchy and sugary meals, might make it more difficult to control insulin resistance and consequently, weight loss. 

  • Which foods to include in the PCOS diet?

  1. High fiber vegetables, high fiber foods like almonds, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, green and red bell peppers, etc.
  2. Lean protein foods like tofu, poultry, and fish are excellent filling and healthful choices for PCOS sufferers.
  3. Anti-inflammatory foods and spices like turmeric, tomatoes, spinach, olive oil, walnuts, blueberries, strawberries, etc.

  • Which foods to avoid?

Foods that are high in refined carbs, such as muffins and white bread sugary foods, and beverages. Meals that are inflammatory include red meats. On a PCOS diet, sugar should be restricted as it is a carbohydrate. Always keep an eye out for sugar's different names while reading food labels, such as high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and dextrose. While following a PCOS diet, you may want to cut back on inflammatory foods like fries, margarine, and red meats as well as sugary drinks like soda and juice. 

You might experience occasional frustration if you have PCOS. A PCOS-friendly diet and some lifestyle changes may help you feel better and lessen some of the symptoms. Be aware that there are some items you wish to limit or avoid following a PCOS diet. These meals do, however, frequently have wholesome, advantageous equivalents. For instance, if margarine and white toast are often what you have for breakfast, try switching it up to high-fiber whole-grain bread and olive oil or avocado. 

  • Changes in lifestyle can help with PCOS symptoms-

    1. Exercise and regular physical activity are among these changes. Both can aid in lowering insulin resistance, especially when combined with the restricted consumption of refined carbs. The optimal amount of exercise per week is at least 150 minutes, according to several experts. 
    2. Weight loss may also result from regular exercise, a low-sugar diet, and a low-inflammatory lifestyle. Losing weight may promote ovulation in some people. 
    3. Stress might be brought on by PCOS symptoms. Techniques for reducing the stress that can help you connect with your body and quiet your mind can be beneficial. These include medication and yoga. 
    4. Additionally, consulting a therapist or other medical expert may be helpful.

Despite the fact that there is presently no cure for PCOS, adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity can help a person's symptoms and quality of life. A person can control PCOS by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and by consuming wholesome fats, lean proteins, and moderate amounts of low-GI carbohydrates. 

I hope this blog was helpful for PCOS sufferers and that they can curate a diet for PCOS to control their symptoms by keeping the above-mentioned points in mind.