How to combat PCOS in the lockdown
New Delhi, June 28 2020 - One in every five women is affected by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS); a hormonal disorder which causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.
It is a common lifestyle disorder in reproductive women, and it is known to be the root cause of many lifestyle disorders in the later stage of life if not controlled at an early stage. According to a study conducted by the department of endocrinology and metabolism (AIIMS), about 20-25 percent of Indian women of childbearing age are suffering from PCOS, while 60 per cent of women with PCOS are obese, 35-50 per cent have a fatty liver. About 70 per cent have insulin resistance, 60-70 per cent have high level of androgen and 40-60 per cent have glucose intolerance.
With so many of us stuck in lockdown and quarantine, it is not easy to cope with the anxiety of PCOS and coronavirus. Dr Manisha Ranjan, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida discusses some ways you can manage your PCOS, a by-product of the sedentary digital era.
Dr Ranjan: Since junk food is not easily available due to the lockdown, doctors suggests women should use the lockdown as an opportunity to lose weight by shunning high-calorie foods and going for oats, dalia, and poha instead. Food plays an important role in managing this condition. A person with PCOS has to keep her diet on check as weight gain can have adverse affect them. Junk foods including processed foods, sugary beverages, processed meats, red meats should be avoided.
Regular exercise is the key
Ranjan: Weight loss is an effective way to manage PCOS. Various research have found out that women who does 3 hours of aerobic exercise per week had improved insulin sensitivity, cholesterol and visceral fat (that fat around your belly) even though they did not lose any weight. So, don't get disheartened when your weighing machine is not showing any improvement in the weight management. Just continue doing your regular exercise.
You don't need to join a gym or purchase a ton of expensive exercise equipment. All you need are some basic items that you can probably get from around the house. There are three basic principles of exercise, that when used, are instrumental: cardiovascular health, weight training, and flexibility. Menstrual cycles can be regularised with the help of regular exercise and hormonal pills (upon your doctor's advice, of course).
Creating awareness about mental and emotional health
Ranjan: PCOS women are more prone to mood swings, depression and other mental issues. Therefore, it is pivotal to include mental and emotional wellness in the PCOS management, PCOS is one of the most prevalent health condition of women not only in India but also in the world. But it's sad that despite being so common endocrine (hormonal) disorder, this disease is poorly understood by many.
Since there is no permanent "cure" for PCOS, women struggle with their symptoms on a daily basis. The sheer weight of the continual battle often has its impact on a woman's mental health. So, friends and family should be extra kind towads them.