Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as Polycystic ovarian disease or PCOD is a very common female health complaint. The word “Syndrome” is used to describe the PCOD because, it is a complex manifestation involving many factors and organs such as – obesity, insulin resistance, irregular menstrual bleeding (in most cases, excessive menstrual bleeding), abnormal menstrual periods & cycle, lack of ovum production (anovulation) etc.
PCOS is a common female endocrine disorder affecting approximately 5- 12% of women. It causes worry as it is commonly found in reproductive age; also it is thought to be one of the leading cause of female infertility.
Organs involved in Polycystic Ovary disease
This problem is so common that the incidence varies between 0.5 – 4 per cent, more common amongst infertile women. It is prevalent in the young reproductive period.
Clinically PCOS often manifests itself at menarche with some form of menstrual irregularity, but not essentially. The principal signs and symptoms of PCOS are related to
menstrual disturbance and elevated levels of male hormones (androgens).
Also patient approach the physicians with the features like
The patient complains of increasing obesity, menstrual abnormalities in the form of less menstrual bleeding, absence of menstruation, or abnormally high and irregular bleeding and infertility. There may be abnormal growth of hair at different places of the body. The patient may not always be obese. In some patients, due to insulin resistance, a dark coloured band like skin lesion may be developed at the back of the neck, inner thighs and axilla, called Acanthosis nigricans. Internal examination reveals bilateral enlarged cystic ovaries which however may not be revealed due to obesity
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Factors that might play a role include:
Treatment protocols include Panchakarma procedures like,
Sodhana Chikitsa (Eliminative therapies)
Samana Chikitsa (Palliative treatment)
The first step towards treatment is Nidanparivarjana ie,avoiding the causes which are at the root of the disease. As vatadosha and dushtamedas are key elements involved, ahara and vihara causing vataprakopa and medovriddhi should be avoided. The management approach to PCOS
Ayurvedic herbal remedy for PCOD
Ayurvedic treatment is by applying a multi-pronged approach towards: –
There are many herbs useful in correcting the hormonal imbalance. Ashoka (saraca asoca), Dashamoola (a group of ten herbal roots) a group of herbs useful in preparation of Sukumara Kashaya like Ashwagandha, Eranda, Shatavari etc. are useful in correcting the hormonal imbalance.
Treatment to obesity and specifically against cholesterol can be achieved by using Ayurvedic herbal remedy plus diet and lifestyle changes.
Treatment for insulin resistance involves a time consuming approach with effective Ayurvedic treatment and diet and lifestyle changes including exercise.
YOGA for PCOS
Primary prevention. There have been no clinical trials of primary preventionmeasures in PCOS. It is thought that lifestyle intervention (healthy diet, frequent exercise) and/or metformin therapy may prevent PCOS, but without appropriate clinical trials, such interventions for primary prevention are undemonstrated. The traditional approach to treating PCOS is focused on treating symptoms with medications rather than focusing on the root cause. For example, taking birth control pills for irregular periods or medications for acne and hirsutism.
7 Steps to Prevention and Potential Cure of PCOS
B-vitamin deficiencies: B12 deficiency is linked to insulin resistance and in pregnant mothers can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in the child. In addition, the long-term use of common medications used to treat PCOS like metformin and oral contraceptives can contribute to B12 deficiency. Talk to your doctor about checking B12 levels and be sure to include B12-rich foods and consider supplementation under your doctor’s supervision.
Magnesium deficiency: A magnesium-rich diet can help reduce insulin resistance and can also combat some of the symptoms of PCOS like PMS, migraines, mood disorders and fatigue. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate (70% plus in moderation), avocados, etc.
Zinc deficiency: associated with low androgens and acne. Eat zinc-rich foods like nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sesame), certain meats (grass-fed lamb and beef in moderation), beans (garbanzos in moderation), unsweetened kefir/yoghurt, spinach, etc.
Vitamin D deficiency: Deficient vitamin D is associated with insulin resistance and is commonly low in PCOS.
Iron deficiency: Iron deficiency is often a consequence of PCOS, especially if women have heavy or prolonged periods. Iron deficiency in turn can make symptoms of PCOS worse like fatigue and mood disorders.
In addition to eating a diet deficient in nutrients, an excessive intake of wheat and grain-based products can bind many of the key minerals mentioned above (zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, etc.) due to to a substance called phytic acid which you can read about here. Eating the wrong foods and excluding the right foods together increase the risk of PCOS and most chronic health conditions.
Replace plastic food containers and water bottles with glass and stainless steel
Eat/drink the cleanest, most natural diet possible, including the water you drink
Fetal exposure to such toxins can actually increase the risk of PCOS and other health conditions. The developing fetus is especially sensitive to the effects of toxin exposures which influence and shape their genetic blueprint. It is imperative that mothers do everything possible to minimize toxin exposures during pregnancy.