Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. PCOS is attributed to having a hormonal imbalance, irregular menstruation, and metabolism problems. PCOS can also lead to health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Women with PCOS manage their symptoms by living a healthier lifestyle. The key is to improve diet and identify which foods to avoid with PCOS.
What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Before knowing which foods to avoid with PCOS, it is important to understand what causes the condition. PCOS is the result of a hormonal imbalance.
Basically, women with PCOS have a higher amount of male hormones called androgens. This causes the development of multiple cysts in the ovaries.
Androgens affect the production of estrogen and progesterone, hormones regulate the menstrual cycle. PCOS is mainly characterized by:
- Polycystic ovaries: Small, fluid-filled sacs that grow inside the ovaries.
- Irregular periods: Due to the cysts in the ovaries, the eggs don’t mature enough to reach ovulation. This can also lead to infertility.
- High levels of male hormones: The overproduction of androgens can lead to excessive hair growth on the face and body, including chest and back.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is also associated with serious conditions such as:
- endometrial cancer
- cardiovascular diseases
Women who have PCOS are generally overweight. PCOS is not preventable, but its symptoms can be managed.