Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): How To Treat It Naturally!5 minute
This article discusses everything you need to know about PCOS, how to treat it naturally, and the common myths surrounding it.
There’s so much conversation about PCOS (Short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) today that it’s becoming quite a challenge to decipher what the facts of this condition really are. There are so many symptoms of the syndrome that are not easily identifiable or may seem unsurprising and knotted with symptoms of other conditions like PMS, menstruation, or various mental disorders.
Many women who have PCOS aren’t even aware of it. In a study conducted, 70 percent of women with PCOS hadn’t been diagnosed. This is primarily why a fact check on the topic is the need of the hour and we’re here to do it for you.
Read along as this article discusses everything you need to know about PCOS, how to treat it naturally, and the common myths surrounding it.
Doctors have been trying to fully uncover the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in women since the 1700s. Yet, here we are hundreds of years later with the underlying reasons for this common women’s health issue - has remained a mystery.
Although the subject still remains vastly researched, there is new evidence found by experts in endocrinology that help discern the causes of this condition and offer a great deal of direction to achieve a rather advanced cure.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, popularly known as PCOS is a common hormonal condition (affecting as many as 1 in 10 women in their childbearing ages) that causes females to produce higher-than-usual amounts of male hormones. An imbalance in reproductive hormones causes problems in a woman’s ovaries - the organs that (almost) solely regulate a healthy period cycle. As a result, women who have PCOS tend to have irregular/missed periods and find it difficult to get pregnant. Irregular periods, besides being the leading cause of infertility, are also responsible for the development of small fluid-filled sacs called cysts in the ovaries.
Symptoms of PCOS
Earlier in this article, we spoke of how PCOS symptoms are a wee bit tricky to discern. So while some women start to notice symptoms around the time of their first period, some only discover they have PCOS after gaining a whole lot of weight or have a hard time getting pregnant. If you happen to notice any or most of these symptoms, it’s best that you get yourself checked as a precautionary measure.
Common Symptoms of PCOS include:
Heavy bleeding at the time of menstruation: Since the lining of the uterus takes longer than usual to build-up, it is likely that you will have heavier bleeding than normal.
Irregular (or no) Periods: The lack of ovulation prevents the lining of the uterus from shedding every month. While some women might have fewer than 8 periods a year, some don’t get their period at all.
Excess (Body) Hair Growth: Fueled by male hormones, females with PCOS tend to have excess hair growth on their face and body - a condition known as hirsutism.
Hormonal Acne: Male hormones result in the secretion of excess oil that is likely to surface as acne on your face and upper back.
Weight Gain: This is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS. Over 80% of women who have PCOS are overweight/obese.
Hair Loss/Thinning: While body hair grows in excess, the hair on your scalp starts to get thinner - again, as a result of all the male hormones.
Headaches: There are many hormonal changes that happen to women who suffer from PCOS which can trigger headaches.
Skin Darkening: It is not uncommon to find dark patches of skin in women who have PCOS - especially on the neck, groin, and under the breasts.
Who is likely to get PCOS?
Given how common PCOS is, it still remains undiagnosed and unmanaged in many women who have it. Of those who have it, about 7 in 10 may go undiagnosed - a soaring cause of concern.
PCOS affects around 5-20% of women (often) between the age of 15 to 44, i.e, women of child-bearing age. It can happen at any age after puberty. Although PCOS doesn’t target particular ethnicities or racial groups, obesity can increase one’s chances of developing the same.
While the causes of PCOS are still sort of vague, there is enough evidence to prove that certain factors do play a significant role in contracting the syndrome.
PCOS sometimes also runs in families. A woman with a family history of PCOS is often more likely to be at risk of developing the condition.
This suggests there may be a genetic link to PCOS, although genes associated with this condition have been identified.
- Insulin Resistance
Insulin is produced by the pancreas in order to control the amount of sugar in the blood. It’s the hormone that helps in moving glucose from the blood into our cells, where it's then broken down to produce energy.
Insulin resistance, as the name suggests, means that the body's tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin. In such a situation, the body would have to produce excess insulin in order to compensate. Higher levels of insulin lead to the production of excess testosterone which in turn tows with the development of follicles - preventing normal ovulation in women.
Insulin resistance may also lead to excess weight gain, which makes the symptoms of PCOS much worse because excess fat causes the body to produce even more insulin.
- Higher levels of androgens
Androgens, also known as "male hormones," are produced in some quantity in all women. They control the development of male traits, such as body hair growth, male-pattern baldness and back and chest acne. Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens than what is considered to be normal. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent ovaries from releasing an egg during each menstrual cycle and is a common cause for infertility in women.
PCOS and Infertility
Women who have PCOS often find it difficult to get pregnant. This is an obvious result of the condition since high levels of male hormones curb with the monthly ovulation process. But even though PCOS causes infertility, you can get treated for the same by eradicating a few of its symptoms.
With a combination of the following, you can aim to naturally increase your chances of getting pregnant:
- A change in diet that aims to decrease fat percentage in your body - even a mere 5% weight loss has shown significant results in women
- Healthy Eating
- Regular Exercise
- Monitoring ovulation timings to pre-plan sexual intercourse
If you’re unable to get pregnant by simply making these lifestyle changes, you can either get treated with medication, surgery (which includes removal of a small amount of tissue producing the excess male hormone) or Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). Although, in most cases of PCOS, lifestyle changes are sufficient to get pregnant.
PCOS and Pregnancy
While getting pregnant might seem like an easier battle to overcome for someone who as PCOS, pregnancy itself can involve a risk of complications that include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Premature Birth
PCOS is also shown to increase the likelihood of needing a cesarean delivery because the baby might be larger than normal for their gestational age.
Babies born to women with PCOS would also have a greater risk of dying at the time of delivery or being admitted to a NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit)
All of this suggests that you must talk to your doctor before considering pregnancy with PCOS to be aware of the risks associated and discuss ways to better manage complications as well.
Diet Do’s and Don’ts for PCOS
There are plenty of meal plans available online for women with PCOS today. Although, some basic do’s and don’ts as part of a PCOS diet are as follows:
Foods that are high in fiber help with insulin resistance by slowing down the process of digestion. This could be highly beneficial to women with PCOS.
High-fiber foods to incorporate in a PCOS diet include:
- Fruits like apples and berries
- Green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, Brussel sprouts, lettuce and kale
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Beans and lentils
A good protein source is also important as part of a healthy dietary option. Aim to include lean protein sources such as:
Another category of foods that are underestimated are ones that possess anti-inflammatory properties to help women with PCOS. These include:
- Blueberries and Strawberries
- Nuts including almonds and walnuts
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish like salmon and sardines
What to Avoid:
Foods that cause inflammation and worsen insulin resistance best be avoided or completely cut-off if you have PCOS. Refined Carbohydrates not only cause inflammation but also exacerbate insulin resistance. These include:
- White bread or anything made with white flour
- Wheat pasta ( a good alternative is pasta made from bean or lentil)
- Sugary Desserts (Sugar, in general, is high in carbs and must be avoided)
- Breakfast Pastries like muffins or croissants
- Pasta noodles that are made of durum flour or semolina
- Sugary sodas or juices
Food labels to look out for: (To be avoided)
- High fructose corn syrup
Inflammation-causing foods to avoid:
- Fried food
- Processed meat or red meat
PCOS and Thyroid - Are the two connected?
There's a growing consensus in the medical research industry that hypothyroidism and PCOS might be closely linked - although this is not yet proven to be true. A popular research paper was published discussing the emerging relationship between PCOS and Thyroid disorders.
There are many overlapping characteristics of the two most common endocrine disorders. The issue with PCOS/PCOD and a thyroid disorder is that both of them often display symptoms that are very similar and many times, one may look like the other. After all, both are changes in hormones that result in common symptoms including weight gain, irregular periods, infertility and hair loss.
Often, a doctor will first carry out necessary thyroid disorder diagnostic checks to rule out any thyroid disorder while diagnosing you for PCOS. This also helps to find out if there is any sort of link between the two and assess the kind of treatment plans that are best suitable for you.
In case you happen to be tested positive for both, your doctor may suggest a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes, such as following a proper sleep routine, choosing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) score, reducing stress, adding some form of exercise to your daily routine and prescribe supplements (or medication) if necessary.
Common Myths about PCOS- Busted!
Myth 1: PCOS is Rare
It is estimated that between 5-20 percent of women of childbearing age have PCOS, which makes it one of the most common hormonal disorders among women of reproductive age.
The only problem is, less than half of these women with PCOS are actually diagnosed, meaning that millions are still unaware of their condition.
Myth 2: You can’t get pregnant if you have PCOS
As mentioned earlier in the article, this isn’t true. Most women can treat symptoms either naturally or with medication/surgery in order to get pregnant. A number of medications stimulate ovulation - tackling the main issue that women with PCOS face.
Other fertility treatments for women with PCOS include assisted reproductive technologies like in-vitro fertilization.
On the other hand, if you’re not trying to get pregnant and you have PCOS, it is unsafe to assume that you don't need contraception. It might be harder than usual to get pregnant with PCOS but it is still very possible.
Myth 3: PCOS only affects women who are overweight
Although many women who have PCOS are either overweight or obese and this can make PCOS symptoms worse, the condition can also affect women on the leaner side.
The relationship between weight gain and PCOS is attributable to the body's inability to use insulin properly, hence it is recommended to get into the habit of eating healthy and exercising as part of most treatment plans.
Myth 4: Every woman grows hair where she doesn’t want it
A common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism, which is excess hair growth in women. Due to an excess of androgens, women with PCOS can spot unwanted hair on their upper lip, chin, or chest - but not every woman will have this as a symptom.
Myth 5: You don't have to worry about PCOS if you’re not looking to get pregnant
PCOS doesn’t just tow with a woman’s fertility, it has an impact on overall wellness for the rest of her life. More than half of the women who have PCOS also suffer from diabetes or prediabetes and are more prone to high BP, poor cholesterol, stress, anxiety, depression and endometrial cancer. Irrespective of whether or not you’re looking to get pregnant, if you have PCOS, you must seek to get treatment for the same.
Myth 6: Insulin Resistance causes weight gain
While this may sound just about true, in reality, even experts aren’t sure why women with PCOS are often overweight. Many people think that it is because of insulin resistance, but while weight gain may cause insulin resistance, insulin resistance doesn’t necessarily cause weight gain.
Myth 7: Women with PCOS can lose weight like others
While it might be possible to lose a modest amount of weight, women with PCOS don’t find it easy. They often would have to exercise more and eat less than most people even to maintain their weight. Unlike other people with no hormonal imbalances (where weight loss is as simple as calories in vs calories out), it is far more complex for women with PCOS since a whole lot of factors contribute to their weight loss.
Supplements for PCOS
Supplements recommended for PCOS are often ones that help with hormone regulation, insulin resistance and inflammation that in turn considerably reduce its symptoms.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon extract is shown to have a considerable effect on insulin resistance and also helps regulate menstruation.
Chromium: Chromium supplements improve BMI (Body Mass Index), which could help with PCOS. Moreover, they might also stabilize insulin resistance by helping the body to metabolize sugar.
Turmeric: Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that is proven to be promising to decrease insulin resistance. Besides, turmeric also happens to be a popular anti-inflammatory agent.
Inositol: Inositol is a B vitamin that is shown to reduce insulin resistance and also help with fertility in many cases of PCOS.
Zinc: Zinc is a trace element that is shown to immensely boost fertility and one’s immune system. Excess hair growth can also be treated with zinc supplements.
Foods high in zinc include beans, red meat, tree nuts and some types of seafood that can be incorporated in a PCOS diet plan.
A combination of Vitamin D and Calcium: Both of these happen to be vital to a woman’s endocrine system. Most women with PCOS are found to have a Vitamin D deficiency and supplements of the two in the right amounts are proven to improve irregular periods.
Berberine: A popular herb in Chinese medicine, berberine too helps with insulin resistance along with ramping up your metabolism.
Evening Primrose oil: Primrose oil treats many symptoms associated with PCOS including irregular periods, cholesterol levels and stress.
Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil supplements consist of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D and A - all of which contribute to regulating periods as well as aiding fat loss.
The mentioned supplements are proven to help women with PCOS but you must speak to your doctor before taking any, as some of them might interfere with other PCOS medications.
Disclaimer: The author and publisher of Glo.community have used their best efforts in preparing the article. They make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this article. The information contained in the article is strictly for educational purposes and we do not endorse any product mentioned in the article. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in the article, you are taking full responsibility for your actions.
Anika Manocha- Changing perspectives, changing lives1 minute
We can all agree on this, staying away from negative news is impossible nowadays. Be it social media or your google news feed it’s a reality, that we all are dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty.
We have anxiety and fear due to a lot of issues such as apprehensions regarding contracting the Coronavirus, the health risk of family members, keeping kids occupied while being indoors all-day, managing to get work done from home or simply coming to terms with the separation anxiety. As the days go by, the stress can eventually build up -affecting us both physically and mentally.
Hence Glo-Community has collaborated with Anika Manocha to help you manage stress during the Pandemic.
Ms.Anika Manocha is a Master's in Psychology from KUK, Haryana, a counseling psychologist and a Certified CBT trainer.
Anika has been actively involved in Uplifting children who are victims of Child Labour and is also a Marriage & Family Counsellor and has been successful in bringing about an improvement in many relationships. She is a Visiting Counselor in schools and takes online Counselling to help people understand their problems and find a better solution in their day to day life.
Register for the Webinar on "Managing Stress during the Pandemic" On 7th August -
Time - 1 pm to 2 pm
- Recognizing the difference between pressure and stress
- Understanding the symptoms and causes of stress
- Consequences of not managing stress
- Circle of influence and control – how to take positive action
- Adopting the right mindset to handle stress effectively
- Practical tips for managing stress
Online Businesses You Can Start Quickly And Earn Well!5 minute
The article guides you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home.
Staying at home has caused many of us to explore the inner Creative Gurus in ourselves. Personally, I find myself doing things I otherwise couldn’t imagine indulging such as baking a cake, trying out a FAD diet just for the fun of it, counting my steps (Not to brag, but I’m way past the 10K a day mark, *cue applause*), taking new courses on recycling, brush lettering and novel writing and my favourite: trying a new steak sauce recipe. Can you imagine the kind of proactiveness it takes to want to try out a new steak sauce recipe? (For the record, balsamic barbeque For. The. Win.)
It’s not uncommon to look at your social media feed and feel discouraged about not doing enough. Change can be mighty frightening for some people and takes them a whole lot of courage to ride the wave of change. You might look at monetizing some of your various talents but shy away because “a million people already seem to be doing the same”. Layoffs and paycheck cuts can increase this pressure of wanting or worse: needing to make some quick money to make ends meet.
Take a deep breath in before you read this article and remind yourself that you’re not alone in this.
While it may first seem overwhelming to start an online business out of the blue, especially when your career so far has been more non-virtual and hands-on and you seem to have very little knowledge on the subject, it’s important to note that rapidity is what sets these businesses apart. Most online businesses are almost worth the risk, simply because the investment that goes into building one is almost nothing as opposed to the massive amount of learning that comes with it. (even without a clear success at first attempt). Glo has taken this subject as one that’s close to our heart, and more so now, to guide you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home and the mini-steps you can take for each of them that will lead you to success: gradually, but surely.
11 Online Businesses you can start quickly and earn well:
Practice Affiliate Marketing
You’ve probably already heard of the term affiliate marketing before and associate it with a complex growth marketing tactic. But it’s a rather simple concept to grasp if you learn about it. Affiliate marketing is essentially the process of earning a commission by means of promoting someone else’s (or another company’s) product. For instance, if you own a website of your own, and promote products of another brand by providing links to their catalogue, and a sale is made through this link, then you’re entitled to earn a commission for the same.
But how do you get started with affiliate marketing?
- Amazon: If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, you can be lost. A lot of affiliate marketers find success with amazon. Not only are there a million products to choose from, but amazon also kind of makes it simpler for a beginner with its Amazon Associates Program.
- Informative Products: Promoting video series, ebooks, membership sites, new releases, etc can earn you over 50% or more in commission and even has lesser barriers to entry. These products are also easy to find and promote if you know where to find them.
In fact, a lot of great marketers, including Neil Patel, have spoken of how to find a niche for affiliate marketing and earn profits quickly - so learning how to get started should be the least of your worries. Although, in addition to affiliate marketing, it might also be really helpful to know (at least the basics) of SEO and copywriting. Some great books on the subject are SEO for beginners 2020 and The art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine optimization.
You’re wondering if the last bit was affiliate marketing, aren’t you?
Set Up An eCommerce Site
Before you start scrolling down assuming that “building a site” is only for the techies - hear me out. If you have an idea and possess basic knowledge of how an online store works, there aren’t a lot of barriers to overcome before setting up your very own e-commerce store. Sustainable products, local products, handcrafted goods, sanitization products - these are some markets that people are currently exploring vastly - and if you have the means to bring these products online, then the technology of it shouldn’t stop you from doing so. In fact, there are several websites ( such as Airtable and Bubble ) you can use today with possessing no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Shopify is built for e-commerce and you can use it to build your very own virtual shop with low investment, no coding skills and a free 30-day trial to experiment with too!
Things to remember before setting up an E-commerce site:
- Study about the internet market experience. What are customers drawn to, what is it that they seem to interact well with, resonate with
- Find a market that’s profitable. Do some keyword research and try and find an untargeted niche. There might be a hundred online stores selling furniture, but you could pick dressers (for example) as your niche and ace that space.
- Do a profit analysis. If you're selling a product whose manufacturing & distribution costs are almost as much as your selling price, there’s no point dealing with such minimal margins and putting in all that effort for nothing.
- Assess if the product you aim to sell is part of a growing market. Something that's already reached its peak in the market is not very easy to scale and sustain (like VCRs for example). You need a product with solid growth potential.
Start That Blog You’ve Always Wanted To! - And Monetize It
Starting a blog is not just a fantastic way to voice out your thoughts and opinions on different subjects, it can also earn you quite a bit of money if you’re consistent and adept with all the available tools you can utilize to grow your audience. It’s easier than ever to start a blog in 2020 and make it a potential source of income. But you’ve to be willing, patient and consistent to reap profits from your writing. You also need to generate valuable content that is engaging and educating to capture the interest of your audience.
Eventually, you can aim at monetizing your blog by selling relevant digital products or ads, sponsored posts, ebooks, etc once you have a good number of readers who come on to your page.
Become a Facebook Ad Expert
Many companies struggle with running successful ad campaigns. Read that again. Facebook and Instagram give you a seamless journey as a user who’s trying to display ads for their brands - it almost feels like following these steps are enough. But there are few businesses who run successful ads and this is only after some serious studying of the Facebook ad metrics. If it were so easy to run ads that worked, do you think people would be selling their “How to create successful ads” courses for thousands of rupees? The answer is, of course, no.
A lot of companies are in need of Facebook advertising experts and if this interests you, you can take the time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook, how to get the most return on an ad investment and reach out to businesses to assist them with your expertise on the subject.
Become a Skype (or Zoom) Coach
If you truly consider yourself to be an expert on a subject matter - be it yoga, knitting, nutrition, meditation, business & strategy consultation - or anything else that people might be interested to learn too - you can start by building a client base and coaching these clients online either daily, weekly or monthly.
There are coaches available for everything today - dating, health, life and even things like palmistry, astrology and tarot card reading. These are areas people seem to be getting interested in of late and could use some guidance from an expert.
Furthermore, you can always aim to increase your client base by appearing credible - enlist yourself on curated websites, set up your own website and but up blog articles to educate people and market yourself well, get certified if you must - all this makes people feel like you know your stuff and sign-ups become a cakewalk once you appear credible.
Dropshipping essentially means creating an online store but to sell other people’s products. One of the main reasons people opt for dropshipping is because they don’t have to do any of the manufacturing or shipping and still get a commission on every sale made. The main benefit is that you’re not at risk of stocking up on a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The barrier to entry is low and so is the investment. It is, of course, easier for an already established e-commerce brand such as amazon (who also sells their own products) to practice dropshipping, and the competition is massive - but the key is to figure out a product niche that has an audience but not many competitors selling within this niche.
There are apps like Shopify and Oberlo that also help connect you with suppliers to import products to your store.
Ways to make dropshipping a successful business:
- Gather the same products from different suppliers, to create a store that serves variety within a specific niche.
- Offer a superior value proposition through quality content and top-notch customer service that creates value way beyond selling products
- Target an untapped region on the world map (but be sure to pay attention to shipping costs).
- Target different set of audiences with the same product (for example, target music festival stalls with led gear)
While Creative writing may require a whole other process and headspace, there’s something about technical writing that people seem to have a grasp on even without any prior experience. Do you see the instruction manuals on a new remote control car? Or safety compliances of the various products displayed online? - That's essentially the job of a technical writer.
Even writing resumes, cover letters and press releases are options you could explore, besides technical writing. People are always on the lookout for jobs - and they’re always looking to prettify their resumes and cover letters. If you think you could be good at this stuff - you can always give it a shot and find interesting work online. (Freelancer and Upwork are popular sites)
Start a Print-on-Demand Service
If you’re good at designing, or even have a fairly good hand with design software - this is something you can explore. Again, you would have to cater to a specific niche - like doctors or gamers or cat lovers, for example, and create customized digitals to get them printed on various merchandise including mugs, t-shirts, posters and stickers. A lot of people are making tangible products out of their beautiful yet quirky designs today and in the process - turning their Instagram accounts into virtual gift shops!
What's more, is that if you have a printer at home, all you need to do is buy heat transfer sheets and you can start printing at home using just an iron box!
Convert Your Service Into a Product
One of the obvious downsides to running a service-based business is that you only get paid strictly for your time and skills. It’s not flexible. If you “Productize” your service i.e, you create a physical/digital product that sells your expertise as a package, you can add additional revenue streams to your business as well.
Examples of “productising” a service include:
- Downloadable reports
- Digital templates
Most of these ideas involve digital media that has been packaged as a product, which means there’s no inventory to keep around. If you’re running your home business on Shopify, you can also sell digital products effortlessly using the Digital Downloads or SendOwl app.
SEO and PPC Consulting
If building your website from scratch isn’t for you - you can always guide others’ websites to rank high on google search results. When a website ranks higher, it gets more and more relevant traffic and in turn, naturally makes more revenue.
This is a highly valued skill in the world of internet marketing - but not an easy one since google is always changing algorithms. You have to be committed to being on the leading edge, learning as well as testing new strategies. If you manage to master SEO, companies tend to pay quite a lot for it.
Similar to SEO (but not quite), Pay per click advertising helps rank your ad at the top of google search as “sponsored”. It’s a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee every time their ad gets clicked. Unlike SEO, PPC is buying visits to your site (which is a short-cut, but equally effective nonetheless)
If you master these basic digital marketing techniques, you’d be of high value for any business trying to scale online.
Start Your Own Clothing Line
Have you ever thought of owning your own clothing line but were not quite sure about how to take off with just designs on your hand? We’ve got good news. Oberlo, Printify, Printful, or similar product sourcing apps automatically link your Shopify store to apparel printers and manufacturers. They also take care of the retail fulfilment process giving a whole lot of freedom to design and ship a range of clothing pieces.
So all you really need to kickstart your very own clothing line is the skill to design creative/trendy clothing and a Shopify store to sell the same. Amazing, isn’t it?
It is indeed a satisfying process to create products that people will use every day. Plus, as soon as your Shopify store is built, you’ll be able to start selling your clothes almost instantly. Besides, the feeling of seeing one’s own designs come to life by transforming all the creativity into something real and profitable is truly unmatched.