PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is the number one cause of infertility among women. It can be extremely difficult to treat, or it can be extremely easy to treat. Although no single approach works for every woman with PCOS, a majority of PCOS sufferers benefit from enhanced-protein, reduced-calorie diets that increase insulin sensitivity.
Too much sugar in the diet has insidious effects in PCOS. Most of the other organs in the body can resist high blood sugars. The ovaries cannot. When you eat too much sugar, tissues in most of your body simply become less sensitive to insulin to keep the sugar out.
Your ovaries, however, act a little like a kid with ADHD eating too much sugar. They make more estrogen. They make a great deal more testosterone. As your blood sugar levels rise, cells outside the body become testosterone-resistant, too. This traps sugar, insulin, and testosterone in your bloodstream.
The combination eventually reaches your brain and an gland inside, the hypothalamus. This gland starts sending out pulses of hormone that send instructions to the ovaries to create more of the tough protein coating that protects the eggs-trapping them inside the ovaries to ovulation becomes impossible.
The best diets for PCOS sufferers are those that lower blood sugar levels, stop insulin resistance, and prevent the spiral of events that lead to infertility. There is more than one way to do this.
The simplest approach is just to resolve to eliminate sugar out of your diet. (You’ll need to do that when you are pregnant, too, although during pregnancy it is not necessary to count calories.) It’s actually possible to get high blood sugars without eating any sugar at all, but only women who eat huge amounts of meat (1 kg a day or more) or who have diabetes experience this. For most women who suffer PCOS, the first and best step is eating less sugar.
Then it’s better to eat fewer calories, too. This doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. Chances are you have heard of crash diets like the cabbage soup diet, where you eat bowls and bowls of cabbage soup.
Well, eating a bucket of cabbage soup a day is crazy, but just a cup or a bowl of soup is good food. That little bit of soup-if it doesn’t contain appetite-stimulating MSG-is enough to keep you full long enough to avoid eating 150 to 250 calories a meal. If you can be satisfied with less, it won’t be long before you lose enough weight significantly to increase your chances of conception.
For women who are overweight, sometimes losing just 5 pounds (2.5 kg) is enough for conception to occur. Losing 10 per cent of total body mass results in conception within 12 months in the overwhelming majority of PCOS sufferers who can stick to a diet.
First, give up sugar. Then, see if you can feel full on less. Keep up your efforts and other treatments may not be necessary.