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“It was all fine, missing periods wasn’t new to me, until things became worse since past 1 month. My cramps only became stronger and I had started noticing facial hair, says 19 year old Hema. Polycystic Ovarian Disorder or PCOD is a common phenomenon affecting one in every 10 women with the incidence rates steadily increasing. The average age group of women diagnosed with PCOS has gone down. One can blame the current lifestyle, stress or genetic predisposition to be some of the important factors contributing to it.

What exactly happens.? It is of cardinal importance to know what exactly goes on in a woman’s body when detected with PCOD or even otherwise. There is primarily a hormonal imbalance that takes place. Existing high levels of LH-Luteinizing hormone, fails to cause a LH surge which is essential for ovulation to occur. Irregularities in ovulation cause irregular menses. Polycystic as the word suggests refers that there is formation of multiple small cysts in the ovary. But these cysts are harmless and NOT cancerous. So ladies, you can treat yourselves and relax back on the couch. Talking about this, mood swings are another devil that enters the picture, making the journey even harder. Well, the only solution to this is a warm bath with a bucket full of ice cream. Would that cause you to put on weight? Let me make this LOUD AND CLEAR, weight gain in PCOD has got nothing to do with your mood swings. High levels of testosterone and insulin causes increased fat accumulation which is responsible for the drastic change in weight.

What to eat? Since,the hormonal conditions in PCOS can cause an increased risk of other disorders like diabetes, hypothyroid and so on, it is essential to formulate a diet which would take care of all of them. · Food with low GI- In order to not cause insulin levels to surge any further, grains and fruits with a low glycemic index must be consumed. Whole grains, whole wheat, brown rice,oatmeal and fruits like kale, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato etc. · High protein diet- Consuming food items with a high protein content keeps cravings at bay and regulates insulin levels. Soybean, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, sprouts are excellent options. · Getting the right amount of fats: Going low on carbs doesn’t mean one can ignore the fats. Fats are essential components too. And when eaten right, they complement your mood and energy levels in a wonderful manner. Healthy fats like olive oils, avocados, walnuts etc must be included in the diet. · Dairy:- Milk can be consumed in moderation. However, many studies suggest refraining from high intake of dairy products. This is more suggestive for those with lactose intolerance. · Beverages:- Soothing beverages like green tea is highly recommended. Nutritious smoothies are also a great option to soothe your cravings. Try to not take coffee and other beverages containing higher amounts of caffeine.

What to avoid? · All kinds of processed food must be avoided. Packed meat or even veggies packed for a long time are to be avoided. · High carb foods like white pasta, white grains must not be consumed. This takes care of unwanted weight gain and keeps you away from feeling lethargic. · Aerated and carbonated drinks are strictly a no-no. Refrain from consumption of alcohol as well. To all the women out there, fighting with PCOS and yet carrying out their daily schedules, you guys are warriors! With the right diet and correct eating schedule you can tackle this like a queen!

Disha Surwase
Jan. 30, 2020, 10:43 p.m.

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