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PCOS - Diet and Exercise

Fertility Testing

Diet and Exercise

It is our goal to provide you with the specialized care you need and obtaining a comprehensive history in the beginning is an important part of this process. Most importantly, don’t feel frustrated. 

Women with PCOS may have difficulty managing their weight. Making healthy food choices is an important part in staying within a healthy weight range. A diet low in carbohydrates and higher in lean protein is ideal for both weight loss and low insulin requirement. Choosing foods that have a low glycemic index (GI), are low in saturated fat and high in fiber are preferred. Lowering carbohydrates and limiting processed foods, particularly those with added sugars, can also prove beneficial. A healthy serving of whole grains, fruits and vegetables are key. A weight loss as little as 5% can improve acne, ovulation and fertility, reduce excessive hair growth and improve mental health. 

An eating plan helps facilitate weight loss for those women who are overweight but is also helpful in preventing weight gain for those women in a healthy weight range. Overall this helps lower diabetes and cardiovascular disease risks in women with PCOS. Regular physical activity is also shown to help reduce symptoms of PCOS and other problems. Strength or weight training and exercise using resistance is recommended. 

  • Up to 50% of PCOS patients may suffer from weight issues and be overweight or obese and have trouble losing weight
  • Women with PCOS have a 4x greater risk of disordered eating behavior
  • PCOS patients have a 5-7x higher risk of diabetes
  • 8-10% of those diagnosed with PCOS are diabetic
  • The risk of heart attack is 4-7 times higher for women with PCOS, by age group, than those without PCOS.
  • Women with PCOS have an increased risk of high blood pressure
  • Women with PCOS often develop sleep apnea accompanied by periods of cessation of breathing
  • Sleep apnea may occur in up to 50% of PCOS patients
  • 27-50% of those with PCOS experience anxiety and depression

A healthy diet and routine exercise have been shown to improve sleep patterns, reduce high blood pressure and create a sense of well-being. Endorphins (hormones) act to naturally reduce stress and anxiety which can often be attributable to bad eating habits or binging. 

As someone who may be experiencing PCOS symptoms, the most important thing you can do is be evaluated by a specialist. Your quality of life and the ability to participate in the things you want to do with the ones you love is a motivating factor for anyone. We are here to help.


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