5 Top Myths About PCOSAug 28, 2023
In my years of working with women struggling with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), I've realized that the conventional advice of just going on the pill or losing weight often falls short of addressing the comprehensive needs of these women.
What is PCOS? It is an endocrine reproductive disorder characterized by abnormal levels of androgens (male sex hormones) from the ovaries and is associated with the body’s cells resisting the effects of insulin.
It affects up to 13% of reproductive aged women globally, yet there is very little direction beyond that for how else you can manage PCOS symptoms, how to improve health and fertility, and how exactly to lose weight with PCOS. My team and I decided we needed to offer better solutions for women who are left googling the answers to these very common questions.
That's why I'm thrilled to introduce our new online course, "The PCOS Solution" a 6-week self-directed program designed to empower women to take control of their health and fertility while managing PCOS (read until the end to get a special deal just for our readers!).
This week, I brought Registered Dietitian and Coach, Tedi Nikova, to the High On Life Podcast. Tedi has been a guest before on two of our most downloaded episodes, and she’s back today to address 5 PCOS Myths and give you some really concrete guidance on how to improve your nutrition and lifestyle with PCOS:
Myth 1: Nutrition - You Need to Cut Out Carbs
One common misconception is that women with PCOS should cut out carbs completely to manage their symptoms. However, carbohydrates play a crucial role in blood sugar regulation, and not all carbs are created equal. Unrefined carbs, such as whole grains, support blood sugar control and gut health through their fiber content. Instead of eliminating carbs, opt for unrefined sources and pair them with proteins and fats to slow down digestion and minimize blood sugar spikes.
Myth 2: You Need to Avoid Dairy, Gluten, Soy
The idea that eliminating dairy, gluten, and soy from your diet will significantly improve PCOS symptoms is not supported by research. Restricting these food groups unnecessarily can lead to nutrient deficiencies and restrict key sources of protein and vitamins. While some concerns have been raised about soy's phytoestrogens affecting hormones, the risk is minimal, and non-GMO sources like tofu and tempeh can be beneficial. Likewise, the inflammation associated with dairy is more likely linked to highly refined products. Instead, focus on consuming whole, unrefined sources of these foods.
Myth 3: You Can't Get Pregnant If You Have PCOS
While PCOS can affect fertility due to hormonal imbalances, it doesn't mean you can't get pregnant. Higher androgen levels can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and less predictable ovulation, impacting fertility. The key is to take an empowered approach by addressing factors you can control, such as a balanced eating plan, physical activity, stress management, and quality sleep. Consulting with a healthcare provider and considering medical interventions can also aid fertility.
Myth 4: You Can't Lose Weight If You Have PCOS
Sustainable weight loss is achievable for women with PCOS. Hormonal imbalances like insulin resistance and inflammation can contribute to weight gain, but focusing on managing these imbalances is key. Incorporating protein in every meal, reducing refined carbohydrates, and understanding patterns of overeating are effective strategies. Rather than fixating solely on weight loss, prioritize healthier behaviors that address underlying imbalances, leading to weight loss as a result.
Myth 5: Treatment for PCOS - Pill and Weight Loss
The pill and weight loss are tools, not cures, for managing PCOS. While both can assist in symptom management, the focus should be on adopting healthier behaviours that address the underlying hormonal imbalances of PCOS. Lifestyle modifications encompassing nutrition, exercise, stress management, and sleep play a crucial role. Combining these adjustments with medical interventions like the pill can yield significant improvements in health outcomes.
Dispelling these myths and embracing an empowered approach to managing PCOS is a game-changer for women seeking sustainable solutions.
Our "PCOS Solution" course is designed to equip you with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to thrive with PCOS.
It's not about drastic changes or quick fixes; it's about creating a holistic lifestyle that supports your well-being, hormonal balance, and fertility.
Don't miss the opportunity to join us on this journey to better health and vitality.
This course, which normally costs $297 CAD, is now available at a special price of $197 CAD until September 15th, 2023, exclusively for our readers and listeners using the code PODCAST23.
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