In today’s world, the previous ideas of weight control have shifted a lot. Weight gain is no longer seen as a sign of a ‘lazy’ or ‘undisciplined’ lifestyle but rather people are digging into the causes.
A common term we hear linked with weight control is ‘PCOS”. It stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a common hormone disorder. Women suffering from PCOS have excessive Androgen hormones. They tend to develop many fluid-filled sacs or cysts in their ovaries and cannot easily produce a mature egg. This leads to abnormal menstrual cycles, such as irregular periods, absence of periods or very long ones.
Weight and PCOS have been connected for a long time. Women with PCOS are stereotyped as being obese but that is not the reality. You can get PCOS regardless of your weight. However, this disease makes it very difficult to lose weight but easy to gain. This makes life much harder because one of the treatments for PCOS is to maintain a healthy weight.
The Hormonal Imbalance
Our pancreas releases hormones, including ones that are involved in starch metabolism or breakdown. These hormones impact people with PCOS greatly.
One of the main hormones involved in weight gain is insulin. It is a quite known word to us. This hormone is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. However, it loses efficiency in women with PCOS because their body starts resisting insulin. As a result, insulin levels remain high, disrupting the normal metabolic process and leading to weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area.
One of the treatment options for PCOS is weight management. Weight in the healthy range can minimise PCOS symptoms. One small tip for weight control is to do portion management. This does not mean that you eat little food but maintaining a healthy diet that works best for your body.
Due to insulin resistance, individuals with PCOS do not process carbohydrates like others. Therefore, weight loss becomes harder but adopting a balanced diet can improve life quality immensely. If you have PCOS, focusing on portion control is necessary. Choosing carbohydrates that break down slowly, such as whole grains, legumes, and green food can be good for your body.
How Does Excessive Weight Affect PCOS?
PCOS comes with various symptoms that become bothersome to the suffering person. This disease makes weight loss difficult but the symptoms only worsen because of weight. It’s a bad cycle that can be broken by managing weight.
Two of the most common symptoms of PCOS are excessive hair growth or hirsutism and facial acne. PCOS means there are elevated levels of androgen hormone. This hormone causes facial and body hair growth as well as acne. It also disrupts the hormonal balance responsible for weight regulation, further promoting weight gain in women with PCOS.
Understanding the connection between PCOS and weight gain is crucial for women with this syndrome. The knowledge can help both physically and mentally. Weight loss is not easy with PCOS because of insulin resistance and excessive androgen which further worsens the symptoms.
However, a disciplined diet and a gradual adoption of a more active lifestyle can help to make great changes. A balanced diet filled with green food is good for PCOS. It is important not to blame yourself as well. Weight loss is a long and taxing journey. The benefits are endless but it can be difficult to lose weight at first.
Prof. Dr. Kishwar Sultana
MBBS (DMC), MCPS, DGO, FCPS
Professor | Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College & Hospital
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