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This One Intervention Improves PCOS in Over 50 Percent of Women

This One Intervention Improves PCOS in Over 50 Percent of Women

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinology disorder in women, and the exact cause is unknown. Some statistics report that up to one in ten women have PCOS, and up to 70% of cases are undiagnosed. Women with PCOS produce higher than normal levels of male sex hormones, which can cause a myriad of problems.

The term PCOS refers to the growth of multiple cysts on the ovaries, giving the ovaries an unusually large and popcorn appearance. In addition to the cysts, some of the most common symptoms of PCOS, include irregular periods, excess facial and body hair, treatment-resistant acne, small cysts on ovaries, obesity, anxiety and depression, infertility, and male pattern hair loss.

One Intervention, Countless Benefits

Left untreated, women with PCOS are at higher risk for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, infertility, heart disease, sleep apnea, mood disorders, and endometrial cancer. But there’s one intervention that has proven to improve infertility and other associated symptoms in women struggling with PCOS: Losing weight.

“According to the Endocrine Society Clinic Guidelines, weight loss is pivotal in restoring quality of health and fertility to PCOS patients,” says Sheryl Bingham, Medical Weight Loss Specialist at Ogden Clinic.

A large number of research studies have shown it only takes a modest amount of weight loss to see major improvements. Losing just 5-10% of ones total body weight has been associated with:

  • Reduced insulin resistance by about 50%
  • Restored ovulation
  • Regulated menstrual cycles
  • Reduced pregnancy complications
  • Improved fertility
  • Improved health during pregnancy
  • Improved health of a child during pregnancy
  • Improved emotional health (self-esteem, anxiety, depression)
  • Reduced risk factors for diabetes and heart disease

Is there a best diet for PCOS?

“Multiple diets have proven helpful in treating PCOS, but the best diet is going to be the one that is sustainable over a lifetime,” Sheryl says. Some key factors in making dietary lifestyle changes are to limit sugar, processed “junk food”, and fast foods.

“Focus on eating real, whole foods, like those found in the perimeter of the grocery store. Listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, and give yourself time to recognize fullness and stop eating when you are full.”

Where does exercise fit in?

Exercise is an important treatment for PCOS. Sheryl advises getting near 150 minutes a week of exercise. “The very best exercise is the one you’re going to do, so find activities you enjoy.” Sheryl adds that sleep and stress management are two very important factors to manage in any healthy lifestyle.

Could I have PCOS?

If you live with a history of ovarian cysts, irregular periods, excess facial and body hair, persistent acne, infertility, and/or hair loss, talk to your primary care provider or schedule a visit with an Ogden Clinic provider to be tested for PCOS.

A Weight Loss Coach in Your Corner

Weight loss is no easy feat, but it becomes easier with a plan in place and a professional who can guide you through the many hurdles. Ogden Clinic’s Medical Weight Loss specialty can help you to make decisions about what is the best way to manage your weight. They perform routine metabolic health assessments, nutrition coaching, and lifestyle guidance to help you change the way you think about eating and activity.

To start losing weight in a maintainable way, call Ogden Clinic Medical Weight Loss at 801-397-6150 or schedule a consultation online. Visits are covered by most insurance plans and Telemedicine is an option for some appointments.