Once diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, your first instinct may be trying to figure out how to cure PCOS naturally. But unfortunately, as it stands right now, there is no cure for PCOS. Services that help women with PCOS often focus instead on managing PCOS, so that it doesn’t run the risk of controlling your day to day activities, feelings, and behaviors.
In this case, since there’s no cure, the better question may be: how can I heal PCOS, using natural methods?
Now, it bears pointing out that there is nothing inherently wrong with taking advantage of modern medicine to help reduce symptoms of this stressful condition (noteworthy for both its physical and psychological side effects). In fact, prescription medications can be extremely useful in taking a holistic approach to managing PCOS.
With that being said, medication isn’t right for everyone who battles PCOS. And part of your PCOS journey will likely include figuring out how you want to deal with the side effects PCOS can throw at you, and what mix of resources, habits, and other tools will benefit your mental and physical health.
So if you’re looking for natural ways to heal PCOS, then we’re diving into 4 methods that you can begin implementing in your life today!
How To Cure PCOS Naturally: 4 Methods To Consider
We won’t go into too much depth here (we’ve got an entire article dedicated to foods to love, if you’re struggling with PCOS, as well as our thoughts on what constitutes a PCOS diet), but know that research indicates food can help reduce the impact of PCOS.
Here’s what you need to know about how diet can help you naturally heal PCOS:
- Foods with low GI:
- GI stands for glycemic index, and essentially foods that are low in GI mean when you consume them, insulin levels do not rise as much or as quickly as some other foods.
- Why is this important for women with PCOS?: Well, part and parcel of PCOS is often insulin resistance (alongside a hormonal imbalance), which can subsequently trigger higher levels of insulin in the blood and long-term health implications like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Great examples of low GI foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables, and fruits.
- Anti-inflammatory foods:
- Symptoms associated with PCOS are often a result of the untreated systemic inflammation that this condition is known for.
- Just a few examples of anti-inflammatory foods to consider incorporating into your diet include berries, turmeric, and leafy greens.
- Unprocessed foods:
- Processed, refined foods, such as sucrose (table sugar), high fructose corn syrup, refined carbs that have had their fiber removed, alcohol, and processed meats (like sausage, bacon, and beef jerky) are linked to increased levels of inflammation.
- Now, these foods are often demonized, and they should not be stigmatized, restricted, or shamed, but instead enjoyed in moderation.
- Try, when possible, to indulge in unprocessed foods as the primary sources of fuel for your diet, focusing on vegetables, grains, seafood, milks, nuts, and fruit.
Your mental health is an often overlooked component of managing your PCOS, but it’s critical to prioritize this aspect of your PCOS journey. Consider joining a virtual PCOS support group over Facebook, following public figures who are open about their struggles with PCOS, and joining programs like Allara Health.
Though PCOS is not spoken about enough, it’s important to recognize that it is a common condition that 1 in 10 women struggle with. In fact, Johns Hopkins Medicine lists it as a “very common hormone problem for women of childbearing age.” And though symptoms like hirsutism, acne, weight gain, fertility issues, and hair loss can be extremely distressing, isolating side effects of the condition, it may help to remember that approximately 10% of women around the world are also struggling with PCOS.
You may be surprised at how healing it can be to talk with someone who understands exactly what you’re going through, because they’ve lived it first hand. For instance, at Allara Health, we provide 24/7 text support, in addition to weekly video calls with your medical provider (who specializes in PCOS), a nutritionist who will tailor a PCOS-plan of attack specific to your needs and goals, and a private community of Allara members.
When considering how to cure PCOS naturally, you’ll likely be inundated with recommendations for supplements (whether they work or not). And thanks to the unregulated nature of the industry, not all supplements are created equal. Which is why it’s so important to opt for those that are NSF certified, as well as USP certified, and are backed by research supporting their effects.
By opting for supplements signed off by these organizations, you can ensure the products in question pass a systematic process of approval and are subject to extensive examination.
That being said – three supplements we highly recommend for women with PCOS include inositol, vitamin D, and B vitamins.
Inositol deserves a special mention because it has the potential to lower high insulin levels and improve blood sugar levels in women with PCOS, while a meta-analysis found that inositol lowered testosterone levels overall, and that with 6 months of consistent use, subjects saw positive effects on androgen profile and acne.
So what about vitamin D and B vitamin complex? Not to be outdone, Vitamin D is a good option for when it comes to improving fertility among women with PCOS, as well as reducing likelihood of depression in women with and without PCOS, while B 12 and folate can be helpful in fighting insulin resistance.
Interested in learning about other supplements that can help cure PCOS naturally? Check out our article on the top 7 scientifically-supported supplements for treating PCOS.
Ever feel really good after working out? Well, it’s not just placebo. Aerobic exercises in particular have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.
Why is exercise so good for us? Scientists propose that improvements in mood are related to exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain which in turn influences our “physiologic reactivity to stress.” It’s a lot more complicated than that, of course, with parts of the brain like the hippocampus and amygdala playing a role in our mood and motivation levels post-exercise, but for all intents and purposes, it appears that exercise is excellent for both our mental and physical well-being.
In fact, several studies suggest that exercise “improves menstrual and/or ovulation frequency following exercise” in women with PCOS. On top of that good news, there is also evidence that exercise mitigates cardiovascular disease risk factors in women with PCOS and improves insulin insensitivity, too.
So where should you begin? Well, start with small changes that fit in with your lifestyle. For instance, if you work from home, consider taking 20 minute breaks in which you go for a walk and get some fresh air. Alternatively, if you always drive to the grocery store, consider cycling or running. Or, if you have a date night with friends each week, you could replace happy hour with a group exercise class.
Remember: small, consistent, and incremental changes are far better than once-in-a-blue-moon big changes.
The fun part here is that there’s no “right” way to heal your PCOS: start with one or two of these methods on this list, and then see where they take you. You can always review, change, and optimize these methods as necessary. And if you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to healing your PCOS naturally?
Consider joining Allara’s program in which you can receive tailored treatment from a medical provider (specializing in PCOS), a nutritionist, as well as support from the Allara community, in order to develop a custom care plan that truly works for you.
Allara Health provides personalized treatment for hormonal, metabolic & gynecological conditions that utilizes a holistic plan that merges nutrition, lifestyle, medication and supplementation, and ongoing, expert support to heal your body.