PCOS is becoming four letters I am seeing on my intake forms more and more each year.
Inflammation is a hallmark of PCOS, and while inflammation from, say, a challenging workout is one thing, to be chronically inflamed is not a good thing. For women, it can disrupt hormones, cause premature aging, and damage egg quality, to name a few things.
When you are in a state of constant inflammation as a woman, your ovary will produce more testosterone and an increase in insulin resistance. Low-grade inflammation is a huge factor in PCOS.
Our immune system responds to the environment we are giving it by helping respond to defend against infections and to turn off overreactive responses. But with PCOS, this is not true as being in a chronic state of low-grade inflammation keeps your immune system constantly activated, which is why women with PCOS often have an autoimmune disease. There are a few things you can do to lower your inflammation.
- Get your sleep habits up to snuff. If you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you increase your insulin resistance and create further metabolic problems.
- Look into fixing your leaky gut. By and far, I have yet to work with a client with PCOS who did not have some gut health issues. When you have a leaky gut, you set the stage for chronic inflammation.
- Look into a low FODMAP diet to lower food inflammatory responses for a few weeks. If you do this right, you can add foods back in slowly to figure out which foods might trigger an inflammatory response.
- Support your body with supplements like NAC, Zinc, and L-Glutamine, which each go a long way in helping keep your inflammation levels down.
- Find a healthcare provider who considers your health and your quality of life. If the answer from your doctor is Metformin and Spirlactone, then look for another doctor. Those are Band-Aids and far from fixes for most women with PCOS.
Understanding your protein, carb, and fat macros and blood glucose monitoring goes a long way in helping keep inflammation at bay and you feeling better.
I know the women I work with who have PCOS have made great strides by committing to a lifestyle change that you won’t ever see written on a prescription pad.