What is PCOD? PCOD means Polycystic Ovarian Disease which happens because of hormonal imbalance. In this condition, the collection of immature or partially mature eggs (which cannot be discharged) converted into cysts. These cysts can cause more cysts and this cycle goes on.
It is a common condition that affects 5% to 10% of the women in the age group of 12-45 years. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), this condition affects 116 million females around the world. PCOD affects approximately 10% of women during their reproductive age.
What is PCOD and PCOS?
Many females use PCOD and PCOS interchangeably when both are very different conditions. Both of these conditions are related to ovaries and both of them cause a hormonal disturbance. But there are some significant differences between the conditions.
PCOD, Polycystic Ovarian Disease, is a condition. Whereas PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an endocrine system disorder.
PCOS is a disorder in which ovaries in your body produce higher levels of androgen (male hormone) than usual. It interferes with the development of eggs and their discharge. Some of these eggs convert into cysts (little sacs filled with liquid). Rather than releasing these eggs during ovulation, these cysts are buildup in your ovaries and can even get enlarge.
PCOD is a disease that can be treated with the correct diet and exercise schedule. But PCOS is a metabolic disorder and it is not yet properly cured. PCOD is more common than PCOS, every 1 woman in 10 around the world suffers from this disease.
Females who are suffering from PCOS experience serious complications. The risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac-vascular issues, obesity, and cancer increases. And girls who suffer from PCOS show symptoms at an early age, during their teenage years.
What is PCOD and its Symptoms?
PCOD and PCOS, both are associated with faulty ovaries. Some of the common symptoms experienced by females during both the conditions are:-
- Irregular periods, every 2 to 3 months, known as amenorrhea.
- Heavy Bleeding, known as menorrhagia.
- Unusual facial and body hair growth, known as hirsutism.
- Acne cannot be healed through usual treatments.
- Uncontrolled weight gain (around the waist area).
- Pigmentation or dark skin around the neck area, known as acanthosis nigricans.
- Infertility (trouble in getting pregnant).
- Thinning of hair on the scalp
What is the PCOD problem and its Causes?
The cause of this condition is unknown. But studies suggest that some of the common factors which are known to cause PCOD and PCOS are:-
Genetics: Parents of those females, who have a history of this condition or disorder, are at high risk of developing the same. And these females have reported this condition, as hereditary is the main cause of it.
Excess Insulin: The primary source of energy in your body is Sugar which is regulated by insulin. But in a woman, excessive insulin affects the ability to ovulate. Excess of insulin affects the production of androgen (the hormone responsible for this disorder).
Hormonal Imbalance: The main cause of this condition is hormonal imbalance. Due to which the secretion of the male hormone in your body increases that affects the development of eggs in the ovaries.
Low-grade inflammation: Research has shown that women who are suffering from PCOD or PCOS have witnessed low-grade inflammation. It leads to the stimulation of polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.
What happens in PCOD and what is PCOD Problem in Females?
Women suffering from PCOD experiences increase in the production of a male hormone in their body, which is known as androgen. High levels of this hormone can harm women in different ways.
Infertility: Not every woman is aware of what is PCOD, and they may not experience issues in getting pregnant even while having PCOD if the condition is under control. But because of this condition, they experience problems as they do not ovulate regularly. Because of which the ovaries don’t release many eggs to get fertilized, which leads to infertility.
Endometrial Cancer: During the process of ovulation, the lining of uterine sheds. But if you don’t ovulate every month, it can lead to building up a thick lining. This thick uterine lining increases the risk of getting endometrial cancer.
Depression: Most of the symptom experienced during this condition like hormonal imbalance, acne, headaches, unwanted hair growth, etc., negatively affects your emotions. Many of the women with PCOD or PCOS end up with depression or anxiety.
Treatment for PCOD – The Right Diet and Exercise
Treatment of PCOD includes proper diet and exercise. You can manage the symptoms through lifestyle changes and dietary supplements. Eating the right foods and avoiding certain foods can assist in the management of these symptoms. Some of the foods which will help in treating this condition are:-
Whole foods: Foods that are free from artificial sugar and preservatives. Unprocessed foods are close to the natural state. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes which you should add to your diet.
Without artificial sugar and preservatives, your endocrine system functions better. It can help in better regulation of blood sugar.
Balanced carbohydrates and protein intake: Carbohydrates and protein affect the energy levels and hormone levels in your body. Adding protein in your diet can help in stimulating insulin in your body.
Unprocessed foods with high carbohydrates improve the sensitivity towards insulin. Some of the plant-based protein sources are nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Anti-inflammatory Products: Consuming anti-inflammatory foods in your regular meals can help in easing out some of your symptoms.
Some of the foods which help in fighting inflammation are olive oil, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish (such as tuna and mackerel), and tree nuts.
Increase Magnesium and Iron intake: Iron deficiency can cause heavy bleeding or anemia. Professionals also recommend increasing the consumption of magnesium and iron in your diet.
Foods rich in iron are spinach, eggs, and broccoli. And foods that are rich in magnesium are almonds, cashews, spinach, and bananas. But you shouldn’t increase iron intake without consulting your physician.
Add Fiber in your Diet: Diets that are high in fiber helps in improving digestion. Lesser the problems with digestion the more you can manage your weight.
Dairy products are rich in fiber which helps in treating digestion problems. Other foods that provide a high profile of fiber are lentils, lima beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, and pears.
Exclude Coffee: Caffeine consumption can be linked to the change in the levels of estrogen and hormonal behavior. If you are consuming caffeine for boosting energy you can try a decaf alternative like herbal tea.
And if you can’t work without a coffee boost, opt for green tea instead. Green tea has also has shown to benefit insulin resistance in your body. It also helps in maintaining a healthy weight with PCOD.
Physical Activities help in Maintaining Healthy Weight in PCOD
Regular physical activity is essential for women with PCOD or PCOS. Not only consistent exercise helps in healthy weight management but it also improves your mood. It can also help with fertility issues and lower the risk of getting diseases. Some of the exercises which have shown many benefits to the women with PCOD or PCOS are:-
Cardio: Exercises such as brisk walk, jogging, cycling, and swimming, assist in helping with PCOD or PCOS. These types of exercises help increase your bodily sensitivity towards insulin. Performing exercises for 30 minutes or more can help with weight management and improving mood.
Strength Training: Exercises which include bodyweight such as squats, push-ups, bench press, etc., helps in improving the functioning of insulin. These exercises also help in boosting your metabolism and strengthening your muscle mass.
High-Intensity Interval Training: It involves interchanging between short bouts of high-intensity exercises and lower intensity exercises. It is an effort in boosting your cardiovascular fitness by assisting in PCOD or PCOS. From this, you can achieve 5-10% weight loss.
Core Strength: Core training programs are essential for your body. They help in preparing your body for pregnancy and managing some fertility issues. If you are trying to conceive you can start training your pelvic and abdominal muscles with this training.
When to seek help?
You should immediately seek professional help if you get to know what is PCOD and you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above. With the treatment plan of your physician, these self-help tips will be helpful.
You should plan regular visits to your doctor, as this could be a serious condition which you shouldn’t take lightly. Your regular tests for diabetes, blood pressure, and other possible complications will help you in keeping records of your treatment.
PCOD means what happens when your body experiences hormonal imbalance. In this condition, the eggs inside your ovaries get converted into cysts because of the increased production of a hormone androgen. When you think you are facing these symptoms you should immediately seek professional help from the best gynecologist in India.