Did you know that September is National PCOS Awareness Month?
If you’re like a lot of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) sufferers, you’re probably thinking, “oh, I’m aware, alright.”
Let’s just say it: PCOS SUCKS.
Unfortunately, it’s also a reality for a lot of women.
Did you also know that 1 in 10 women between the ages of 12 and 51 have PCOS? I guess at least we’re not alone…
We all know the usual “fixes:”
- Cut out sugar
- Get more exercise
- Stop eating bread
- Be less fat
- Eat broccoli
The horrible reality of the disease is that, for most of us, losing a few pounds, and eating more fiber-dense veggies isn’t enough.
It also doesn’t fix the fact that I can grow a beard that would make a 14-year-old boy green with envy (That’s only a slight exaggeration).
So, what CAN you do to at least make living with PCOS a little easier?
Drink More Tea
If you’re not used to drinking tea on the regular, now might be the time to start.
Apart from being yummy, there are plenty of tea blends that may ease everyone’s favorite PCOS side-effect (not): bloating.
Natural anti-inflammatory properties in tea can kick your bloat right in the tuchus — particularly if you’re drinking green or black tea.
If you aren’t already an avid tea drinker, it can be hard to get into the habit.
Start small. Try replacing your morning coffee with a cup of tea instead.
It might take a little longer to brew than your coffeemaker, but it’ll be well worth the wait. Plus, it’s a great way to curb your caffeine intake if you have a caffeine sensitivity.
Add a little bit of organic, local honey for sweetness, if you like.
Soon, you might just find yourself with an incredible loose leaf tea collection and way-too-much-knowledge on each one.
You can never know too much about tea.
Do Some Yoga
The general health benefits of yoga are well-known.
If you already practice regularly: keep going.
Or, maybe you’re like me: you used to practice all the time. But, because of the fatigue that can come along with PCOS, you’ve let your practice fall to the wayside.
If you’re like me it can be tough to find the energy to do anything physical but you also know the importance of exercise when you have PCOS.
I’ve got some good news for you.
You don’t have to get intense with it.
You totally can if you want to. If you’re used to a yoga + HIIT hybrid, go for it. You do you.
But, a quick, mellow, 5-minute yoga routine might be all you need to get your blood flowing and start increasing your energy levels.
Your muscles will thank you and you’ll feel better about yourself.
It’s a win-win.
Get Some More Sleep
Did you know sleep disorders are fairly common among PCOS sufferers?
According to a study that looked into Iranian Traditional Medicine’s view of PCOS, sleep is a significant factor in the modification of the disease, yet is often overlooked in PCOS treatment plans.
In fact, the same study suggests women with PCOS get less REM sleep than women who don’t have PCOS — lucky ducks.
Daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep, insomnia, and even sleep apnea can occur.
Well, that explains a lot.
In today’s busy world, it’s already hard enough to get a good nights’ sleep. Now you have to have a syndrome that makes it even harder?
Don’t lose hope, though. Have you thought about building a nighttime routine?
Not only are routines good for our health but a good routine can go a long way towards helping you sleep better.
Not sure where to start? Give this delectable bedtime routine a try.
You might find yourself falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.
Can I get an amen?
Take Your Vitamins (and Supplements)
While I definitely recommend a chat with your doctor about any severe symptoms (sometimes prescription meds are necessary) you may not always want to rely on the old ℞ alone — or at all.
If you’re looking for something to add to your regular PCOS meds, or want some natural alternatives, here are a few you might like to try:
- B12 for fighting low energy levels and fatigue
- B2 – 6 for hormones, metabolism, and thyroid function
- Vitamin D for insulin resistance
- Probiotics to improve gut health
- Omega 3s could help with testosterone levels and help regulate menstrual cycles
- Inositol — a B vitamin that can help with insulin resistance, especially great if you’ve got more than a few pounds to lose.
- Fiber to keep it all moving
Tip: taking a fiber supplement, like glucomannan, may help with weight loss.
Not only is fiber a key player in your digestive health — it keeps you regular — it also slows the movement of food from your stomach, making you feel fuller longer.
In short: it can help curb the cravings.
Even chocolate cravings.
PCOS can make it super easy for you to become deficient in the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs to function well.
Taking a Vitamin D supplement with a B-Complex could be just what the doctor ordered (mine certainly did).
PCOS May a Pain, But It Can Be Manageable
While there is nothing you can really do for PCOS except to treat the symptoms, they are working on a cure.
Even so, a cure is still a long way off.
So, while we can’t fix it, we can do little things here and there to make life with PCOS a little bit easier.