Using Vitamins to Relieve Symptoms of PCOS Naturally: The Benefits of Cinnamon, Biotin, Chromium and Omega-3
5 Supplements to Relieve PCOS
Dealing with PCOS Naturally
By Victoria Postlewait
Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition in which small cysts form on the ovary impairing production of estrogen. PCOS is very common in women, especially those in their child bearing years. Many women that have PCOS may be unaware of it, as some women do not exhibit any symptoms. If you have noticed a significant weight gain and have irregular periods, you may have PCOS.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Symptoms can include:
· Irregular menstrual cycle
· Thinning of the hair
· Facial hair growth
· Weight gain
· Difficulty becoming pregnant
How do I know if I have PCOS?
If you exhibit any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor if they become bothersome. A physician determines PCOS by administering a Pelvic and/or Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound. Once confirmed, the physician will recommend a follow-up to discuss treatment.
How can I help alleviate signs of PCOS?
Although there is no miracle cure to PCOS, there are many ways to help reduce symptoms and prevent cysts from enlarging. It is vital that you seek advice from a physician before consuming any supplements. Here are a few natural supplements that may be helpful in alleviating symptoms of PCOS:
1) Cinnamon- Once thought of as a gift fit only for monarchy and Gods, this spice is widely used in the 21st century. Cinnamon has shown to significantly reduce appetite when consumed daily. Cinnamon can help maintain blood sugar levels, which in turn can reduce sugar cravings and promote weight loss. There have been no reported side effects of consuming cinnamon for a prolonged period of time.
2) Chromium Picolinate- Many claim that Chromium Picolinate can lower the instance of insulin resistance, can reduce carbohydrate cravings and alleviate signs of depression. Women with PCOS have a higher chance of becoming diabetic later in life. This is why Chromium Picolinate can be beneficial for women with PCOS.
3) Vitamin B Complex- Consisting of 8 essential vitamins; thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folate, B6 and B12, B complex has shown to be beneficial to women. Vitamin B complex can reduce symptoms of depression and increase energy levels.
4) Biotin- Also found in Vitamin B Complex, biotin in larger doses can reduce hair loss and help lower blood sugar levels. Biotin is generally targeted to improving hair, skin and nails.
5) Omega-3- Generally found in fish, avocado and nuts, Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 supplements can reduce the pain and swelling around the abdomen that many women with PCOS experience. Omega-3 is great for aging men and women, as it lubricates the joints and may prevent osteoporosis.
How can I lose weight with PCOS?
Losing weight can be challenging with PCOS. It is vital to maintain a healthy diet consisting of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and protein. The above supplements can help with weight loss as they reduce sugar and carbohydrate cravings by maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. With a strict diet and exercise plan, PCOS can be defeated. Weight loss is crucial to someone with PCOS as they are more likely to develop diabetes later in life. Healthy weight loss takes time, dedication and patience. You didn’t gain 20lbs in a week, so don’t expect to lose it in a week.
Which diet is most effective?
There is not one specific diet that is right for all sufferers of PCOS, what works for one may hinder another. After seeking guidance from a physician, I would recommend a diet that is low in sugar, carbohydrates and fat. Imagine your plate, take half of it and fill it with veggies such as lettuce, broccoli, green beans, carrots, etc (do not include potato or corn, this is a starch!). Then take a quarter of your plate and fill with lean protein like chicken, pork, fish, eggs or beans (you could also eat red meats, but I find leaner proteins healthier as they are easier to digest). The remainder of your plate (one quarter) should be filled with your starch, for example, potato, rice, bread or corn.
What foods should I avoid?
· Highly processed meats
· Fried foods
· Foods high in sugar
· Meats injected with additional hormones
· Refined carbohydrates such as chips, cake, cookies
· When food shopping, stay away from boxed items (filled with preservatives to prolong shelf-life)
What foods can I eat?
· Broccoli, Eggplant, Green beans, tomatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, peppers, cabbage, squash, celery, turnips, avocados and other vegetables low in starch
· Legumes, beans, lentils
· Lean protein such as chicken, pork, egg, fish, tofu, lean red meats, dairy products
Do I have to Exercise?
Yes! Believe me, I know it is tough finding the time to work out every other day, but you have to make a list of priorities. Your health and self-esteem is more important than watching television for an hour and a half. Working out doesn’t mean you have to exert yourself so much that it hurts, consistency is much more important. Many times I have gone to the gym, pushed myself too hard and can’t workout for the next few days. This is the wrong way to go about exercise. When starting a new exercise program, begin small, try going for a fast paced walk for 45 minutes. Be sure to change your exercises plan constantly to avoid boredom. For example walk 45 minutes on Monday, 45 Minutes of Yoga Tuesday, perhaps try going for a light jog on Wednesday. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, try outdoor activities like tennis, swimming perhaps even hiking!
Important thinks to consider
Remember, it is important to follow up with your doctor if you are diagnosed with PCOS. Even if you have small cysts it is crucial to have regular checkups and ultra-sounds as cysts have a tendency to enlarge, causing complications. PCOS can be upsetting due to the myriad of symptoms, but keep in mind that most cysts go away on their own eventually. I am not a doctor so do not make any drastic changes until you have consulted with your physician.