PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) affects up to one in ten women, meaning it is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting women of reproductive age. This includes irregular or absent menstrual periods, acne, and emotional symptoms such as depression and anxiety. These symptoms are due to hormonal imbalances that affect ovarian function and other aspects of health in people with PCOS.
What is PCOS?
PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome. It’s a disorder that affects the ovaries and the hormones that regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. It happens when small collections of fluid (called cysts) develop on one or both ovaries. These cysts can cause many different symptoms including irregular periods, acne, abnormal hair growth (on your face and body), weight gain, and infertility (not being able to get pregnant).
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Is intermittent fasting safe for PCOS?
Intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, insulin resistance, and acne. It can also help to slow the progression of hair loss. This makes intermittent fasting a powerful tool for women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
While there is no cure for Polycystic ovarian syndrome, some lifestyle changes can improve your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications. One of these changes includes intermittent fasting, which will be discussed in this article.
How to start intermittent fasting with PCOS.
In order to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting, it’s important that you start slow. Starting slow will allow you to form a new habit and potentially stick with it for longer without quitting.
It may take several weeks before your body adjusts to this way of eating.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting and you will have to choose what works best for you.
My suggestion would be to pick a day or two during the week that you want to fast.
Then you have two choices
- Pick an 8-hour period when you will eat all your meals. Make sure that you eat as healthy as possible. The Mediterranean diet is a great blueprint for what you can eat
- You can also choose to eat just one meal a day, this is called the OMAD
You can read more about the benefits of Intermittent fasting and other intermittent fasting plans suggested by John Hopkins Medicine
Try adding light exercise into your routine while doing intermittent fasting; it will help keep things exciting while also increasing energy levels throughout the day.
My experience with intermittent fasting
IF(Intermittent Fasting) helped me lose stubborn body fat almost immediately. I had a reduction in LDL, and insulin resistance. I was also able to lower my Hemoglobin A1C levels.
I practiced the 16:8 fasting. I started with the 12:12 regimen, meaning I would east during a 12-hour window and fast for 12 hours. once I felt comfortable, I started to practice the 16:8 fasting.
I would eat between 12 pm – 8 pm and fast for the remainder of the day.
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How intermittent fasting can benefit PCOS.
Intermittent fasting can improve PCOS symptoms by:
Helping you lose weight. Your doctor might recommend that you lose weight to help with your PCOS, and intermittent fasting can help you do just that. One study found that women who fasted lost weight and improved their insulin resistance, which means they would be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not fast. And since it’s possible for overweight women with PCOS to reduce their risk of developing diabetes by as much as 50%, weight loss could be more important than ever for this group of people!
Improving fertility. While birth control methods like levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or oral contraceptives can help regulate your periods and ovulation when used regularly, they may not be suitable for everyone due to side effects like mood changes or nausea. Fasting may allow you some relief from these symptoms while still providing other potential benefits such as increased fertility!
Disadvantages of intermittent fasting when you have PCOS.
It may be hard to stick to long-term, but it may also affect your ability to commune with people and have a social life when you are fasting. It can have a negative effect on individuals who already lead active lifestyles or are leaner. This can lead to “irregular menstrual cycles and the potential for fertility issues” according to Insider.com.
Can Intermittent Fasting make PCOS Worse?
There is no evidence that intermittent fasting will worsen PCOS.
In fact, there are many reasons why it might even help!
Intermittent fasting has the potential to improve insulin resistance and hormone balance (which both contribute to PCOS). It can also increase ovulation in women with anovulatory cycles. Intermittent fasting may improve acne and hair loss as well, which are common symptoms of PCOS.
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How does intermittent fasting affect endocrine and metabolism in anovulatory PCOS
If you have PCOS and are looking for a way to improve your insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation and improve your health, intermittent fasting may be the answer.
Fasting has been shown in multiple studies to significantly improve insulin sensitivity and fertility in women with PCOS.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on women with anovulatory PCOS. The researchers found that Ramadan fasting increased ovulation rates among women with anovulatory PCOS.
In another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers studied how calorie restriction affects women who were overweight or obese but not suffering from any particular metabolic disorder like diabetes or high cholesterol levels.
They found that calorie-restricted diets improved markers of metabolic health including cholesterol levels and blood pressure compared to a standard diet.
In conclusion, Intermittent fasting for PCOS is a great way to manage insulin resistance but it should be combined with a healthy diet to be effective. It can also help improve other symptoms of PCOS like weight loss and acne, but it may not work for everyone.
The best way to know if this type of diet is right for you is by consulting with your doctor about any health concerns you have before starting any new lifestyle changes like this one.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? was it helpful? Comment below.