pcos diet keto low carb

The Keto Diet and PCOS

What is the Keto Diet?

Keto Diet PCOS Women
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The Keto Diet and PCOS can effectively go hand-in-hand with each other. A Ketogenic diet can be a very promising combatant for women who suffer from PCOS.

So, what exactly is the Keto Diet? Well, easily put it is a low carb, high fat and moderate protein diet. Going by macro-nutrients, you’d be looking at a nutritional need of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrate intake.

There is more than one type of ketogenic diet though. The above-mentioned macro-nutrients are accounted for by the standard Keto Diet, which is the most popular. So, what are the other types?

Keto Style Fat Protein Carb For Who?
Standard Keto 75% 20% 5% Obese, Type 2 Diabetics
Cyclical Keto Diet 75% 20% 5% The duration of time is different. Ex: 28 Days on Keto and 2 days off Keto
Targeted Keto Diet 75% 20% 5% Higher carb intake is allowed around workout times. Athletes typically do targeted keto.
High Protein Keto Diet 60% 35% 5% Heavy Lifters.

Protein is still converted to glucose just like carbohydrates.

The Keto Diet can be successful in prime candidates because you are drastically reducing your carb intake and replacing them with healthy fats. The drastic reduction in your carb intake then puts your body into a metabolic state of Ketosis.

Ketosis is the metabolic state that you want to achieve because that is when your body becomes a fat burner. Your body then starts to turn fat into ketones in the liver which then supply the brain with energy. Ketones are also known to improve cognitive function. So, yeah, we get skinnier and smarter!

Carbs are converted to glycogen, which spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels. Without those carbohydrates, your body has a massive reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels.

The Keto Diet is often more suggested than a low-fat diet by physicians for women who have PCOS. You can also lose weight without calorie counting because of the higher fat levels satiate your body faster than carbohydrates.

The Keto Diet not only supports the weight-loss factor needed by many women who suffer from PCOS, but it combats many other PCOS symptoms. Keto can effectively combat against acne and the imbalances in hormones that cause PCOS.

The Keto Diet can also help reduce chances for cancer and can potentially reduce seizures. The diet itself can also help improve heart health and brain function. Also, it is shown to help reduce fasting levels for blood sugar.

What Exactly is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder that affects 12-17% of women of reproductive age and with a staggering 70% of women undiagnosed. PCOS is a complex syndrome and autoimmune condition caused by a hormonal imbalance between luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). High production from (LH) results in androgen’s, which acts like testosterone and can cause several discouraging issues.

The signs and symptoms of PCOS can be almost discouraging in themselves because of the number of things that can feel wrong. The severity of symptoms ranges from woman to woman and not all women will experience all the symptoms.

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
1.       Ovarian Cysts
2.       Excess body hair
3.       Acne
4.       Unexplained weight gain
5.       Lower sex drive
6.       No Menstruation
7.       Very short or very light menstruation cycles
8.       Obesity
9.       Overweight
10.   Depression
11.   Male features such as facial hair
12.   Loss of hair
13.   Infertility
14.   Ovarian Cancer

Your doctor may recommend that you lose weight. A weight reduction of even 5% can improve your condition and can improve the effectiveness of the medications prescribed by your doctor. Weight-loss can also improve the issues you may experience with infertility. They also may suggest medications to help regulate your menstruation cycles or medication to help reduce your blood sugars.

photo of a burn fat text on round blue plate
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To regulate your period, your doctor might suggest a few different routes. They may prescribe anything from birth control pills, a patch or a vaginal ring containing both estrogen and progestin. Estrogen and progestin together can decrease androgen production and regulates the estrogen levels. The regulation of hormones can lower risks of endometrial cancer. Regulating hormones can also combat excess hair growth and acne.

Medications Your Doctor Might Prescribe for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

medication for pcos
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There are a number of different names and prescriptions that can be used to help alleviate some of the symptoms of PCOS. However, this is just a few of them, how they are taken and when and what they do.

Women with PCOS have risks of insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. These medications are said to help with insulin resistance and hormone stimulation.

Medication: How is it used and what it does:
Clomid Anti-estrogen oral pill taken at first part of cycle
Letrozole/Femara Breast cancer treatment that stimulates ovaries
Metformin Type 2 medication improves insulin resistance
Gonadotropins Hormone medication given by injection only

 

How the Keto Diet Works for Women with PCOS

The Keto Diet and PCOS have been linked through several conducted studies. Multiple of these studies have shown that obese women who followed a low-carb diet saw improvement with insulin resistance, lowering their blood sugar levels.

There was also a sign of significantly lower cholesterol levels. People also reported that they ended up having a better quality of life and more regular periods.

Higher carb diets can increase insulin levels, making it harder for someone with PCOS to lose weight. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels and may treat or prevent insulin resistance as well as helping to avoid the development of diabetes.

Keto itself can combat acne, insulin resistance and help lower your cholesterol levels. The Keto Diet may have such an effect that it can also potentially help you with fighting infertility.

What Foods are Good to Eat on the Keto Diet and to Help PCOS?

The foods named here are also great foods for the Keto Diet. Which is one less thing you have to worry about when starting a regimen. You’ll know that the foods you are eating have a dual purpose.

Foods to eat while on Keto and to help PCOS:
Unprocessed whole foods
High-fiber foods
Fatty fish- Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel
Leafy Greens – Kale, Spinach, Romaine
Dark Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Cherries, Blackberries (in moderation only)
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Healthy Fats- Avocados, Olive Oils, whole Butters, Ghee
Nuts- Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios (Pistachios are high net carb, eat only in moderation)
Dark Chocolate – only in moderation- Higher Cacao
Eggs

 

What Foods You Want to Avoid on the Keto Diet and PCOS

Foods to avoid:
Refined Carbohydrates -Bread, pastries, chips, crackers, ect.
Fried Foods
Sugary Beverages – Soda, Juice, Sweet Tea
Milk
Sugary condiments – ketchup, BBQ sauce
Artificial Sweeteners

Take Away

Take away from this article that if you are experiencing some or any of these symptoms that there may be a reason why. I would urge you to seek advice from your doctor for a more in-depth look at your own body.

PCOS can be hard to handle as a woman. It can affect our mental health, our relationships and even make it hard to want relationships. Just know that you are not alone in the fight against PCOS. If you ever need an ear, I am always here.

I know first-hand what it is like to battle PCOS. I know how it made me feel inferior as a woman, it made me feel unattractive because I had excess and very unwanted hair. I suffered from acne as well, and as a woman in her 30’s, I will tell you that in itself is discouraging. But it gets better, and you can combat the illness, with the right help.

If you would like someone just to talk to, below is a contact form, please fill it out and I will reach back out to you. I hope that you are safe and healthy.

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, I do not practice or advise patients on medical matters. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding a medical condition or the possibility of a medical condition. Listen to your medical professional. Reliance on any information provided here on this site and article are solely at your own risk. The information I provide is based on research from studies, and firsthand experiences with my own body.

Related Content:

https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0034-1376990

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