Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Paying attention to the foods you eat and your activity levels may help you offset the effects of PCOS:
- Keep your weight in check. Obesity makes insulin resistance worse. Weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels, and may restore ovulation. No single specific dietary approach is best, but losing weight by reducing total calorie intake can benefit the overall health of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Ask your doctor to recommend a weight-control program, and meet regularly with a dietitian for help in reaching weight-loss goals.
- Consider dietary changes. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets may increase insulin levels, so you may want to consider a low-carbohydrate diet if you have PCOS — and if your doctor recommends it. Don't severely restrict carbohydrates; instead, choose complex carbohydrates, which are high in fiber. The more fiber in a food, the more slowly it's digested and the more slowly your blood sugar levels rise. High-fiber carbohydrates include whole-grain breads and cereals, whole-wheat pasta, bulgur, barley, brown rice, and beans. Limit less healthy, simple carbohydrates such as soda, excess fruit juice, cake, candy, ice cream, pies, cookies and doughnuts.
- Be active. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. If you have PCOS, increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control.
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