Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are in a battle with hormone balance. PCOS is a complicated disorder that the medical world hasn’t learned much about yet. The mystery around PCOS has left up to 70% of cases undiagnosed, and women who are diagnosed often aren’t given many good solutions to their difficult symptoms.
Though there is no cure, there are actually a lot of natural ways to heal PCOS and reverse the effects of the symptoms. This is great news because it means many Cysters can take charge of their PCOS without harsh medications that have lots of potential side effects!
You can find a good list of natural remedies for PCOS on the blog, but today I’m zeroing in on a common household pantry item and how it can help you with a few of your recurrent symptoms. Today, I’m talking about apple cider vinegar!
Apple Cider Vinegar For PCOS
There are lots of uses for apple cider vinegar from cleaning to cooking, but did you know there are some science-backed benefits of apple cider vinegar for PCOS too? It’s true! Apple cider vinegar is just fermented apple juice, which makes it antimicrobial and antioxidant.
It’s been used for centuries in natural medicine, and there is now scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar may be a natural remedy for some common PCOS symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about apple cider vinegar and PCOS:
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for PCOS
Helps improve insulin sensitivity.
One of the most common symptoms of PCOS is insulin resistance. This is when your cells don’t process glucose well. And, instead of being converted to energy, sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, causing high blood sugar levels. This is what happens in people who are type-2 diabetics as well!
So, for people with insulin-resistant PCOS, improving insulin sensitivity is a top priority for symptom management and reducing the risk of long-term complications. Luckily, apple cider vinegar has been shown in multiple studies to help reduce blood sugar levels, manage blood sugar spikes, and increase insulin sensitivity.
Helps reduce blood pressure.
Research shows that acetic acid inside of apple cider vinegar can help reduce blood pressure. It probably does this by making an enzyme called renin less active and improving calcium absorption. Both lowered renin activity and better calcium absorption seem to have a direct effect on lowering blood pressure!
Cysters are three times more likely to have high blood pressure than a healthy person, so blood pressure management is definitely a priority! High blood pressure could be causing symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, anxiety, nosebleeds, and abnormal heart rhythms. It could also put you at a high risk of cardiovascular disease, so finding solutions is important to your healing process.
Helps improve ovulation and regulate periods.
Since PCOS is primarily hormonal, it can really disrupt your menstrual cycle. You may be all too familiar with irregular, heavy, and even painful periods. Of course, the disruption of your period also affects ovulation, meaning many women with PCOS (up to 80%) experience infertility.
However, apple cider vinegar has been shown in early studies to potentially help with period regulation and improved fertility. (Again, these are small, new tests that need more corroboration, but it’s hope!) It’s thought that this improvement is related to apple cider vinegar’s blood sugar and blood pressure benefits since insulin resistance has an effect on periods.
Like other symptoms on this list, apple cider isn’t a cure-all that’ll take care of your irregular menstrual cycles on its own, but it’s a great support to other natural period-regulating methods that you can read about in this post.
Helps lose weight.
Many Cysters struggle to lose weight. This is because insulin resistance causes our body to constantly store sugar that’s broken down from the food we eat, as fat. Even when working out and eating better, lots of women still have a hard time getting to a healthy weight. Since apple cider vinegar can help with insulin sensitivity, it can aid in weight loss as well!
For more ways to overcome weight loss challenges with PCOS, check out this post, 12 Tips to Lose Weight with PCOS, and download The Cysterhood App which has a whole collection of workouts and recipes specialized for PCOS weight loss.
Helps with yeast infections.
Beyond the health benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar, there are positive effects from application too. Apple cider vinegar diluted in a warm bath can help with yeast infections. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar can help kill yeast and other harmful microorganisms.
The relationship between PCOS and yeast infections isn’t completely known, but scientists think that insulin resistance, medication, stress, and/or hormone imbalance could be to blame. Apple cider vinegar is one of a few natural remedies to assist with yeast infections. You can learn more about those solutions HERE.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For PCOS
Bath in apple cider vinegar.
To help with yeast infections, you could use apple cider vinegar in a bath!
Just add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to a full bath and soak for 20 minutes.
Take an apple cider vinegar supplement.
It’s not pleasant for anyone to consume apple cider vinegar. The flavor takes getting used to!
Dilute apple cider vinegar in water.
For this method, mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. (Make sure it’s always diluted.) Once you have your mixture, drink up!
The best time to have your apple cider vinegar water is before bed or before a big meal.
Make apple cider vinegar mocktails.
Drinking apple cider vinegar can be a little fun if you make it into a mocktail!
For a few tasty apple cider vinegar detox mocktail recipes, check out this post!
Apple cider vinegar may be helpful in alleviating PCOS symptoms!
Studies seem to suggest apple cider vinegar has plenty of positive effects for women with PCOS! However, apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be used exclusively for PCOS management, and, as always, contact a doctor before starting a new supplement or routine. You can learn more about my thoughts on apple cider vinegar in this episode of A Cyster and Her Mister.
For more natural healing tips, head to the PCOS Weight Loss blog! There, you’ll find even more natural healing methods as well as valuable information on PCOS that’ll help you make the right treatment choices for your body. Symptom relief is around the corner, Cyster!