How to Treat PCOS Fatigue

How to Treat PCOS Fatigue 

How to Treat PCOS Fatigue
by Tallene Posted February 12, 2024

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that affects women of child bearing age. When people think of PCOS, they often think of two main symptoms: irregular periods and infertility. However, there are a lot more symptoms of PCOS that affect Cysters every day. 

Some of those symptoms include acne, weight gain, hair loss, facial hair growth, mood swings, headaches, ovarian cysts, and extreme, chronic fatigue. That last one is what we’re focusing on today! Daytime sleepiness and low energy levels may seem like no big deal, but if you’re someone who deals with chronic fatigue, you know it’s much more than that! Fatigue can prevent you from reaching your full potential and getting the joy out of your life that you SO deserve! 

Luckily, there are ways to treat chronic fatigue and finally get your energy back. As we all know, once you feel energized and focused, it’s much easier to tackle whatever life brings our way. So, here are a few ways to remedy fatigue and feel like yourself again. 

How to Treat PCOS Fatigue

How to Treat PCOS Fatigue 

Balance your diet and prioritize PCOS-fighting foods. 

One of the main culprits of PCOS fatigue is insulin resistance. Up to 80% of women with PCOS experience insulin resistance, and it can domino into a lot of problems. Basically, our bodies don’t process glucose properly, and instead of sugar turning to energy, it’s stored as fat and raises our blood sugar levels. This results in weight gain, insatiable cravings, and LOTS of fatigue. (Insulin resistance can even develop into type 2 diabetes if left untreated long-term.) 

However, you can manage insulin resistance with a balanced diet and lifestyle changes! You can learn more about my suggested diet in this post and by downloading The Cysterhood app that’s full of PCOS-friendly recipes and a strategic meal plan to help you not only lose weight, but relieve symptoms like fatigue. 

Here are the key takeaways from a PCOS friendly diet:

Take the right supplements. 

Even if you have a balanced diet, it can be really hard to get all the right vitamins and minerals. I can’t even do that! However, our essential nutrients are vital for our body’s natural processes. So, if we’re struggling with insulin resistance and hormone imbalances, we’re always going to have problems if we don’t have the vitamins and minerals necessary to regulate our bodies. 

Supplements can help! Here’s a list of the best supplements for PCOS, but the best way to figure out what you need is to ask your doctor about getting a lab test. That way you know exactly where you’re short! For my Ovafit supplement line, I took tons of PCOS research into consideration to create the perfect vitamins for a Cyster’s needs and goals. On the Ovafit website, you’ll find Ovasitol, CoQ10, curcumin, omega-3, and MetaMulti. (It’s the Cadillac of multivitamins.)  

PCOS supplements

Regulate your period. 

Other common PCOS symptoms include painful and heavy periods. All that bleeding can actually cause an iron deficiency, which is notorious for triggering fatigue. So, getting your periods under control can help a lot with daytime fatigue especially if you’re most fatigued post period. 

Luckily, a lot of the treatments on this list can do double-duty to regulate your periods as well. That’s the great thing about managing hormones and insulin resistance, usually you see improvement on all your PCOS symptoms from treating these two core issues! For more on period regulation, listen to the episode of A Cyster and Her Mister called Period Repair Manual with Author Dr. Lara Briden. 

Drink more water. 

A reason a lot of people (even those without PCOS) experience fatigue is dehydration. Just like your body needs the right nutrients to carry out its functions, it needs water to do its thing too! Without adequate hydration, your blood volume drops and your muscles and organs can’t get enough oxygen. What happens then? Fatigue! So, grab your favorite water bottle and get to drinking!

Ovasitol in morning routine

Avoid drinking caffeine.

Many of us reach for an energy drink, soda, or coffee when we’re feeling tired. In theory, this isn’t a bad idea. When we’re tired, usually it’s because we have an imbalance in our melatonin and cortisol levels. Too much melatonin makes us sleepy, and caffeine elevates the cortisol levels to wake us up. 

But, what is cortisol? It’s our stress hormone! A little of it is okay, because it keeps us focused and alert, however, too much cortisol has us feeling wired, anxious, overwhelmed, and, guess what? Fatigued. This type of fatigue is called adrenal fatigue, and it’s when our adrenal system can’t keep up with the demand for cortisol and our whole body experiences fatigue and hormonal imbalances because of it. Excess cortisol can even increase your insulin resistance!

All that’s to say . . . avoid drinking too much caffeine, especially if you feel like you already struggle with stress management. You’ll probably find that you’re more awake, focused, and calm without it!

how to treat pcos fatigue

Practice stress management. 

So, in the last section we learned stress is bad. Stress is not good for fatigue, both because of the adrenal issues and the high blood pressure that can accompany high cortisol levels. Because of this, practicing good stress management can be super helpful to reduce your fatigue. 

This process is different for everyone, but exercising, learning deep breathing techniques, cutting down on commitments, participating in your favorite hobbies, and more can help you keep more calm and relaxed for a more balanced body. 

Do slow weighted workouts.

Exercise is good for fatigue! That’s right, working out can actually make you feel more energized. This is because low-impact exercises like swimming, yoga, walking, and slow-weighted workouts have a positive effect on insulin resistance and hormone balance (including cortisol.) 

It’s important to do exercises that don’t raise your heart rate and make you produce a bunch more cortisol. Nothing high intensity if you have PCOS! Instead, do one of these PCOS-approved exercises and download The Cysterhood app for customized workout plans! 

slow weighted workouts

Improve your sleep hygiene.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but getting better sleep at night can definitely have an impact on your daytime sleepiness. However, regulating sleep patterns can be hard with PCOS, because Cysters are more likely to experience sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, and more. 

So, what can you do? Do your best to practice good sleep hygiene to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Here are some things you should try: 

  • Wind down at the end of the night with rose hip tea, read a book, music, or mediation! 
  • Consider taking a magnesium supplement.
  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
  • Consider taking CBD. 
  • Turn off screens before bed. 
  • Make your bedroom an oasis you’re excited to sleep in. 

Limit blue light exposure during the day. 

Blue light from electronics has been linked to sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue. The blue light can alter our body’s release of melatonin and really mess up our sleep cycles. If that wasn’t enough, blue light can also make us feel more stressed, anxious, and depressed, research finds. That means blue light could be contributing to fatigue in more ways than one!

I recommend limiting your screen time, especially at night. However, I understand many of you work in front of computers, so limiting it can be hard! In that case, consider blue light blocking glasses to reduce your exposure. 

Spend time in nature. 

Just like limiting your time in front of electronics can improve a lot of the factors leading to fatigue, so can spending time in nature! Getting outside has been shown to help the body regulate its circadian rhythms that means better sleep at night and more alertness during the day! Beyond that, being outside in the sun is stress relieving and mood boosting. Both are great for fighting fatigue. 

feedback on how she cope up with pcos fatigue

Fatigue is common with PCOS, but you can treat it using these natural methods!

Chronic fatigue is more than just feeling a little sleepy in the afternoon. Excessive daytime sleepiness can disrupt all your goals and steal your joy. However, you can reverse your symptoms, heal your PCOS, and get relief from your fatigue naturally! Use these techniques and find more ways to thrive with PCOS on the blog

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