The Essential Guide to Managing PCOS Naturally

The Essential Guide to Managing PCOS Naturally

The Essential Guide to Managing PCOS Naturally
by Tallene Posted June 11, 2024

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that impacts 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. It’s more common than you think! It affects up to 20% of the female population, though the exact numbers are hard to find since upwards of 70% of cases go undiagnosed! Beyond the fact that PCOS is difficult to diagnose, there are also a lot of unpleasant symptoms that can impact our daily routines. 

But, don’t let that discourage you. In fact, you don’t need to rely on medications to manage your PCOS if you choose not to! You can use natural methods to reverse all your symptoms, including weight gain, excess facial hair growth, hair loss, acne, fatigue, mood swings, irregular periods, infertility, sleeping problems, and headaches. Natural healing gets to the root of your symptoms, to not just mask them, but actually fix them!

Getting to the root of things like inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormone imbalance, can not only reverse symptoms, but it can also reduce your risk of plenty of long-term complications of PCOS like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and endometrial cancer. So, it’s so important to make the lifestyle changes you need in order to live your best life with PCOS! 

So. let’s get into my guide on how to naturally get control of your body to live symptom-free with PCOS! 

The Essential Guide to Managing PCOS Naturally

The Essential Guide to Managing PCOS Naturally 

When you want to find a sustainable way to manage PCOS symptoms, you have to consider your metabolic syndrome’s three primary factors impacting your health. These are inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalance. These three things are responsible for most of your symptoms, and they all feed into each other in a vicious cycle. Sometimes, by treating just one symptom at a time you’re able to influence the improvement of another!

First, let’s break this down in more detail: 

  • Inflammation: Inflammation happens when our immune system is activating to eliminate a threat like bacteria, viruses, or other toxic substances that can affect our hormones. However, chronic inflammation is when your immune system remains active and actually starts attacking healthy cells. This is called “auto-immunity” and it hinders insulin signaling, leading to insulin resistance. 
  • Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t respond properly to glucose. Instead of converting it to energy, it stores it as fat and raises your insulin levels. This stimulates your ovaries to produce more testosterone and prompt your body to release cortisol, the stress hormone. 
  • Hormonal Imbalance: High cortisol and testosterone levels can lead to other hormonal imbalances as well. The body senses these imbalances, and can go into survival mode, triggering inflammation and insulin resistance. 

See how this chain just leaves you in an endless loop of problems? When treating PCOS, it is possible to make lifestyle changes to address each of these issues. 

A list of ways to manage PCOS symptoms naturally

How To Manage PCOS Symptoms Naturally 

Try goin gluten and dairy free for 30 days to see how you feel. 

Maintaining a PCOS-friendly diet can do wonders for your symptoms! Eating balanced and intentional meals improves insulin sensitivity and inflammation. But with that being said, many foods can actually trigger high insulin levels and chronic inflammation, such as gluten and dairy. So choosing to find substitutes for these foods that trigger us is not just about weight loss, it’s for our overall health!

I recommend women with PCOS to try a gluten and dairy-free anti-inflammatory diet for 30 days to see how you feel. When you find a way to replace ingredients with gluten and dairy free versions, it doesn’t become a restrictive diet, instead it becomes a lifestyle. (PS. We still fit pizza and dessert in this diet, Cysters.) It’s all about avoiding foods with trans fats, saturated fats, processed foods, gluten, dairy, and sugar while prioritizing foods that are high in protein, high fiber, and full of essential vitamins and nutrients. 

If you’re not sure where to start, download The Cysterhood app and start exploring all the delicious recipes! Chances are, many of the foods you love can be made with just a few minor adjustments. Check it out and start hitting your goals!   

Healthy, delicious, and easy-to-cook meals recipes for your daily diet routine

Cut back on alcohol.

We all know that alcohol isn’t great for our liver. But, did you know that our liver is essential for maintaining our body’s hormone balance? So, people with PCOS should avoid limiting the liver’s functioning with alcohol, if at all possible. Plus, alcohol can contain lots of sugar, so it won’t help your insulin resistance or inflammation either. Here’s more on alcohol with PCOS

Avoid caffeine.

I know what you’re thinking: “But I need it!” Just remember what the goal here is to target the root causes of our symptoms (such as low energy), instead of masking them (like relying on caffeinated drinks). Caffeine works by prompting the body to produce more adrenaline and cortisol (yes, stress hormones.) Your body does this to a certain point, but after you’ve produced so much stress hormone, your body can experience adrenal fatigue. That’s right, caffeine can not only make you feel wired and anxious, but it can actually make you feel more tired! It’s an addicting cycle.

So, when managing PCOS symptoms, you should avoid caffeine and things that increase stress (because that can contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalance.) If you can, try a new morning pick-me-up that doesn’t involve a high amount of caffeine (such as going on a morning walk for sunlight or having a high protein breakfast)—you’ll probably feel MORE focused and awake! 

Drink tea instead!

My recommended replacement for coffee and other caffeinated beverages? Decaf tea! It can provide the same satisfying experience without the negative side effects. Additionally, certain types of tea (like the Testosterone Relief Tea from Ovafit) can actually help with hormonal imbalance and other PCOS symptoms like facial hair, acne and hair loss. So, pour yourself a cup and ditch the coffee, soda, and energy drinks! 

Drink tea and kombucha

Opt for slow-weighted workouts.

Exercise is for more than just getting to your ideal body weight. The right workouts can relieve stress, increase your energy levels, improve mental health, better your sleep, better hormone balance, and reduce inflammation. Needless to say, it’s one of the best things you can do for PCOS healing! 

Just make sure you choose the right exercises for PCOS. I recommend slow-weighted workouts that exercise your whole body in a way that doesn’t pump up that adrenaline and cortisol. Take it from me– I used to do kickboxing, and I actually gained weight instead of losing body fat because of the stress hormones! You can find all my slow-weighted workout routines on The Cysterhood app!

slow-weighted workouts

Get better sleep. 

Sleep is essential for energy, of course, but it’s also been shown to help improve all three big PCOS symptom triggers. During certain stages of sleep, your body undergoes important hormone balancing processes that it can’t carry out if you don’t get a good night’s rest. When your body can’t undergo its usual processes, it can also worsen inflammation and insulin resistance. 

It’s better said than done, so here are some ways to try and get better sleep. Start by setting a sleep schedule that allows you to get at least 7 hours of sleep. Ensure it’s good quality sleep by getting out in nature during the day, creating a wind down routine, turning off screens long before bed, and consider taking CBD. Here’s more on how to sleep better with PCOS

Take high-quality, PCOS-friendly supplements. 

Even with a well thought-out balanced diet, it’s hard to get all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals. That’s where supplements come in! The right ones can really help improve your symptoms because your body finally has the fuel it needs to carry out processes optimally. I recommend fish oil, curcumin, CoQ10, multivitamins, and Ovasitol

You can find all of these in my personal supplement line: Ovafit! All of the supplements were meticulously formulated to be the highest quality possible and specifically made to be PCOS-friendly! They’re also third-party tested, so you know you’re getting the best of the best. 

PCOS-friendly supplements

Try probiotics. 

Probiotics are another good supplement to add to the list! Insulin resistance, inflammation, and hormonal imbalance can lead to poor gut health. This means headaches, joint pain, weight gain, fatigue, food sensitivities, digestive issues, and more! However, probiotics are a great way to help balance your gut microbiome and improve your digestive health, which can positively impact inflammation and other root issues of PCOS! Here’s more on gut health and PCOS and here are my recommended probiotics for PCOS.  

Reduce stress and practice self-care. 

As we’ve discussed, high cortisol (AKA stress hormones) can cause worsen inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and insulin resistance. Everyone’s mental health is important, but it’s especially detrimental if you’re a woman with PCOS! Manage your stress by practicing self-care, meditating, knowing which hobbies help you wind down, and doing the things you love! Of course, as mentioned before, also do what you can to get good sleep and reduce caffeine intake. 

Stay hydrated. 

This wouldn’t be a healthy living post without reminding you to drink your water! Staying hydrated can help support hormone regulation and insulin sensitivity by supporting your metabolism in digestion/absorption and supporting your liver in detoxification! Plus, staying hydrated is great for your skin!

Avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals in products

Many women with PCOS have estrogen dominance, and this is made worse by chemicals in our environment that mess with our estrogen receptors. These include household products, plastics, and personal care products. We have to watch what we put on our skin, hair, and household surfaces for our PCOS! You can learn more about this in the episode of A Cyster and Her Mister called How to Remove PCOS Endocrine Disruptors

Consider acupuncture. 

I know acupuncture can sound scary, but research shows it can have a noticeable effect on your PCOS symptoms. In fact, it can help with hormonal balance, stress reduction, and reduced inflammation. It’s also often used for pain if you’re a Cyster who struggles with joint issues or pelvic pain. Here more about it from an expert acupuncturist Megan Joice here

Stay educated and maintain communication with your doctor. 

It’s always a good idea to continually explore your PCOS journey and to listen to your body to see what is working best for you. Keep researching your PCOS and remember that if you’re unsure about making a new change, you can always talk to a trusted healthcare provider before taking the next steps.

managing pcos naturally
You can manage PCOS naturally with these lifestyle changes! 

All the symptoms that come with PCOS can be really overwhelming. But, there are plenty of ways to mend these problems through a lifestyle that works with your PCOS instead of against it. These natural healing methods can help you find relief without side effects, so you can finally reach your health goals and feel amazing!

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4 thoughts on “The Essential Guide to Managing PCOS Naturally”

  1. Parveen NurLaila Taj

    Thank you so much for this guide. I have had PCOS since the age of 9 and I’m now 44 and learning so move from you. Thank you for all you do. I can now understand and ask my doctor to take action as they have not in all these years. Just said live with it and lose weight.

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