Try These 3 Lifestyle Changes to Reduce the Symptoms of PCOS

Jun 10, 2024

If you’re living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), making certain lifestyle changes can improve your symptoms and go a long way toward helping you avoid complications like type 2 diabetes. Here are three strategies that make a big difference.

One in 10 women will deal with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition causes your ovaries to create an excess of hormones – including abnormally high levels of androgens. And that hormonal imbalance can contribute to a wide range of unwelcome physical changes, from acne and irregular periods to obesity and even infertility.

On top of all of that, PCOS can lead to complications like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. If you have PCOS, you may need to be more diligent about maintaining your overall health. Fortunately, certain lifestyle changes can help you limit complications, better manage your PCOS symptoms, and boost your overall health. 

As experts in this condition, our all-female team of doctors and nurse practitioners helps women navigate making these changes and controlling their PCOS. If you think you might have this hormonal imbalance, visit us at Burlington OBGYN Associates in Burlington, Massachusetts, so we can tailor a PCOS management plan to you. 

For most women, that plan includes incorporating these three changes to your lifestyle: 

1. Eating a healthy diet

PCOS can cause insulin resistance, which means your body has a more difficult time converting sugar in your blood into energy for your cells. Modifying the way you eat can help your body function its best while keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. 

A PCOS diet includes lots of:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

It also means steering clear of highly processed foods, excess sugar, red meat, fried foods, saturated fats, refined flour, and white rice.

Our team can help you find a diet that you enjoy so it’s sustainable for you while also moderating your PCOS symptoms. 

2. Getting moving

Exercise can help fend off PCOS complications like obesity while playing a role in your body creating a better balance of hormones. Plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.

The key lies in finding physical activities that you like so that you’ll stick with your exercise routine. That could be a brisk walk, a yoga class, swimming, strength training at your local gym, pickleball, or anything else that gets your muscles moving and your heart pumping. 

3. Maintaining a healthy weight

PCOS often leads to weight gain, and excess weight can lead to more complications. Maintaining a healthy weight ​​helps to treat PCOS and its associated risks because it lowers your blood sugar and androgen levels. Androgens cause symptoms like acne and hair growth in unusual places. 

Fortunately, adopting the first two lifestyle changes — a healthy diet and regular exercise — can go a long way toward helping you accomplish this third lifestyle adjustment. 

For help tackling all of these changes — and managing your PCOS as a whole — call Burlington OBGYN Associates or book an appointment online today.