Morgane’s experience with PCOS
Can you improve PCOS symptoms with small lifestyle changes? There is growing evidence that you can! Morgane, co-founder of Guud Woman, discovered it herself.
In this blog she tells you her story.
Morgane’s experience with PCOS
“After I went off the pill, my periods were irregular. I got severe mood swings and hormonal acne. It didn't feel right, so I went to the doctor. He told me I had PCOS. Uh, what? What can I do about it? "Nothing," he said. And there I was. Not even thirty, and already 'something was wrong' with me: I had health problems and had reduced fertility. "Don't worry," the doctor said, "come back if you want kids, and we'll work on it." I didn't want kids yet, but I felt terrible. I wanted a healthy cycle, a normal mood, and clear skin. But the doctor told me to put up with it because there was no treatment. 🤷♀️ The GP diagnosed me with PCOS based on the symptoms."
PCOS can be diagnosed by 2 of the following 3 symptoms:
- Irregular periods or no periods at all.
- Increased testosterone or luteinizing hormone, the hormone that triggers ovulation. This can cause complaints such as acne, excessive hair growth and heavy weight gain.
- Cyst that can be seen on an ultrasound. In PCOS, more than 12 follicles per ovary can be seen on ultrasound.
What? No solution for PCOS?
"When I was diagnosed with PCOS, doctors told me it was going to be difficult to get pregnant. But I decided not to take my PCOS for granted. I retrained in Nutrition & Fertility and wow, I discovered a whole new world. I learned to understand my cycle thanks to and made small lifestyle changes. That didn't happen overnight, but after a while I saw results. I felt better, more stable, and my acne disappeared. I became pregnant and had a healthy son, Richard.
Over the years, I have continued to learn. I was inspired by Dr. Stacy Sims, leading expert in Female Physiology and Nutrition, Dr. Jolene Brighten, Functional Medicine Naturopathic Physician, and Alisa Vitti author of Womancode and In the Flo.
This is what I learned about PCOS and nutrition
"Part of my new lifestyle had to do with my diet. PCOS and nutrition are directly linked. A healthy and balanced diet helps to balance your hormones. This can reduce your PCOS symptoms."It works like this:Your hormones need “building materials”. These are the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you get from your diet. That is why a balanced diet is important. If you don't get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals, or if you are under a lot of stress, your hormones will get out of balance. With good nutrition, you are more likely to gain a healthy weight. Important, because being overweight worsens PCOS complaints and has a negative effect on fertility. Note: Not everyone with PCOS is overweight. With the right diet you avoid excess cortisol and insulin. These are two known culprits when it comes to PCOS. More on this later.
How do you make your hormones happy?
What should you eat to keep your hormones happy? 🥑
Unprocessed food: This is food that has not been touched and comes straight from nature or from the farm. Think of fish and vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, whole-grain cereals and legumes.
Fiber rich foods from legumes, vegetables, fruit, grains and whole-grain products. Fiber ensures that sugars or carbohydrates are absorbed slowly. This in turn ensures that you do not produce too much insulin. Important, because there is a link between high insulin levels and PCOS. The higher the insulin levels, the higher the testosterone level in your blood. This can cause excess hair growth and acne.
Omega-3 fatty acids or healthy fats are crucial to support your hormones. Studies have shown that they contribute to the quality of your eggs. Omega-3 can be found in oily fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil or see if you can take a supplement based on algae oil (and not fish oil). Inositol: Your body can make its own inositol and can contribute to healthy blood sugar and hormone balance in women with PCOS.
Vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin D can contribute to fertility. Women with vitamin D deficiency are said to have more difficulty getting pregnant. Vitamin D is best absorbed through the sun.
Zinc: this powerful mineral helps support your fertility. You can find it in meat, nuts, whole grain cereals, seeds and seafood.
Magnesium: studies have shown that magnesium helps regulate your cortisol levels (= stress hormone). You can find magnesium in yep cocoa, nuts and seeds, bananas and green leafy vegetables.
Also, make sure you eat smaller meals regularly. This prevents large dips in your blood sugar level and prevents your body from producing too much insulin. Coffee is also not recommended. The caffeine in it causes you to produce more cortisol, which can affect your insulin levels. You can read more about this in our blog: “Coffee please!”
A balanced lifestyle can support your PCOS symptoms. But a balanced lifestyle is more than just food. It's also about how you live. Relaxation, sleep and exercise are important: Relaxation is important for everyone. But if you have PCOS it is extra important. Stress activates the production of cortisol, which disrupts your hormone balance. Sleep is important, because too little sleep disrupts your cortisol production. Finally, exercise helps to increase insulin sensitivity. It also provides relaxation, which helps lower the stress hormone cortisol. Always move according to the needs of each phase of your cycle. You can read more about this in our blog “Period Power”.
Why is there so little knowledge about PCOS and nutrition? 🤔
Why has no one ever told you about this? Simply because doctors don't learn about how lifestyle impact your menstrual health. They can therefore not give you nutritional advice. The one thing doctors often know is that being overweight makes PCOS symptoms worse, and that being overweight has a negative effect on your fertility in the first place. That is why they sometimes advise you to lose weight, but that too must be done in the right way, so as not to negatively influence your hormones. Do you want to know more about a new hype in diet land, Intermittent fasting? Read our blog on everything you need to know about intermittent fasting. Doctors also aren’t taught about supplements with natural ingredients. Why not? Because substances that occur in nature cannot be patented. This means that the pharmaceutical industry can do a lot of research, but that there is no 'unique right' to the products you get from nature. It is therefore difficult to earn back the investment.
Supplement your diet with supplements 🚀
"When I made changes to my lifestyle, I also discovered that it is difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals from your diet. I knew that I had to support my diet with supplements. But it was difficult to find supplements that work well. That's why I decided to develop good supplements for female health with Guud Woman."And it worked!
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