Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is characterised by various symptoms, including irregular periods, infertility, weight gain, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. ]Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, specifically, four times more likely than women who don't have PCOS.
How to prevent diabetes if you have PCOS
Certain lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, healthy eating habits, weight management, and stress reduction can aid in preventing diabetes in women with PCOS.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in preventing diabetes if you have PCOS. Studies have shown that even a modest weight reduction can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Losing weight can also help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve your chances of ovulating.
You should eat a balanced diet low in carbohydrates, protein, and fibre to maintain a healthy weight. You should also avoid sugary drinks and processed foods, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain.
Regular exercise can also help prevent diabetes if you have PCOS. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and helps regulate blood sugar levels. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress, which is important because stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
You should exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. You can choose any form of exercise that you enjoy, such as jogging, cycling, swimming, or yoga.
Follow a low-carbohydrate diet
A low-carbohydrate diet can help prevent diabetes if you have PCOS. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Reducing carbohydrate intake can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
You should eat a diet low in carbohydrates, protein, and fibre. You should also avoid sugary drinks and processed foods, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain.
Take medications as prescribed
If you have PCOS, your doctor may prescribe medications to help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve insulin sensitivity. Taking these medications as defined is essential, as they can help prevent diabetes and other complications associated with PCOS.
Stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so it is essential to manage stress if you have PCOS. You can manage stress by practising relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
Get regular check-ups
If you have PCOS, getting regular check-ups with your doctor to monitor your blood sugar levels and other health markers is essential. Your doctor may also recommend standard blood tests to monitor your insulin sensitivity and other markers of diabetes.
In conclusion, if you have PCOS, you can make several lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. By maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, following a low-carbohydrate diet, taking medications as prescribed, managing stress, and getting regular check-ups, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and other complications associated with PCOS.