Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOD and PCOS at Jhanvi Yoga Ashram, Rishikesh
At Jhanvi Yoga we have a team of doctors specialising in Women's Health. One of the rapidly growing health conditions in women, PCOS and PCOD is a matter of concern and it is wise to take it seriously as soon as you notice the symptoms or are diagnosed. We have female doctors as well in the team if you feel more comfortable interacting with them.
Are PCOD and PCOS the same?
A lot of women get confused between the two, often using the two terms interchangeably, especially when trying to understand the relation between PCOS, PCOD and pregnancy. In reality, both the conditions are different, in spite of the similarities like being related to the ovaries and causing hormonal disturbances. Let’s take a closer look at these two conditions and what makes them different from each other.
Understanding the difference between PCOD & PCOS
All women have two ovaries that release eggs alternatively every month. The ovaries produce androgens or male hormones in minute quantities. PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a condition where the ovaries release a lot of immature or partially-mature eggs which eventually turn into cysts.
Some of the common symptoms are abdominal weight gain, irregular periods, male pattern hair loss and infertility. In this condition, the ovaries usually become enlarged and secrete large amounts of androgens that can cause havoc with a woman’s fertility and her body. The best treatment for PCOD often looks at reducing the severity of such symptoms.
In women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), the ovaries produce higher levels of androgen than usual, which interferes with development and release of the eggs. Some of the eggs develop into cysts, which are the little sacs filled with liquid. Instead of being released during ovulation, these cysts build up in the ovaries and at times even get enlarged.
Nature of the condition: PCOS is a serious condition. PCOD is not considered to be truly a disease since with the right diet and exercise, it can be managed. PCOS, on the other hand, is a metabolic disorder.
Need to consult a doctor?
Based on the information provided about PCOS and PCOD, if you conclude that you are falling under one of the categories or not sure but still experience some of the symptoms you can contact us immediately on the below provided email and phone number.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +91 - 8445882197 to book an appointment. Kindly do mention if you have any preference to book your consultation with a female or a male doctor.
What are the reasons for PCOS and PCOD
PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system*, while PCOD is a condition developed by the imbalance of hormones. It is believed that hormonal imbalances and genetics play an essential role in both conditions. The theory is that high levels of male hormones prevent ovaries from producing hormones and producing eggs normally. Insulin resistance and inflammation have also been linked to excess androgen production.
PCOD is more common in comparison. Almost one-third of women around the globe suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Disease. PCOS has a lower number of patients.
* The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that our body uses for a wide range of different functions. These control many bodily functions like respiration, metabolism, reproduction, growth etc to name a few.Rishikesh Yogpeeth
Impact of PCOD & PCOS on pregnancy
Polycystic Ovarian Disease does not lead to infertility in all women and shouldn’t be considered an obstacle towards pregnancy. In about 80 per cent of cases, women can possibly conceive with a little aid and experience a smooth pregnancy. For women with PCOS, conception can be a challenge due to the hormonal irregularities. To conceive, one should have balanced hormonal cycles that can create an environment for the ovum to release and infuse with the sperm post-intercourse. Since the levels of androgens in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are very high, if one falls under the syndrome, conception can become a bit of a challenge.
Maintaining good health is essential to prevent as well as treat hormonal disturbances and conditions. The best treatment for PCOD and PCOS will include timely diagnosis and the appropriate steps that can help overcome the syndrome and make the journey towards conception a success.
Why take PCOS seriously?
PCOS is one of the most common endocrine conditions in women of reproductive age which is thought to affect between 10-20% of the female population.
As a syndrome, it is not a black and white disease but rather a cluster of symptoms. The most common criteria for diagnosis is the Rotterdam Criteria which requires at least two of the following three symptoms :
- Oligo-anovulation (irregular or no ovulation)
- Clinical or biochemical evidence of hyperandrogenism (having either high androgens in blood tests OR having the symptoms of high androgens which may include acne, excess male pattern hair growth called hirsutism and/or hair loss)
- Polycystic ovaries on ultrasound examination
Based clinical experience, PCOS presents very much like a spectrum condition with some women on the severe side who are overweight, have very few cycles in a year and perhaps have excess hair growth, to some women on the milder side who might have slightly longer but regular ovulatory cycles (around 35 days) and mild androgen symptoms but can control their weight relatively well. There are also so many women in between. With the correct dietary and lifestyle recommendations, as well as tailored herbal and nutritional prescriptions, women move from the severe end of the spectrum down towards the milder and far more manageable end. Of course, no prescription should ever be the same, however, here are some of the many tools that can be used to improve PCOS symptoms naturally:
A modified diet is the first step and one of the most important steps to managing PCOS for the rest of your life. Specific recommendations include:
Ensuring each meal contains a serving of protein (animal or plant proteins), some healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish) and predominantly vegetables (aiming for 50-75% of your plate/bowl to be veggies).
Significantly reducing or avoiding added/refined sugars. Sugar increases insulin that enables testosterone production (make hormones). Excess insulin also leads to fat storage, inability to shift excess weight and fatigue which are common symptoms women with PCOS experience.
Swap refined carbohydrates with wholegrain and vegetable alternatives, for the same reasons as above, refined carbohydrates essentially act like sugar in the blood and spike blood sugar and insulin levels. Whole grains are buffered with fibre and essential nutrients and are much better alternatives to their white counterparts but should still be consumed in moderation.
Avoid processed/packet foods: these foods are usually laden with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats that do not support healthy metabolic and reproductive outcomes
Minimising inflammatory foods such as: Dairy: as it also increases IGF-1 and is particularly problematic for PCOS symptoms such as acne and hirsutism Gluten-containing grains: gluten is certainly not an issue for everyone but it can be quite inflammatory for many women and many report feeling more energetic, less bloated, more mentally clear when they avoid it.
Avoid or reduce alcohol intake Daily do yoga practice or some form of physical movements. It makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin resulting in greater insulin uptake and lower fasting insulin levels. Choose any form of physical stimulation, be it walking, jogging, pilates, yoga, swimming, biking, and some resistance training, that you actually enjoy so that it is sustainable. You want to aim for at least 30 minutes per day.
Stress management - Women with PCOS, and particularly adrenal driven PCOS are often very sensitive to the effects of stress. High cortisol can drive insulin production and can worsen PCOS symptoms. It is important to implement daily stress management techniques such as mediation, yoga, walk, adequate sleep and possibly supplementation with herbs and nutrients that help to support stress levels.
How Can Good Nutrition help?
Zinc: particularly useful for symptoms such as acne, hirsutism or thinning hair. Zinc helps to reduce testosterone levels, regulate insulin level, and is also an important nutrient for healthy ovulation and hormone production (among hundreds of other functions in the body).
Inositol: helps to improve the sensitivity of cells to insulin and thus reduce fasting insulin levels.
Magnesium: is important for stress support, insulin sensitivity, sleep quality and so much more!
Chromium: can be an important nutrient to consider for blood glucose management
Ayurvedic Treatment of PCOS and PCOD
Ayurvedic wisdom of using plant based medicine, decoctions, powders (churna) etc and proven to be highly effective with almost no side effects. Our team of doctors will assess your condition and will prepare medicine specifically suited to you. These combination of herbs works in a wider range in your body, to name a few:
- converting testosterone to oestrogen, thus reducing elevated testosterone levels
- regulating the communication from the brain to the ovaries for healthy and regular menstrual cycles.
- lowering insulin levels, resulting in significant weight loss
- regulate blood sugar
- helps with stress management
PCOS and Weight Management
Research suggests that as little as a 2-5% body weight reduction can improve metabolic and reproductive outcomes in PCOS. This is not about appearances or vanity in any way, and when it comes to PCOS- excessive and quick weight loss is definitely not the answer.
Weight loss comes as a result of addressing the underlying drivers of PCOS, which is usually insulin resistance. By implementing the previously mentioned strategies, women find their insulin levels begin to drop and as a result they are able to shift the weight that was more stubborn before. With healthy weight loss comes healthier ovarian function, resulting in more regular ovulation and menstrual cycles.
PCOS is certainly a condition that can be managed with the correct diet and lifestyle alone. However, with professionally advised herbal and nutritional prescriptions on top of these, it can significantly help to manage PCOS and its symptoms. As mentioned before, with PCOS women presenting quite differently, the suitable natural treatment might vary between them depending on the severity of their symptoms and their underlying drivers. By managing PCOS naturally, women tend to gain a much greater understanding and appreciation for their body which is certainly a wonderful bonus.