• PCOS Nutritionist

    PCOS Nutritionist

    Learn more about how nutrition can help with PCOS.

PCOS Intro

A Brief Introduction to PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a complex hormonal & metabolic imbalance with a genetic component. However, a genetic predisposition certainly does not mean that there is no hope.

Approximately 5 – 10% of women of reproductive age are affected by PCOS globally.

Using the Rotterdam Criteria, a diagnosis of PCOS will be made when a woman experiences any two of the following three concerns:

  1. Infrequent or no ovulation.
  2. Clinical signs or biochemical indications (blood tests) of high levels of male hormones (androgens).
  3. Polycystic ovaries as seen on an ultrasound scan.

Typical PCOS Clinical Signs & Symptoms include:

  • Irregular/no periods.
  • Excess hair growth around the nipples, on the face and the inner thighs (known as hirsutism).
  • Hair loss or thinning (male-patterned badness).
  • Weight gain, especially around the middle.
  • Acne on the face, back and/or chest.
  • Skin tags (known as acrochordons) in the armpits or neck area.
  • Psychological aspects including mood swings, depression & low self-esteem.
  • Darkening of the skin, especially along the neck creases, in the groin & underneath the breasts.
  • Low sex drive.
  • Cravings & binges.
  • Difficulty in becoming pregnant.
  • Recurrent miscarriages.
Pcos Insulin Resistance

How Can Nutrition Help with PCOS?

PCOS is strongly associated with insulin resistance.

Insulin is a hormone produced by an organ called the pancreas, and it helps to regulate blood sugar. It’s the “key” that unlocks “the door” to allow for glucose to move from the blood to the cells. Once there, energy production can begin, allowing for all bodily processes and functions to be carried out.

However, with insulin resistance, the body becomes less responsive to insulin thereby making it more tricky for glucose to get from the blood to the cells. This then has a knock-on effect, often leading to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and, as is the case with PCOS, a disruption in other hormones.

Nutrition Considerations for PCOS

Nutrition Considerations for PCOS

You know the age-old saying “You are what you eat”? Yes, well it’s true. Every bit of food & drink that we pop into our mouths each and every day influences our overall health. When it comes to PCOS, certain foods should be included in our daily intake and other foods are best avoided, at least the large majority of the time anyway.

Foods that may negatively impact PCOS are:

  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy

Foods that contribute to insulin resistance include:

  • Processed sugars
  • Processed grains
  • Vegetable oils

Although intake of the above foods may need to be reduced, it’s not to say that they are never allowed to be eaten again. Formulating a plan to moderate intake of these foods can be beneficial in alleviating the unpleasant signs & symptoms of PCOS.

The most supportive foods for women struggling with PCOS include plenty of whole, fresh vegetables and pulses, certain high quality fruits and healthy fats, particularly oily fish and foods rich in Omega 3.

At the end of the day, we’re all individual. A nutrition plan that encompasses physiological, social & psychological aspects of food may take a while to develop but that’s where we are here to help.

Pcos Lifestyle Considerations

Lifestyle & PCOS

Other factors, besides food, also need to be considered when it comes to PCOS.

Chronic stress is known to play a role in raising blood sugar, contributing to insulin resistance and ultimately worsening hormonal problems. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing are ways in which chronic stress can be managed.

There is plenty of sound research supporting the key role of specific forms of exercise in improving insulin resistance and ultimately PCOS outcomes. This would be discussed during consultations.

Improved sleep quality & quantity is another area that contributes to overall health and given that we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives sleeping, it’s an extremely important aspect to address.

PCOS Nutritionist London

PCOS Relevant Testing

Relevant Testing

Although clinical signs and symptoms can give a good indication of all that’s going on, certain tests can be extremely helpful in determining and better addressing underlying causes such as nutrient deficiencies and gut bacteria imbalances.

Should you already have had blood tests from your GP, these will be reviewed at no additional cost as part of our consultation services.

How can I support you in overcoming your PCOS?

During an initial consultation we carry out a health screen which will involve reviewing your health history, medical history and your nutrition and lifestyle habits. Any recent tests will also be reviewed.

Following this straightforward process, we will then work together to formulate the most realistic plan to achieve your health goals. We will also discuss and schedule in follow up sessions accordingly.

If you’re interested in working together, please complete the contact form below with details of your situation and any questions you might have. We will then offer some initial advice and provide details on how we can support your journey.

For friendly advice about how I may be able to help, please fill in the enquiry form and i’ll be in touch soon.