Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom, also known as PCOS, is a condition that affects women in their reproductive years. It is basically the result of undeveloped ovarian follicles which create cysts that in turn release androgen (male hormones) into the bloodstream, causing an incurable chemical cycle. Starting as early as 12 years of age up to about 45, PCOS has been linked to infertility, acne, irregular menstruation, weight gain, release of male hormones and the most serious, insulin resistant diabetes. PCOS cannot be cured but it can be managed. Exercise is an excellent way to keep this condition from exacerbating and taking over your life.
Type two diabetes, which creates symptoms that include frequent urination, excess hunger, dry mouth, fatigue, headaches and blurred vision, is at the top of the list of complications caused by PCOS. Unfortunately, the problem is twofold. In addition to the body’s inability to process glucose, creating diabetes, it can also cause the body to resist natural insulin. Insulin is essential in breaking down glucose. Synthetic insulin is also rejected. This is dangerous in that diabetes requires manually administered insulin to keep it in check. There is, however, another way that is excellent in breaking down and eliminating excess glucose. This is muscle cell activation. By working the muscles through exercise, the body burns the stored glucose, thus helping along its breakdown.
Testosterone, the predominately male hormone, can be over-manufactured in women struggling with PCOS. This hormone will embed itself in the body, primarily the muscles, potentially creating a masculine appearance as well as excessive hair growth, lower voice decibel and more. Testosterone is easily released when used, therefore, again, muscle exercises are a key component in keeping PCOS complications at bay.
Muscle activation with free weights is an optimal exercise to combat PCOS, due not only to the strength training but the balancing as well. By using free weights the required balancing of small and peripheral muscles engages and uses them to the fullest. This is usually unavailable when using weight machines. If free weights are not an option, weight training machines will work fine, but a few sessions with a personal trainer may help you get the most out of them.
Keeping circulation and aerobic activity in a daily routine will certainly help glucose elimination. Running, jogging and even brisk walking will engage not only leg muscles but organ enhancement. Lungs, kidneys and the brain benefit from extra circulating oxygen that in turn can help stave off PCOS difficulties.
It would not be fair to leave out diet in collaboration with an efficient exercise program to battle PCOS.
Eat low glycemic foods like high protein, fresh raw or flash cooked vegetables including liver-enhancing foods such as dark green leafy choices, carrots, beets and lemons, low sugar fruits such as berries, unrefined fiber like brown rice, whole wheat, grains and nuts.
Foods to stay away from include refined whites such as sugar, flour and salt, a reduction of animal products such as meat and dairy, alcohol, caffeine and soda.
Helpful supplements include chlorophyll, B-vitamins, magnesium, chromium, flax oil, evening primrose oil, zinc and vitamins A, E and C. In addition, once or twice per week acupuncture sessions have been reported as beneficial as well.
Be sure and check with your doctor for any contra-indications before embarking on an exercise and diet change.