7 PCOS mistakes every woman should stop making

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Managing PCOS can lead yoou into a vicious cycle, so you must be careful and avoid making certain mistakes. And always consult a doctor!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is already surrounded by several myths and misconceptions which sometimes lead to women making mistakes. Only women with PCOS know how difficult and tricky it is to maintain one’s health when you’re dealing with PCOS symptoms which are not under control. That’s why it’s important you stay aware of this condition, its symptoms, and ways to treat it with the right information.

Before that, let’s understand what is PCOS:

PCOS is a hormonal disorder, in which fluid-filled cysts appear on the surface of the ovaries. This can lead to certain health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, fertility issues, menstrual problems, and type 2 diabetes. Along with that, PCOS can cause weight gain, hair thinning, hirsutism, acne, and much more. To manage the condition, losing weight, and following an active and healthy lifestyle is considered the best way to reverse PCOS.

pcos mistakes
You just can’t afford to ignore PCOS. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Dr Padma Srivastava, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Lullanagar, Pune, there are many mistakes that people with PCOS tend to make in order to manage it. Making mistakes can cause problems or can even make your condition worse.

Mistakes that every woman with PCOS must avoid:

1. Trying out random diets

Women with PCOS, particularly when their symptoms are not managed, are at a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and endometrial cancer. Trying on different kinds of diets such as gluten-free diets, dairy-free diets, or fad diets, randomly can do more harm than good. Your diet plan should always be recommended by an expert. So, avoid doing so.

2. Thinking weight loss is the only solution

Focusing on losing weight only is not the way to treat PCOS. Dr Srivastava says, “Women often believe that weight loss is the only remedy for curing PCOS. Thus, they randomly start following any diet plan as well.” Trying to heal your symptoms like weight gain is important to manage the PCOS, but that’s not the only solution. “Follow an expert’s instructions. Not doing so can be risky for you,” adds Dr Srivastava.

Also, read: PCOS and endometriosis are NOT the same! Know the difference

3. Opting for many supplements at a time

If you have PCOS, you must have supplements. In fact, there are many supplements available in the market that claim to provide you that much-needed relief from PCOS. But consuming supplements without a doctor’s advice can be harmful. Also, if you take too many supplements at the same time, this can also have some side effects on you. Let your doctor recommend you the supplement after evaluating you.

4. Heavy workout

“Just to battle the bulge, many women tend to go overboard while exercising. They do high-intensity training and spend a lot of time in the gym. You will have to start slowly and then gradually increase the time of exercise,” says Dr Srivastava.

5. Not disclosing one’s feelings

Those women with PCOS will often be stressed, anxious, depressed, irritated, frustrated, and embarrassed due to various symptoms such as facial hair, acne, and weight gain. They may find it difficult to cope with their feelings. But, it is a fact that PCOS is a common condition seen in a majority of women. Try to de-stress and avoid being lonely. Discuss what you feel with your family, friends, and partner.

pcos mistakes
PCOS can really increase health complications. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Managing symptoms and not tackling the cause

“It is a no-brainer that one has to just treat the root cause of the symptoms and not just symptoms. Only treating the symptoms will give you relief for the time being. For example, don’t just treat symptoms of PCOS like acne by using an ointment. If you know the reason behind it is PCOS, then work on treating it,” says Dr Srivastava.

7. Adding many changes at a time

If you are diagnosed with PCOS, you may experience abnormal menstruation, irregular period, obesity, infertility, acne, dark patches, oily skin, loss of hair, and unwanted hair. Not just that, it can also hamper your blood sugar levels — when it comes to managing all of these symptoms in order to manage PCOS, making random or so many changes to your diet, workout routine, and lifestyle can be a bit risky for you.

Along with that, setting unrealistic goals and losing your calm can worsen your condition. So beware!

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