PCOS, which stands for polycystic ovary syndrome, is a hormone-driven disorder that affects women during their reproductive years.

The condition can lead to irregular or infrequent periods or periods that last longer than usual. One of the key characteristics of the condition is that it causes androgen imbalance--a male hormone oversecretion that leads to the appearance of male-pattern facial or body hair.

Those with PCOS are likely to develop small fluid-filled cysts on the outer edge of the ovaries, which contain immature eggs. These cysts prevent the regular release of eggs, which can lead to issues with fertility in some women.

Alongside advocating the need for early diagnosis, experts recommend following a PCOS-specific diet to address the risks associated with the condition. These diets are designed to improve insulin resistance, manage body weight, support healthy blood pressure levels, and reduce oxidative stress, among other factors. However, these diets are often shrouded by some myths that need to be busted.

Common PCOS myths:

  • You must reduce gluten and dairy from your diet: Eliminating gluten and dairy from the diet can bring some relief, but it isn't a long-term cure, according to Rescripted. Recognizing the uniqueness of each individual's body, personalized care and treatment is vital for effectively managing PCOS.
  • The ketogenic diet works wonders for PCOS: A 2021 study published in PubMed suggests that a ketogenic diet may offer additional benefits for obese women with PCOS and liver dysfunction, compared to conventional pharmacological treatment. It helped women with their menstrual cycle and hormonal levels. However, as per a 2021 study NCBI by ketogenic diet may not be a good fit for PCOS because it can affect how your body is composed and how your metabolism works. PCOS is a complex condition with different characteristics, and the ketogenic diet's high-fat approach may not be the best choice.
  • You must reduce carbohydrate intake: Carb phobia isn't the answer to PCOS. Carbohydrates play an essential role in providing energy to the body. While it's true that some women with PCOS may benefit from reducing their carbohydrate intake, completely eliminating carbs is not necessary and may even be detrimental to their health because it may affect their mood and mental health, gut health, and create a nutritional deficiency, according to PCOS Personal Trainer.
  • You must limit your sugar consumption: Limiting the intake of high-sugar foods is crucial for individuals with PCOS. By reducing sugar consumption, blood glucose levels can be lowered, leading to decreased insulin levels and a reduction in male hormone levels. But having sugar in moderation with a well-balanced diet doesn't harm as much, according to Rescripted. It's better to stay away from added sugar and, if possible, switch to healthier alternatives such as jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar, or honey.
Women with PCOS, a common ovary problem, may need to rethink their treatment. Pixabay