May, Women's Health Month, we're spotlighting women's health and metabolic wellness. We're diving into a common condition that affects many women worldwide - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS is a hormonal disorder, more prevalent among women of childbearing age. It can have significant implications on menstrual cycles, fertility, and overall health, potentially causing difficulties in conceiving or even leading to miscarriages. In fact, PCOS is likely the most common form of infertility in women. But, it points to greater health implications, even if you are well beyond childbearing years.
One of the challenges with PCOS is that it's often misdiagnosed or its diagnosis is delayed. This is due to the fact that its symptoms, such as hair growth, weight gain, acne, hair thinning, and irregular periods, are common to several other conditions and disorders, such as thyroid dysfunction. Moreover, the cause of PCOS remains unknown.
But here's the silver lining. As we learn more about PCOS, we're starting to understand its connections with other bodily processes, especially those related to blood glucose and insulin resistance.
Studies have shown that women with PCOS are more likely to experience insulin resistance. In fact, it's estimated that insulin resistance affects 65-75% of women diagnosed with PCOS. This disorder can significantly disrupt normal metabolic activities, including glucose absorption, menstruation, and fertility, increasing the risk of irregular periods and infertility.
Fortunately, managing insulin resistance and PCOS through lifestyle modifications is possible. That's right – your nutrition, exercise, and overall lifestyle play a critical role in managing this condition.
Maintaining stable blood glucose levels throughout the day can positively impact your hormonal health, mood, and energy levels. It can also help reverse insulin resistance and the symptoms associated with PCOS.
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Here are some practical tips for managing blood sugar:
Adopt a ketogenic, low-sugar diet and limit foods that cause glucose spikes.
Consume enough fat for hormone health.
Break free from sugar addiction.
Engage in aerobic exercise such as running, swimming, walking, and cycling. A total of 120 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week can enhance insulin sensitivity.
Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, and mountain climbers. Doing these thrice a week for at least 10 weeks can improve insulin resistance.
Incorporate resistance or strength training into your routine. You can use resistance bands, or weights, or pilates.
With Lifestyle Management:
Get adequate sleep. 8-9 hours is a good goal.
Keep stress at bay with mindful scheduling practices and relaxation techniques.
Moreover, using a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) can provide valuable insights into how your body responds to blood glucose. It can also guide you in optimizing your metabolic health through diet and exercise.
It's time we stand together, armed with knowledge, and take control of our health this Women's Health Month.
Let's embark on this journey towards better metabolic health together. Here's to a healthier you!
Our favorite products, from Constant Glucose Monitors to cooking tools, make eating right easy!
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