PCOD or PCOS, PolyCystic Ovarian Disorder or Syndrome, affects 1 in 3 urban women in India between the age of 18 to 40 years. Symptoms include delayed or no menstrual cycles, stubborn weight, acne, unwanted hair, ovarian cysts and infertility. However, there are many myths and lies about this condition. Here we bring out three basic truths.
1. Medication usually causes weight gain and has serious side effects
Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP) are the most common drug given to reduce testosterone, or to regulate your period. OCPs are synthetic steroid hormones which cause weight gain. Common contents are synthetic versions of estradiol, progesterone, levonorgetsrel, so on.
The weight gain is partly due to a 30 to 40% reduction in insulin sensitivity. Worse, it reduces the amount of weight lost from exercise – making you work much harder for the same outcome! It also worsens the symptoms of PCOD. High insulin levels end up overstimulating the ovaries to overproduce testosterone, thereby causing abnormal hair growth.
OCPs are prescribed to ‘regulate the period’ however the periods induced are only facades of the real period. The associated positive hormonal changes that occur during a real, natural period are not seen when the period is artificially induced.
Metformin, a common drug for managing Type-2 diabetes, is commonly given for managing weight and insulin-resistance during PCOS. It works by lowering the insulin resistance, hence keeping blood sugar levels lower. Women frustrated with excess weight are initially thrilled to lose weight.
However, after a few months, Metformin reduces essential nutrients like Vitamin B12 and folate. Ironically, this deficiency begins to trigger insulin-resistance and weight gain begins all over again. It also has other serious side effects like increasing risk of babies with neural defects, reducing energy levels by 50% and many stomach problems like diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, heartburn, gas. It is also known to cause erratic heart rate, weakness, headaches and hunger.
2. PCOD leads to weight gain or obesity, not the other way around
Women diagnosed with PCOD are often told that it is ‘due to their excess weight’ and losing weight will help them minimize PCOD symptoms. However, truth is that PCOD often leads to insulin resistance, which leads to excess weight. This leads to cycles of women chasing weight-loss by any measure, hoping to treat their PCOD. And the weight loss tends to be marginal, or even bounces back after extreme diet / exercise measures taper off.
Of course, proper nutrition & physical activity like running or general Yoga, does help the symptoms, and slowly lose weight. But women should not blame themselves for ‘causing PCOD due to excess weight’.
3. PCOD can be cured!
The biggest lie is that “PCOD is uncurable”. While there are no allopathic drugs to cure PCOD, the truth is that professionally delivered Clinical Yoga Therapy, and nature-based therapies, are very effective.
For example, Clinical Yoga Therapy, works within 2 to 3 months to rebalance the endocrine system as well as heal the ovaries of cysts. More info:
Don’t forget – having ovarian cysts does not always mean you have PCOD. Make sure you consult a qualified medical practitioner to confirm the diagnosis, and do ask about the risks & side effects of the prescribed drugs before changing medication. This article does not substitute for a medical consultation.
More material from: