LCHF/KETO diet and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Katja's blog

What is PCOS?

The abbreviation PCOS stands for Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common endocrine disorder that occurs in women of reproductive age and leads to reproductive, hormonal and metabolic disorders. It affects 6 to 10 percent of women during their childbearing years. Recent epidemiological observations reveal that the PCOS disease is increasing as fast as obesity epidemic. Due to the presence of insulin resistance, PCOS increases the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, disturbances in lipid levels, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer, such as breast and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer.

It is the most common gynecological disease amongst women.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects a large proportion of women worldwide and, despite not being a life-threatening condition, has a significant impact on women's psychological well-being and self-image. 

The most common symptoms of PCOS are:

  • irregular periods
  • painful periods
  • absence of ovulation
  • a higher percentage of abdominal fat
  • high blood sugar
  • elevated insulin
  • sparse hair
  • low progesterone levels
  • infertility 
  • low chance of getting pregnant
  • acne
  • increased hair growth
  • weight gain

There is a lot of research on this topic. All recent research show that factors such as diet and lifestyle play an important role in prevention and treatment. 

What causes PCOS?

The real reason still remains unknown. Doctors agree that it is a combination of genetic predisposition and countless lifestyle and environmental factors. 

The most common link with PCOS is precisely insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is also the primary reason for weight gain in more than 50% of women with PCOS. Combinations of PCOS, weight gain, and insulin resistance usually result in difficulty conceiving or even infertility. In addition to all the listed problems, PCOS brings an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. 

Treatment of PCOS

There is no effective cure for PCOS. The disease is treated at a symptomatic level, because untreated it can lead to permanent infertility and exacerbation of accompanying complications, including the development of cancer of the uterine mucosa. Women themselves can do a lot to prevent or treat PCOS.

Even a 10 to 15% reduction in body weight can significantly improve the number of ovulations, fertility and improve the sensitivity of cells to insulin. In women with PCOS, obesity is even more worrying, since in most cases it is an emphasis on abdominal obesity, i.e. fatness of the organs in the abdominal cavity. In recent years, obesity in general has been recognized as a disease of silent inflammation: it is an excessive production of inflammatory factors that maintain constant inflammation in fat tissue. Some scientists think that this is the basis on which insulin resistance eventually develops, resulting in type 2 diabetes and other complications. 

Regardless of the true cause of the disease, insulin and glucose metabolism have been proven to be at the core of a vicious cycle of all interrelated symptoms.

And how can the right choice of diet help in the treatment of PCOS?

Effect of LCHF/KETO diet on PCOS

The LCHF/KETO diet is best known for its effects on weight loss, epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders and even some types of cancer. 

Recently, a lot of research has also focused on the effect of the LCHF/KETO diet on PCOS. Below this entry, there are several links to professional studies on this topic and will offer some more in-depth reading.

In addition to removing all sugar from the diet and thereby causing more stable blood sugar, we also eliminate all starchy and high-hydrate foods. This deprives our body of a source of glucose and increases or improves insulin sensitivity.

High levels of insulin cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone, which of course only worsens the symptoms of PCOS.

You can find more about how to start with LCHF/KETO diet in my other blog posts.

PCOS can occur for a variety of reasons

1. impaired insulin function and insulin resistance

When the body becomes insulin resistant, it responds by producing more insulin. This means that glucose accumulates in the blood more often, which can cause blood sugar levels to be too high. Often, people with insulin resistance produce more insulin than healthy people. The symptoms are different - from those that are practically undetectable, to fatigue, constant hunger, increased body weight, accumulation of belly fat... and of course higher blood sugar levels. Usually, insulin resistance is one of the most common causes of PCOS in women. Increased insulin affects the production of sex hormones and also ovulation.

The LCHF/KETO diet has been proven to help improve insulin resistance or even eliminate it. The explanation is completely simple. In the LCHF/KETO diet, starchy and high-hydrate foods are completely removed, and all sugar and fructose are eliminated. This means that the food we eat has no significant effect on the rise of blood sugar. Insulin is not secreted excessively and this also improves insulin sensitivity (insulin resistance decreases). And this is the biggest step towards improving the symptoms and healing the effects of PCOS. Also, on a LCHF/KETO diet, our metabolism uses KETONES as an energy source, not glucose (at least not as the only source). Read more about ketones - what they are and what their advantage is in the blog post: What are Ketones? Removing carbohydrates (or minimizing carbohydrate intake to a minimum) from our menu is the most direct and effective way to eliminate insulin resistance. Read more about how to start the LCHF/KETO diet in the blog post: How to start the LCHF/KETO diet?

2. inflammatory conditions in the body, as a cause of PCOS

Inflammatory conditions can be a silent killer of our cells, hormonal system and the cause of cardiovascular complications for many years. Inflammatory conditions in the body can affect the unbalanced production of hormones and thus inhibit ovulation. The causes that can cause inflammatory conditions in the body are different. From everyday chemicals we come into contact with, diets rich in inflammatory components (oxidized fats, trans fats...), oxidative stress... There are a lot of factors, BUT we can successfully influence some of them!

When our body starts producing ketones as fuel (the condition for producing ketones is the absence of glucose or carbohydrates in the diet), the oxidative stress in the cells decreases. This can also be proven by measuring inflammatory factors. Ketones reduce oxidative stress, and at the same time, the level of antioxidants that clean up free radicals increases. These mechanisms have been proven to reduce the level of inflammation in our body. If in all this we still choose our food carefully (pay attention to the correct intake of healthy fats - above all omega 3, fresh vegetables, eggs, quality proteins...), the parameters of the inflammatory state in the body can completely calm down in a fairly short time. Read more about ketones in the entry: What are ketones? More about why omega 3 fats are important is written in the blog: All about omega 3 fats.

3. stress as a cause of PCOS

Stress in everyday life can be a huge factor that can destroy our hormonal system in the long run. The body is not ready for reproduction under the constant influence of stress, so the hormonal system reacts by disabling this function.

When high-hydrate foods are removed from the diet, the function of the hormones leptin, melatonin and cortisol also changes. Since this is a rather complex process, we will devote special attention to this topic in another post. The essence of this process is the fact that our body also has receptors for leptin on the thyroid gland and ovaries. And when leptin secretion is working properly, our complex hormonal system is also brought back into balance.

4. PCOS and lack of certain nutrients

Reproduction and the balance of certain nutrients are very intertwined issues. Hormonal balance, ovulation, regular cycle are affected by many things. Among the nutritional supplements that, according to numerous studies, help to improve the symptoms of PCOS, the following should be highlighted:

Myo-inositol it belongs to the group of B vitamins and has a researched effect on hormones, insulin and egg development in women. It is also available in the form of a dietary supplement.

Vitamin D is known for its wide range of effects. Vitamin D is primarily responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby indirectly regulating growth and repairing bones and teeth. Scientists have proven that with the absorption of vitamin D, the level of the female hormone progesterone increases by as much as 13 percent, and estrogen by as much as 21 percent, which also helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. It is also available in our online store in the form of tablets with a high vitamin D content.

Omega 3 fats are known mainly for their anti-inflammatory action. In PCOS, the reduction of inflammatory conditions in our organism is extremely important! Read more about omega 3 fats and their beneficial effects on our body in the blog post All about Omega 3 fats. If you are looking for a quality Omega 3 food supplement, I recommend this product: Premium + Omega 3 oil.

There are several reasons why this product is great:

  • It is in the form of oil, so it is not necessary to eat a whole handful of gelatin capsules, but only 1-2 teaspoons of oil per day.
  • It has a fresh lemon flavor and is FREE of fishy smell and taste.
  • It has the lowest TOTOX value of the raw ingredient on the market. TOTOX is a unit for measuring oxidation. Many times these products are oxidized even before we consume them. This can do more harm than good. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful when choosing a quality Omega 3 food supplement. 
  • Each batch is tested for heavy metals, pesticides, environmental pollutants, PAHs, PCBs...

Taming PCOS and getting pregnant

There are countless stories of women who have tried to conceive for years and failed. Many of them report that after switching to the LCHF/KETO diet, they got pregnant completely unexpectedly and without medical help.

The explanation behind this is completely simple - limiting carbohydrates and sugar in all forms in our diet lowers insulin and reverses insulin resistance. This contributes to an improved hormonal picture, hormone regulation and consequently to ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle. The LCHF/KETO diet is rich in foods that contain healthy fats (eggs, avocados, fish, olive oil, butter...), which contribute to a lower level of inflammation in the body and can also help regulate the hormonal picture. Of course, it is necessary to know that this requires consistency and time. And the right approach. 

On this link you can read the experiences of women with PCOS and how the LCHF/KETO diet helped them, some even to the point of conceiving.

If you have your own experience with PCOS, I invite you to share it with me. I also invite you to share this blog post with your friend, sister, colleague... who is struggling with PCOS problems.

31.3.2020, Katja, LCHF Style

 

Sources and various research:

Recommended reading:

THE PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Premium + Omega 3 lemon 250 ml

€16.07
Discount
-30%
Share this content
FREE DELIVERY

For orders over 100 eur

QUALITY > QUANTITY

Quality with clean labels

PAYMENT METHODS

Different ways to pay

FAST DELIVERY

Delivery in 3-5 working days

© LCHF Style. Online store by Shopamine. Design by Focusly. Cookie SettingsMy Data

In addition to mandatory cookies, we also use analytical and advertising cookies, as well as social network cookies on the LCHF Style website.

If you agree with this, please click on the I ACCEPT button. For a detailed description and in order to set the use of individual cookies, click on the COOKIE SETTINGS link.

×
Managing cookies on the LCHF Style website
Mandatory cookies

are cookies that are essential for the proper functioning of the website, whereby the transmission of information in the communication network would not be possible without them. These cookies are also necessary in order for us to offer you the services, which are available on our website. They allow you to log in to the user profile, select the language, agree to the terms and conditions and identify the session of the user. We are not obliged to obtain consent for their use.

Analytical cookies

These cookies help us understand how our visitors use our website. They help us improve the user experience and identify user requirements and trends. We only use these cookies if you have explicitly consented to their use.

Advertising cookies

Third-party plug-ins and tools used as cookies enable various functionalities to work, help us analyse the frequency of visits and how the website is used. If an individual does not agree to the use of these cookies, they will not be installed, while it may however happen, that some interesting features of the website will not be available. We only use these cookies if you have explicitly consented to their use.

Social network cookies

These cookies make it possible for us to provide content for posts on social media and record your actions so that we may provide a more personal and enhanced user experience. We use these cookies only if you are logged into a Twitter, Facebook or Google user account when using the website.

1. General information about cookies 1.1. What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that most modern websites store on the devices of their visitors, i.e. people who access certain websites on the Internet with their devices. The storing of cookies is under the complete control of the user, since users can easily configure their browser to restrict or disable the storage of cookies.

While visiting the website and its subpages and performing operations on the website, your computer, phone or tablet, automatically or after gaining your explicit consent, stores certain cookies through which various data can be recorded.

1.2. How do they work and why we use them?

Each visitor or shopper is assigned a cookie in order to identify him and ensure traceability at the beginning of each use of the online store. The servers provided to the company by the subcontractor automatically collect data on how visitors, shop owners or shoppers use the online store and store this data in the form of an activity log.

The servers store information about the use of the online store, statistics and IP numbers. Data on the use of the online store by shoppers can be used by the company for compiling anonymous statistics that help us improve the user experience as well as market products and / or services through an online store.

Indirectly and upon obtaining consent, the online store may also store external service cookies on the visitor's or shopper's device (e.g. Google Analytics) which are used to collect data on website visits. Regarding external services, the rules and general conditions on the processing of personal data, which are available at the links below, apply.

2. Permission to use cookies

If the settings of the browser with which you visit the website are such, that they accept all cookies, it means that you agree to their use. In case you do not want to use cookies on this website or you want to remove them, you may follow the procedure below. Removing or blocking cookies may result in suboptimal performance of this website.

3. Mandatory and optional cookies and your consent 3.1. We are not required to gain your consent for the use of mandatory cookies:

Mandatory cookies are cookies, that are essential for the proper functioning of the website, whereby the transmission of information in the communication network would not be possible without them. These cookies are also necessary in order for us to offer you the services, which are available on our website. They enable login into the user profile, language selection, agreeing to the terms and conditions and user session identification.

3.2. Cookies that are not necessary for the normal operation of the website, and for which we are obliged to obtain your consent (optional cookies):

Analytical cookies

These cookies help us understand how our visitors use our website. They help us improve the user experience and identify user requirements and trends. We only use these cookies if you have explicitly consented to their use.

Advertising cookies

Third-party plug-ins and tools used as cookies enable various functionalities to work, help us analyse the frequency of visits and how the website is used. If an individual does not agree to the use of these cookies, they will not be installed, while it may however happen, that some interesting features of the website will not be available. We only use these cookies if you have explicitly consented to their use.

Social network cookies

These cookies make it possible for us to provide content for posts on social media and record your actions so that we may provide a more personal and enhanced user experience. We use these cookies only if you are logged into a Twitter, Facebook or Google user account when using the website.

4. How to manage cookies?

You can manage cookies by clicking on the "Cookie settings" link in the footer of the website.

You can also control and change cookie settings in your own web browser.

In case you want to delete cookies from your device, we advise you to follow the described procedures, by doing so, you will most likely limit the functionality of not only our website but also most other websites, as the majority of modern websites use cookies.