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In the history of humankind, every age had its unique set of crises. And polycystic ovarian syndrome (a.k.a PCOS) happens to be one of the crises of this modern age with at least 5-10% women in the world suffering from this condition.
So, if you happen to be one of them, don't freak out. While the condition can spell disaster if left untreated, it is easily manageable if you follow your doctor's instructions closely.
So, here are 10 things you should do if you have PCOS.
#1 Don’t Smoke
PCOS increases the risk of developing other health problems like cardiovascular disorders, diabetes (especially gestational diabetes), and cancer. And since smoking is a risk factor for all these conditions too, you should definitely cut out this habit if you don't want to compound the risk.
#2 Cut Down Your Sugar Intake
Insulin resistance is quite common in women suffering from PCOS, which overtime leads to type 2 diabetes. So if you don't want to go down that route, cut down your sugar intake to only natural sugars, like those found in fruits.
Just remember: artificial sweeteners fool your body too well and, thus end up causing the same set of problems that real sugars cause, namely obesity and diabetes.
#3 Exercise Regularly
PCOS increases your risk of obesity and heart disease. Therefore, it's extremely important to exercise regularly if you are suffering from this condition.
And while it's not necessary to become a gym freak, you should definitely add half an hour of brisk walking or jogging to your daily routine. In fact, lifting some dumbbells and doing body-weight exercises are also good for you, as they boost your metabolism and reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance.
#4 Keep Track Of Your Periods
Having fewer periods is a symptom of PCOS. In fact, some women can have less than 9 periods every year when they are suffering from this condition, and this increases their risk of developing endometrial cancer.
That's why, it's very important to keep track of your menses and make sure you are getting them on time. If not, you should definitely head to your gynecologist's chamber for prescription pills that can normalize your cycle once again.
#5 Don’t Miss Your Doctor’s Appointments
Living in denial or failing to show up for your doctor's appointments will not help you in the long run. In fact, it will worsen your situation.
So, make sure you don't skip out on any of your doctor's appointments!
#6 Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping for at least 6-8 hours in a day is important, whether you have PCOS or not. But it's more important for those suffering from it because not sleeping enough can increase your risk of developing other debilitating conditions, like diabetes and obesity.
So, get some quality shut-eye every night!
#7 Take Your Medicines On Time And Follow The Instructions
Women suffering from PCOS are often prescribed daily pills that stabilize their hormone cycle. So don't skip your pills, as that will throw the entire sequence off balance.
And follow your doctor's instructions closely. For example, if you are prescribed metformin to prevent diabetes, don't take it without eating food, as that will cause severe hypoglycaemic shock.
#8 Keep Track Of Anything That Is Not Normal
The exact cause of PCOS is still not known. And neither are all its symptoms. So if you observe anything out of the ordinary, make a note of it and let your doctor know on your next appointment.
It might turn out to be nothing. But it can also turn out to be something important.
#9 If Depressed, Get Help
Women suffering from PCOS are at a greater risk of depression. So, if you suddenly start feeling low, as if life has lost all its meaning, and find yourself unable to force yourself out of your bed to do simple things like brush your teeth or eat food, please get help as soon as possible from a trained psychiatrist or psychologist.
#10 Share Your Feelings
Don't make the mistake of isolating yourself from your family and friends when you are going through a rough patch because of your illness. Share your feelings and get the support you need.
You can even join online forums on PCOS and be among women who are suffering from the same crisis and dealing with it to the best of their abilities.