30 Years back PCOS was barely mentioned anywhere.
Have you heard your Mom or your grandma talking about PCOD or PCOS?
Nowadays PCOS is increasing at an alarming rate.
One in five Indian women suffers from PCOS. 
So what do you think has changed to lead to such a drastic change?
Let’s dive right in to tap the root cause of PCOS.
And if you are someone who knows about PCOS already and wants to know about treatment only then head over to the table of contents and dive into your topic of concern.
What is PCOS?| PCOS and PCOD difference
A quick disclaimer here is that do not get confused between PCO OR PCOS OR PCOD. These all are the same thing. So when the disease is just limited to the ovaries, we call it PCO But when it sort of starts showing its effect on other parts of the body in terms of high blood sugar, hypertension, sleep apnea, obesity, and multiple other problems, it probably then we call it as a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD).
Polycystic ovary syndrome also called PCOS is an imbalance of the female sex hormones. The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system along with the fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina.
The ovaries contain your lifetime supply of eggs, these eggs are immature and are stored in tiny fluid-filled structures called follicles.
Your pituitary gland located at the base of the brain produces hormones that direct the function of your ovaries each month the pituitary gland secretes follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) into the bloodstream, after these hormones reached the ovaries several hundred immature eggs starts to mature expanding the size of the follicles.
As the eggs mature the follicles secret estrogen, the main female sex hormone.
Once the amount of estrogen in the blood reaches a certain level the pituitary sends a surge of luteinizing hormone to the ovaries causing the most mature follicles to open and release their eggs in a process called ovulation.
The free egg travels through the fallopian tube where it awaits fertilization, eventually, the remaining immature follicles and eggs dissolve if the egg is not fertilized and the lining of the uterus is shed during the next menstrual period.
If you have polycystic syndrome your pituitary gland may release abnormally high amounts of luteinizing hormone into your bloodstream disrupting your normal menstrual cycle, as a result, your follicles do not mature and ovulation does not occur.
Some of the immature follicles do not dissolve and remain as fluid-filled sacs or cysts, also your doctor may find your blood has high levels of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas to much insulin combined with high levels of the luteinizing hormone can lead to excess production of the male hormone called testosterone in your ovaries.
Abnormally high levels of testosterone prevent ovulation which can lead to infertility and high levels of testosterone also cause many of the physical features associated with polycystic ovary syndromes such as acne and abnormal hair growth.
More than 50% of PCOD patients go undiagnosed which means that they don’t even know they have PCOD. 
Symptoms of PCOS
- PROBLEMS IN PERIODS
- DIFFICULTY IN GAINING OR LOSING WEIGHT
Women or girls suffering from PCOS find it very difficult to lose weight as well as gain weight.
- EXCESS MALE HORMONE
Yes! Females also have male hormones but excess production of these hormones results in:
- Increased body hair
- Facial hair on the chin, upper lips, on the sides
- They typically complain of scalp hair loss
- Some women may show signs of husky voice
- Some of them may complain of acne on the face, chest, upper back
- SLEEP DISTURBANCE
- The quality of sleep deteriorates
- Women complain of facing difficulty in falling asleep at night
- They snore a lot
- They suddenly wake up in the night
- When they get up in the morning they don’t feel fresh
What is the cause of PCOS?
There is a genetic component in it. 
Yes, it has been seen that in case there is one woman in the family who has diabetes or is pre-diabetic or she is obese then probably other women in the family also could be at risk of PCOS.
But somehow I have a different view on this.
I feel 20 years back our mothers and our grandmothers never suffered from PCOS though they are from the same genetic pool. So here the explanation could be that probably they had those genes but those genes were not expressed because of the right lifestyle and nowadays because of the poor lifestyle these genes are getting expressed leading to PCOS that could be one of the reasons.
- POOR LIFESTYLE
Poor lifestyle is the major cause of PCOS.
- Wrong diet
- Lack of good quality sleep
- Lack of exercises
By looking at the above points do you think you have a poor lifestyle?
If yes it’s high time now and it’s time to change.
It is seen that women who are suffering from PCOS have a different and healthy lifestyle from women who don’t have it. 
- INSULIN RESISTANCE
Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas in our body and the purpose of insulin is to pick up the glucose from the blood and use it for the energy in the various parts of the body.
In PCOS patients the insulin is somehow not able to do its job which means that the cells are not able to pick the glucose from the blood and the body as compensation tries to produce more and more insulin leading to high insulin levels in the body and these high insulin levels then in turns stimulate the ovary to become bulkier and produce abnormal hormones which are mostly the male patterns hormones leading to these problems in the body. 
- CHRONIC LOW-GRADE INFLAMMATION
The latest research says that the cause of PCOS is chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. 
Now inflammation is a stress response in the body.
Whenever you get injured or you have any problem the body goes into an inflammation mode to heal that part of the body but here the body is in a constant chronic low-grade inflammation mode.
This low-grade inflammation could be because of chronic stress, physical stress, mental stress.
So it is very important to manage your stress to avoid this low-grade inflammation.
- PRESENCE OF CHEMICAL POLLUTANTS IN BODY
Another important cause of PCOS is the presence of pollutants in our daily life and our environment. 
The use of plastics, aluminium foils for packing the food, room fresheners, floor cleaners, and talcum powders all contain chemicals that can play havoc with the hormones.
Worldwide there are criteria called ‘Rotterdam criteria’ by which we define whether the woman has PCOS.
So basically it has 3 components.
NO.1– Any signs of irregular ovulation mean if they have delayed periods or irregular periods or scanty periods.
NO.2– The second sign is they could be having clinical or biochemical evidence of male pattern hormone excess in the body
Clinical signs: acne, body hair, scalp hair loss, husky voice.
Biochemical: There are certain blood tests by which the doctor can find out if the male pattern hormones are excess in the body.
NO.3– The third is that the ultrasound is showing evidence of PCOS.
If the radiologist says that the volume of the ovary is more than 10 ml and it is showing more than 20 follicles in each ovary, then yes it is a sign of PCOS.
Health risks of PCOS
50% of PCOS patients are at risk of getting pre-diabetes or a proper full-blown type 2 diabetes due to insulin resistance by the time they reach the age of 40.
PCOS patients also have a 2-6 fold increased risk of getting endometrial cancer.
They can suffer from sleep apnea, cardiovascular diseases, and depression. 
PCOS is a lifestyle defect and it can be fully reversed.
The only condition is that you will have to follow certain habits religiously.
And if you think that going to the doctors and taking all those medications will help you then my friend you are very wrong because that is going to make the case even worse.
If you take care of your food, exercise, and lifestyle, you can reverse PCOS in just 3 months and that too yourself
Wanna know how?
1. Say No to medicines
Yes, if you are relying on
- Contraceptive drugs
- Anti-diabetic drugs
Which are mostly given to treat this disease then, you are just wasting your time and money.
These medicines only pacify the symptoms and don’t even tap the root cause.
Trying to bring about hormonal balance using medicines may have many side effects.
So if you are serious about treating this condition then stop depending upon such medicines
So what to do?
Don’t worry, Ayurveda mentions that no matter how serious the conditions get you can bring about an ideal hormonal balance in your body by just eating the right food.
2. Good quality sleep
The body of women reacts very quickly to hormonal disturbances.
- Irregular bedtimes
- Phone calls
- Watching TV before going to sleep
can make the condition of your hormones worse if there’s already a bit of a problem.
A night of peaceful sleep is also crucial for the absorption of minerals which is very important for maintaining proper hormonal balance.
Poor sleep quality is associated with an increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance which plays a key role in PCOS. 
So make sure to sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day if you are keen on staying hormonally vibrant.
The best time to sleep is between 9 pm and 6 am. Ditch the blue light: Studies have shown that- Melatonin- A chemical that helps regulate our sleep patterns is reduced by 50% while using electronic devices before going to sleep at night.
3. Avoid plastic
If you are a woman suffering from PCOS, you should strictly make it a point to avoid plastic as much as possible.
Use a glass or stainless steel container to store food.
This is because when plastic comes in contact with the food, it leaches chemicals like xenoestrogen into it which are similar to the hormone estrogen produced by the human body and it completely messes up the hormonal balance. 
It would also be great if you stop using nonstick and aluminium cookware. You can use clay, brass, or iron pots.
4. Connection with the moon
A quick disclaimer before you call me insane, this is not a superstition.
‘According to ancient wisdom ideally, a woman should get her periods on a new moon night’
A woman’s body has a very strong connection with the moon. 
The 28 days cycle of the moon and the 28 days menstrual cycle of women is not merely a coincidence.
The hormonal changes of a woman’s body are largely governed by the moon.
Did you know that as a woman you can balance your balance just by sitting in the moonlight?
In ancient India, many herbs were charged under the moonlight so that they can effectively bring about the right balance in the body.
Suffering from PCOS, I would highly recommend you to be in the presence of the moon for at least 15 minutes before going to sleep at night.
The more moonlight you will absorb the better your hormones will function.
You can even keep water in a glass bottle under the moon for a night and drink it the next morning to reap the benefits of moonlight.
5. Your food is your medicine
First thing first Stop eating packaged and processed food.
Nowadays with all the advertisements, we are made to believe that a bowl of cereal that comes in a packet is a better option for breakfast than home-cooked food or a glass of juice is better than fruit. But you know that’s not at all true.
These days everybody loves to talk about carbs, proteins, and fats but the latest nutrition science says that you should avoid anything which has got carb-free written to it or fat-free written to it or a protein-rich to it.
The food instead of being carbs or fats or proteins should be an intelligent mix of grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables also prefer plant diets over animal-based diets and it’s a good idea to go slow on dairies especially when we are taking care of the hormonal disorders.
I know it is not possible to completely leave everything which is packaged but at least till the time you are treating PCOS. Try to avoid it.
I know it is hard but it is not impossible and it is completely worth it
Practice a healthy plate method which is described below.
Fill half of your plate with salad (fresh and raw), one-fourth plate with protein-rich food like dal or paneer, and the remaining one-fourth plate with complex carbohydrates like rice or chapati. First, eat the salad and then the cooked food. Also, add one teaspoon of cow ghee to your meal. 
It is highly recommended to directly have one teaspoon of cow ghee on an empty stomach while treating PCOS.
Furthermore, anything fermented like idli, dosas, fresh curd, sprouts, or paneer is priceless for the ovaries of the abundant supply of B12 vitamins.
Seasonal fruits should be a part of your daily diet and eat them during day time. Try to eat food in a form that is as close to the form that nature has made. Avoid buying vegetables and fruits from supermarkets instead go for a small vendor.
6. Exercises to cure PCOS
We as human beings were always designed to be mobile. We were not supposed to be sedentary.
Exercising keeps your
- Muscles strong
- Joints flexible
- Bones strong
- It aids in the weight loss
- Keeps your skin glowing
- Keeps the happy hormone flowing in your body
- It balances the ratio of fat and muscles in the body
- It decreases the level of stress hormones or cortisol
WHICH EXERCISES TO DO
Any exercise which is a good mix of cardio, strength training exercises, and mobility is good for PCOS.
For cardio, you can do
- Jogging, playing tennis, badminton etc
For strength building, you can do
- Lifting lightweights
- Push-ups pull-ups
- Jumping jacks
Butterfly pose: Hold butterfly pose as it is one of the best exercises when treating PCOS. Also, just 5 minutes of rapid exhalation (kapalbhati) can give you amazing results in no time.
HOW MUCH YOU SHOULD EXERCISE?
All scientific bodies say that a person should be doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. Which should include 2 days of strength-building exercises.
So basically you should be exercising at least 20-30 minutes every day. Make sure you don’t stress yourself and overdo it, go slow.
- Say no to medicines. Your food is your medicine
- Ditch processed food, Switch to home-cooked food
- Practice the healthy plate method
- Include desi cow ghee
- Include fermented food like curd idli etc
- Include seasonal fruits
- Quality sleep is the key
- Avoid plastics, instead invest in stainless steel and glass boxes
- Be in the moonlight for 15 minutes
- Exercise daily for at least 20-30 minutes
Remember PCOS is a lifestyle disorder and if correctly treated, it can be reversed.
Now I want to ask you two questions,
1] It’s a new disease, your mom and grandma did not have PCOS.
2] Women from lower socio-economy strata or someone from rural background do not by enlarge have PCOS
So think why?
Now that means that there is something common in the lifestyle of your mom your grandma and also the poor lady who comes to your house to work
What it is?