pcos nutritionist
Metabolic Health

Working With a Nutritionist When You Have PCOS

PCOS can be a complex condition to manage. All the symptoms and difficulties associated with it would need a team of experts to holistically deal with what might come next. This is because the symptoms of PCOS may not just be limited to problems regarding the immediate menstrual cycle – it is a lifelong condition that requires a lot of time and effort to manage to perfection. Even then, at times, the uncontrolled or erratic hormonal makeup can lead to unwarranted and often distressing symptoms. 

Many times, a woman might have to seek medical help to be able to effectively deal with the symptoms of PCOS. Depending on the severity of her condition and the reported symptoms, the doctors might prescribe certain medicines for relief. However, since this condition lasts for a lifetime, for overall sustainable development, many lifestyle changes are also necessary – one of the most important changes would be regarding the diet plan. 

Your diet can affect the symptoms of PCOS in a significant way. Since weight loss and maintenance of healthy body weight and body fat can play a huge role in reducing the symptoms, a PCOS nutritionist will be a key factor in the treatment plan. Also know about the types of pcos.

How a nutritionist can help you improve your PCOS symptoms?

PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders that affect approximately 9-18% of women who are in their reproductive ages. Despite being common all across the globe, this condition is largely ignored and often undertreated and even misdiagnosed. Technology and medical advancements have truly made it better in terms of getting an accurate diagnosis and are also leading to a better prognosis. However, a major portion of the onus is still upon the women to make certain changes that will help with their symptoms

Diet and lifestyle modifications are the go-to treatment approaches that a team of healthcare professionals might prescribe to a woman diagnosed with PCOS. Even though one particular optimal diet plan has not been determined yet, a well-trained PCOS nutritionist will be able to customize and prescribe the woman a proper plan to follow based on her individual factors. The basic premise of this diet plan would be weight loss. The nutritionist will guide and provide you with a diet chart that will promote healthy weight loss which is essential for women with PCOS. Foods with a lower glycemic index, fewer carbs, rich in nutrients, high in fiber, etc are prescribed. Also know about the pcos pain.

Things to expect in a nutrition session

In India, there are several ways to become a nutritionist. Completing the Bachelor’s and then Master’s of science in dietetics and nutrition is one of the ways to do so. Checking the credentials of the nutritionist you are visiting would be one of the first things to do. Visiting a trained and experienced nutritionist who is adept in dealing with problems like PCOS is vital. One visit would typically last for about 45-60 minutes. 

  • In the first session, the PCOS nutritionist will ask you about your complete medical history. This will include any illnesses, medication, etc. They will also ask you about your family medical history. This is important as PCOS can have strong genetic links
  • Your routine, lifestyle, habits, eating, sleeping patterns, stress management, etc is also something that they will assess. These can aggravate and trigger certain responses in the body that can factor in regarding the symptoms of PCOS. 
  • The nutritionist will also check your medical records and any blood or imaging tests to assess the extent to which PCOS is present in the body. 
  • They will also check for allergies. Depending on all these factors, they will customize and prescribe a diet plan that will provide you with the required nutrients, and energy, and will keep your weight and symptoms at bay. This diet plan will be customized and modified regularly based on what works and doesn’t work for you. They will also educate you about the diet plan, why it is essential, how it will benefit and will clarify any other questions you may have. 
  • In the follow-up sessions, you can talk to the nutritionist about any changes that you may have noticed – positive or negative. Monitoring the meal plan, additional supplements, etc can be addressed. 
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Benefits of consulting a nutritionist

At times, it becomes difficult to plan and change your diet, even if it is essential. We may not have the right tools or education to come up with a plan that will be beneficial holistically providing all the required nutrients and eliminating the symptoms of PCOS. Therefore, a PCOS nutritionist is necessary. Working in tandem with an expert will give you the freedom to explore your choices and you can also customize the plan regarding your needs and lifestyle. 

  • Not only PCOS, but a trained professional will also be able to prescribe a healthy diet that will take care of any other issues that can be future consequences of PCOS like heart conditions, insulin resistance, diabetes, etc. 
  • Alternative food options to carbs, sugar, etc are suggested.
  • They will prepare and prescribe a chart based on individual needs and will also educate you about the same
  • They will also include options that are desirable to you
  • Any resistance, demotivation, or unaccepting feelings that you may be dealing with can be attended to. 

Recommended Foods by nutritionists

A nutritionist will provide you with a tailor-made diet plan that will help in the effective management of PCOS and other metabolic conditions. Even a slight weight loss will help improve the symptoms and will be relieving. A healthy plan and some recommended foods that a nutritionist will provide for PCOS could be:

  • 4-5 meals in a day (includes breakfast and snacks)
  • Incorporating a variety of food groups – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, etc
  • Additional sources of protein 
  • Healthy fluids/drinks – lots of water, buttermilk, low-fat milk, natural fruit juices (no added sugar)

A diet plan for PCOS is not one-size-fits-all. Your dietician will create this plan for you after a thorough assessment of your needs, 

How to find a nutritionist who specializes in PCOS?

Firstly, look for the minimum qualification that is necessary to make them a good practitioner in their field. Check for the degree and any additional training that they may have been a part of. You can find a professional in the field on social media, google, or word of mouth. Another great way to do so would be with the recommendation of someone with PCOS and their nutritionists so that you can get a first-hand review of how the nutritionist performs regarding PCOS-related issues. 

Bottomline

PCOS is a lifelong condition that needs great attention and care. A PCOS nutritionist can be a blessing in disguise as they may be the key to being motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. Look for experts and trained professionals who will be able to customize and give diet plans suited specifically for you. If you are newly diagnosed, a dietician will do wonders for not only your physical health but also your mental well-being.

FAQs

Can a nutritionist help with PCOS?

Yes, a nutritionist can be of great help in case of a PCOS diagnosis – weight loss, improving fertility, reducing risk for other illnesses, improving body weight, enhanced energy, and healthy pregnancy, are just some of the issues that can be addressed and improved.

Can PCOS go away with weight loss?

PCOS might not go away with weight loss, however, even a 5% decrease in weight might show great improvements in the symptoms.

What is the best diet plan for PCOS?

A single diet plan may not be suited for every woman with PCOS as it may depend on her specific needs, the severity of the condition, any other complications, and other factors. A nutrient-rich diet with a lot of fluids and elimination of factors that will increase body fat is the broad blueprint that most nutritionists follow.

Are you born with PCOS?

The exact reason why PCOS occurs is not yet known, however, genetics is said to play a huge role in the development of the condition. If there is a strong genetic predisposition, it is possible to have those specific factors that may make you more susceptible to the development of PCOS. The symptoms, however, might only be seen in your early 20s or 30s. 

Does PCOS get worse with age?

The increasing awareness of this condition has led to more studies and investigations into the consequences. As women age, their androgen levels decrease, and this increases their chances of getting pregnant later in life. However, the metabolic consequences associated with PCOS do worsen with age. The prevalence of diabetes, obesity, heart conditions, etc are common with increasing age, especially if there is neglect in their treatment and care plan.

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