PCOS is More Common in Overweight and Obese Women

PCOS is a major reproductive problem for women in the world. In the United States studies show that 40-80% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. In other countries it is less, making many believe lifestyle plays a role. With 7% of women diagnosed with PCOS, this is becoming an increasing problem.

My own daughter was unable to conceive for eight years because of PCOS. At the time she was 45 lbs overweight putting her into an obese category. After following my lead and adding more fruits to her diet and cutting out processed foods, she was able to lose the weight and within a year conceive naturally. When we returned to her infertility doctor I noticed every woman who walked through the waiting room door was overweight or obese so I asked her doctor. “Do you think her weight loss is why she was able to conceive?” The doctor looked at me as if I had spoken some arcane secret then said rather passively, “We’ve seen it before.”

That was ten years ago, I believe doctors are starting to realize this fact and are prompting women to lose weight as part of their infertility treatment.

While some are genetically susceptible to PCOS, like all genetically susceptible illnesses, we can increase our odds of getting it with improper choices to our lifestyle and food choices.

At RFBC we have noticed a big change to women’s menstrual cycles. It doesn’t happen overnight but over months. Bloating lessens, cramps and even time lessen. And we do lay claim to a few extra children in the world by the hormonal shifts seen because of how cleansing our diet is.

Insulin resistance, something our diets at Raw Food Boot Camp seem to combat with great success, is prevalent in women with PCOS regardless of their weight. According to research, PCOS is associated with defects in insulin sensitivity and secretion that are further exacerbated by obesity. Meaning, the higher a BMI of a woman with PCOS the higher her chances for increased insulin resistance and type 2 Diabetes.

Reproductive disturbances are more common in obese women regardless of the diagnosis of PCOS. Obese women are more likely to have menstrual irregularity and anvolatory infertility than normal-weight women. In reproductive-age women, the relative risk of anovulatory infertility increases as their BMI increases. According to research, weight reduction can restore regular menstrual cycles in these women.

PCOS women tend to be more apple-shaped (upper body weight) versus pear-shaped (lower body weight) and it has been shown that women with upper body weight are more prone to insulin resistance, heart disease and diabetes.

In summary, PCOS and obesity is not a healthy combination. Our diets at Raw Food Boot Camp are low glycemic so they get us around the metabolic issues of insulin resistance and let us lose the weight to help combat PCOS.

We have seen amazing results at RFBC for women with PCOS, the references and studies sited confirm what we learned from just doing our diets and walking.

 

References

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome: syndrome XX?
    Sam S, Dunaif A
    Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Oct; 14(8):365-70.
  2.  Insulin action in the polycystic ovary syndrome.
    Dunaif A
    Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1999 Jun; 28(2):341-59.
  3. Prevalence and predictors of risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in polycystic ovary syndrome: a prospective, controlled study in 254 affected women.
    Legro RS, Kunselman AR, Dodson WC, Dunaif A
    J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Jan; 84(1):165-9.
  4. Physical activity, body mass index, and ovulatory disorder infertility.
    Rich-Edwards JW, Spiegelman D, Garland M, Hertzmark E, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC, Wand H, Manson JE
    Epidemiology. 2002 Mar; 13(2):184-90.

 

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