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PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) & PCOS : Causes, Symptoms, Diet & Cure

What is Polycystic Ovary Disorder (PCOD)?

PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a medical condition in women, where the ovaries produce multiple immature eggs which, over time, become cysts on the ovaries.

Ovaries are the reproductive organs of a female which control the menstrual cycle and the production of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, inhibin, relaxin etc. The accumulation of the eggs swells the ovary and makes it release large quantities of male hormone thus causing infertility.

PCOD is a hormonal condition that affects approximately 5- 10% of women in their childbearing ages (12 to 45-years). While the prevalence of PCOD differs, it affects around 9% to 22% of Indian women.

Common Symptoms of PCOD/PCOS

The preliminary signs and symptoms of PCOD usually develop during the first cycle of menstruation at puberty. PCOD may also develop later due to increased weight over the years.

There are various symptoms of PCOD. Some of the common signs are :

  • Increased androgen levels. Excess male sex hormones may result in various physical manifestations, such as excess facial and body hair and male-pattern baldness.
  • Irregular periods. You may observe irregular periods or delayed menstrual cycle due to the abnormality in maturation of the egg.
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant due to irregular and delayed or failed ovulation. The hormone imbalance in the body prevent the follicles from maturing and releasing the egg, causing delayed or failed ovulation. This heavily affects the menstrual cycle and thereby your periods. Many women are diagnosed with PCOD when they visit the doctor regarding their unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant.
  • Hair Loss or excessive thinning of hair This symptom, too, is due to the increased production of male hormones in the body.
  • Acne on the skin
  • Weight gain

What causes Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)?

Family History

There is a 50% possibility of getting PCOD among the women whose immediate female relatives suffer from PCOD. As you grow older, this PCOD may lead to Type 2 diabetes, as PCOD is a risk factor for developing Diabetes Till now, a single gene has not yet found to be the cause of PCOD, and it is likely to be complex and involve multiple genes.

Insulin resistance & Lifestyle

About 70% women with PCOD have peripheral insulin resistance. The pancreas produces insulin, which is a hormone to help the body use sugar from foods for energy. Due to insulin resistance the cells can’t use insulin properly and the body’s demand for insulin increases. To compensate, the pancreas makes more insulin.

Factors of Insulin Resistance:

  • Insulin resistance as a result of genetic factors
  • Insulin resistance as a result of being overweight (related to diet and inactivity)
  • A combination of both of these factors


PCOS can lead to increased levels of inflammation in women. And being overweight also can contribute to inflammation. Studies have shown in PCOD that excess inflammation is linked to higher androgen levels.


Sometimes, a higher weight may worsen insulin resistance and the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Some women with PCOD report that they had never experienced symptoms such as menstrual irregularity or excessive hair growth and are a healthy weight. However, these symptoms only appear once they gain weight.

How PCOD is Diagnosed?

While there is no particular test to confirm PCOD, Doctor would discuss the medical history and perform a physical examination to confirm the condition. They may then recommend

  • A pelvic examination
  • Blood tests to quantify hormone levels
  • An ultrasound to check the appearance of ovaries and the uterus

If diagnosed with PCOD, then doctor would suggest regular checkups.

What are some problems associated with PCOD?

Some complications can arise from PCOD. These include various diseases and medical conditions, such as

  • Various metabolic syndromes, including high blood pressure cardiovascular diseases, increased cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
  • Miscarriages
  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type -2 Diabetes
  • Depression and other mental disorder
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Untreatable acne, displaying hormonal problems
  • Chronic Liver inflammation

How to overcome PCOD?

Although there is no exact cure for PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disease), you can definitely manage your signs and symptoms for a better outcome. Here are some crucial pointers to consider to overcome Polycystic Ovarian Disease:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight is the key to managing PCOD. Weight loss can keep your androgen and insulin levels in check while restoring and regularizing your ovulation cycle.
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet. If you are not sure what to eat and what to avoid, you can always contact a dietician to help with weight control and a healthy diet according to your weight loss plan.
  • Limit your carbohydrate intake. A high-carb and low-fat diet can increase your insulin levels. A low-carb diet is likely to help you manage your symptoms well. Add complex carbs to your diet. Get in touch with your doctor for better advice.
  • Exercise regularly. It will keep your blood sugar levels in control. In women with PCOS, daily physical activity can help prevent insulin resistance. So, make sure to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.
  • Medical assistance to reduce blood glucose levels, restoration of fertility and regular menstruation, effective treatment of acne, and the prevention of endometrial cancer are other measures that help weed out PCOD.

How to cure PCOD problems naturally, at home ? 

There are numerous methods to treat polycystic ovarian disease naturally You can easily follow these at home without spending much. 

  • Exercise is the most useful and beneficial activity of the day. It avoids hormonal imbalance in our blood and keeps heart problems and diabetes away. Not to mention it reduces stress, one of the causes of PCOD. 
  • Weight loss has been proven to reduce the symptoms and risk of developing metabolic syndrome and hormone-related disorders. Only 5% body fat reduction can significantly help relieve PCOD. 
  • Diet change is recommended to avoid developing insulin resistance or diabetes due to PCOD. 
  • Focus on wholesome foods as these do not contain preservatives, chemicals, hormones, and artificial sugars. Add more fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains to your diet while avoiding processed food products.
  • Make sure to have healthy portions of protein in your diet.
  • Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, including green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, olive, tree nuts, fatty fish, such as tuna and mackerel.
  • Eat iron-rich foods, including broccoli, spinach, dates, and eggs.
  • Magnesium-rich foods like bananas, spinach, almonds, and cashews are PCOS-friendly. Add these too.
  • Go for a high-fiber diet, including beans, lentils, pear, broccoli, etc.

Supplements are recommended as they are seen to improve the PCOD symptoms. Take selenium supplements, Omega3 -fish oil, chromium, vitamin-D, vitamin-B complex, vitamin D plus calcium, and inositol.

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