Nutrition Therapy for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects 5-10% of women of childbearing age. PCOS is associated with: irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal hair growth or loss, abdominal obesity, elevated insulin levels, elevated testosterone levels, polycystic ovaries, dark patches of velvety skin on neck, arms, breasts or thighs, acne, and infertility. Nearly 50% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Improving your diet and exercise program by making lifestyle changes may reduce your risk for developing chronic diseases associated with PCOS such as diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer.

WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED MEAL PLAN FOR PCOS?

Currently there is no scientific evidence to support one particular diet for PCOS. Evidence-based recommendations suggest that women with PCOS should focus on balance and moderation. Recommended lifestyle changes include:

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

Consume a wide variety of whole foods

Aim to eat 25-30 grams of fiber per day

Limit sugars and enriched carbohydrates

Limit salt intake (aim for less than 2400 milligrams of salt per day)

Choose unsaturated fats

Eat protein and and/or fat with every meal or snack

For an individualized meal or exercise plan, make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian or a Fitness Educator at the SportWell Center 244-0261.

References

Hoeger, KM. Obesity and Lifestyle Management in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2007; 50: 277-294.
The Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association Web site
Helping Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Web site