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Three simple ways to help your mood AND your PCOS symptoms

Three simple ways to help your mood AND your PCOS symptoms

Mental Health Week runs this year from October 4-11 and puts the spotlight on the very important area of mental health. If you are a woman who suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) then you are nearly five times more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than women without PCOS.

So while taking care of your hormones is an important first step in treatment of your PCOS symptoms, looking after your emotional health is just as important. Fortunately taking simple steps to look after your mental health and wellbeing will also have the beneficial effect of looking after and supporting your hormones which will improve your PCOS!

Follow these three simple tips and you will be well on your way to balancing your mood and your hormones.

Tip #1 Exercise

Exercise is nature’s antidepressant and has the benefit of being without side effects (except for possibly sore muscles!). Exercise has also been shown to be more effective than a low calorie diet in improving ovulation and insulin resistance in women with PCOS.

If you have PCOS you really cannot afford not to exercise. By incorporating exercise into your daily life you will feel the benefits on your mental health and hormones*.

Tip #2 Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine to function well. They are also necessary to keep inflammation in check in the body, and inflammation is known to be associated with depression*.

Fish oils are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and have been well researched in the treatment of depression with impressive results. In one study fish oil was shown to be as effective as the antidepressant prozac in treating depression!

Both the quality of fish oil and the ratio of EPA and DHA are extremely important if you want to see therapeutic results. Please see your naturopath for advice on best quality and specific dosage of fish oils.

Tip #3 Get Control Back

Being diagnosed with a hormonal condition such as PCOS can be scary and daunting and you may feel as if you have lost control over your body. The common symptoms experienced by many women with PCOS such as fertility issues, acne and weight gain can have negative impact on mood and can affect confidence levels. This is why developing a plan of attack for dealing with your PCOS is so important. Diet, lifestyle, exercise habits, optimal herbal and nutritional supplements all need to be looked at.

While it may be tempting to consult Dr Google for the answers it is important to remember that a one size fits all approach to PCOS generally does not work. This is because PCOS is a syndrome meaning there is a wide spectrum of symptoms experienced by women with the syndrome and also a wide variation in symptom severity.

One may experience terrible acne while another will have clear skin but have troubles managing weight. This means that the approach to helping you best manage your PCOS needs to be individualised. This is where the help of an experienced health practitioner such as a naturopath can be invaluable*.

They can help you develop an individualised plan to deal with and overcome the symptoms you are experiencing. Knowing that you have a plan of action and people on your side can make you feel that you are in control of your PCOS and not the other way around. It will also mean less stabbing in the dark with trying different treatments and quicker results for you!

PCOS is not just about dealing with the physical symptoms, although this is a major part of treatment. Dealing with the psychological side of things as well is also needed for holistic treatment. Consider a referral to a counsellor/psychologist if the above strategies are not enough to keep your symptoms at bay.

Greta Leonard, Naturopath, specialises in hormonal imbalances, especially Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and recognises that there can be many contributing factors to hormones becoming unbalanced, which she seeks to address in consultations. To chat to Greta in a free 10 minute phone briefing about how she may be able to help you or to book an appointment call us on 1300 21 44 25.

*Disclaimer: Please know that the results are a typical and may vary from person to person

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