PCOS: Hormone & Harmony
With over 1 million cases every year, polycystic ovarian syndrome/ disease (PCOS/ PCOD): an endocrine hormone disorder, is precariously on a rise in Indian women and is now the major cause of infertility. It affects the hormone levels in women. Due to the hormone imbalance caused by PCOS, they tend to skip menstrual periods thus affecting fertility.
PCOS patients are mostly in the age group of 15 to 45 which is said to be a crucial age for the overall development of body structure. Any malfunction of hormones in this age group leads to serious consequences in the later years.
Hormone and PCOS
PCOS is an endocrine disorder which occurs due to the development of cysts near the ovaries. Excessive release of the hormone testosterone in the body is one of the reasons for the imbalance. Ovaries may develop fluid-like structures called follicles, which later develop as cysts that might result in their inability to produce eggs. In Ayurveda it can be correlated with Artava Kshaya
It is difficult to state the exact cause of PCOS, however, it has been related to hormonal imbalance especially insulin resistance which further results in hyperinsulinemia and is also linked with genetic factors. The sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, poor diet with more junk food and stress etc. can be huge contributors for PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS
Some common signs and symptoms can help recognize the disorder. This includes irregular or no menstrual periods at all. Other signs include infertility, hirsutism, acne, dandruff and other skin issues. Body’s immediate reaction to any malady is on the weight. PCOS leads to obesity and thereby the sudden weight gain. Sleep apnea is common in PCOS.
Besides physical infirmity, PCOS also affects mental health to a great extent. The patient may feel depressed, dejected and lonely. Psychological disorders may cause mental and emotional turmoil. Socially, it negatively affects self-perception.
Ayurvedic Management of PCOS
Ayurveda can help alleviate PCOS symptoms in a big way. In modern medicine PCOS is treated by hormonal therapy, while Ayurvedic treatment of PCOS aims at treating the root cause i.e., correction of the ama dosha by correcting the metabolism.
Two types of treatment have been advised in Ayurveda for Artava kshaya condition: Samshodhana (cleansing procedures) and Samshamana (disease pacifying) treatment
Amongst Samshodhana treatment, Panchkarma procedures like Vamana (emesis)and Virechana (purgation) using medicated drugs are beneficial. These Panchkarma procedures help in cleansing, detoxification and correcting the hormonal imbalance by improving the metabolism. The regularization of Apana vata functioning is essential as well. Bastis (enemas) and Uttara Vastis are effective treatments for gynaecological disorders. They help to purify and clear the Aartava Vaha Srotas (the channels that supply to the female reproductive system), pacify vitiated Apana vayu and improve follicular maturity and correct the menstrual cycle.
Yoga and meditation are very important for the treatment of PCOS. Yoga also helps in weight loss, relieves stress and improves blood circulation to the ovaries thus naturally curing PCOS. Some of the ideal yoga postures for this condition include Sarvangasana, Matyasana, Martkasan, Tittaliasana, Bhujangasana and Shavasana. A combination of herbs, therapies and a healthy lifestyle is needed to improve the condition of PCOS. Treatment is selected according to the age and condition of the patient.
Home Remedies for PCOS
- ½ teaspoonful of cinnamon powder boiled in 1cup of water for 5-7min when taken daily helps to correct menstrual irregularities.
- Fenugreek (methi) seeds should be added to the diet. Soak a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds overnight in a cup of water and drink that water and chew the seeds. This helps to correct plasma glucose levels and hyperinsulinemia.
- Use sesame oil for cooking.
- Consume 1tsf of sesame seeds along with1tsf of jaggery for scanty periods.
- Consume 1tsf of Triphala powder with warm water at bed time (except during periods).
- Drink fresh juice of Amla mixed with water twice a day before food for weight loss.
- Use of lemon juice helps to induce menstrual cycle.
- For Acne, apply a pack of neem + turmeric and clove paste.
- Include Dill leaves (Sabakki soppu, Anethum graveolens) in the diet to regularize the cycles.
- Excess intake of salty, sweet foods should be avoided.
- Potatoes, brinjal, rajma, chana dal and toor (arhar) dal should be avoided in regular use.
- Avoid late nights and day time sleep.
- Avoid late night dinner.
The Ayurvedic treatment for PCOS is a cost-effective way of treatment.
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