Inflammatory PCOS - Diet & Lifestyle Tips

Your driver: Inflammation

How is inflammation driving your PCOS?

Chronic, low-grade inflammation can stimulate the ovaries to produce increased testosterone through triggering theca cell dysfunction, contributing to PCOS onset and development. Chronic inflammation can be caused by leaky gut, food intolerances, histamine intolerance, mould toxicity, and insulin resistance. The key is to find out what root cause is driving your inflammation!.

  1. Over-nutrition, or excessive calorie consumption is one of the major causes of low-grade inflammation, where consistently elevated blood glucose and blood lipid levels activate pro-inflammatory mediators and provoke development of insulin resistance. This is often occurring in individuals eating increased amounts of refined, processed foods high in sugar and trans fats. Insulin resistance is one of the major factors that exacerbates PCOS symptoms.
  2. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) is a component of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, which can be overgrown in the gut microbiome! When you have elevated LPS in the gut microbiome, this activates our inflammatory pathways to produce proinflammatory cytokines. These then upregulate inflammasomes, which can trigger cellular proliferation in the ovaries, leading to more androgen production.
  3. Histamine intolerances, or too much histamine in the body with an inability to clear it can be a significant inflammatory driver of PCOS. In PCOS, commonly there will be reduced progesterone, which will reduce your capacity to produce the enzyme that breaks down histamine (DAO enzyme). Low progesterone if often coupled with high estrogen, which increases histamine production. Top this with histamine-producing bacteria in the gut and you will be experiencing histamine-induced inflammation that may affect many of the PCOS symptoms.

Diet Tips

  • Increase your consumption of anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Polyphenols include green tea, pomegranate, cacao, turmeric, resveratrol, berries, and they are powerful in interfering many of the inflammatory pathways described above. Consumption of polyphenols also positively alters the gut microbiome which may have flow-on effects in reducing androgen production in the ovaries and regulating insulin levels. 
  • Increase your consumption of healthy, anti-inflammatory fats. Think avocados, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, small fatty fish. Healthy fats will provide the building blocks for healthy hormone production and will reduce inflammatory markers as well as keep you fuller for longer... lets avoid those sugar cravings ?
  • Avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Sugar is one of the biggest exacerbating factors for inflammation in the body, and can stimulate your insulin-like growth factor, which follows on to stimulate testosterone production. Your goals is to minimize all insulin-induced inflammation to prevent testosterone surges.

  • Eat more wholefoods!. Increase your wholegrain and vegetable intake to maximize your intake of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Moving towards a Mediterranean style diet with more wholegrains and vegetable intakes has strong correlation with reduced inflammatory processes in the body. The extra fibre is crucial for reducing those insulin spikes with your meals, as it slows down the release of sugar into your blood stream. Not to mention the amazing ?'s you will do.

Lifestyle tips 

  • Exercise
    • Enjoy being active: Regular exercise reduces inflammation very effectively by improving circulation and lymphatic flow, and reducing body fat. You can do any type of exercise as long as it gets your heart pumping. Set a goal to work out for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week and work up to it bit by bit.
  • Increase your earthing and grounding time
    • Spend more time barefoot outdoors in contact with grass, soil, stone and sand to reconnect with the Earth's natural electric charge. By connecting with the electrical conduction of the earth you can harness potent stress-relieving, anti-inflammatory and increased blood flow activity in the body. Many people report feeling more relaxed, less anxious, less stressed and more grounded when practicing regular earthing.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene
    • Poor sleep habits as associated with higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers, and inversely healthy sleeping patterns will help reduce inflammation in the body. 

If you are looking for an effective treatment option, I offer 10 minute herbal medicine consults where I am able to formulate you your very own unique mix to balance and support your hormones. If this sounds like something you are ready to explore, book today using the link below!

Access your own herbal formula here by booking a Herbal Medicine Consult

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