Insulin Resistant PCOS - Diet & Lifestyle Tips

Your driver: Insulin

How is insulin playing a role in your PCOS?

  1. High levels of insulin can stimulate your ovaries to produce excessive amounts of androgens, which are male hormones like testosterone. Increased androgens disrupt the balance of your sex hormones leading to symptoms of hirsutism (hair growth), acne, weight gain and fatigue. 
  2. Insulin can suppress the production of an important hormone called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This hormone is responsible for binding sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Lower levels of SHBG can lead to increased levels of free testosterone. 
  3. Insulin resistance can cause a range of metabolic effects such as increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Women with PCOS have a higher likelihood of developing these metabolic conditions due to the underlying insulin dysregulation

Diet Tips

  • Ensure each meal contains a serve of high-quality protein (grass fed meat, wild caught fish, tofu, tempeh, beans and eggs) to stabilize your blood sugar levels when eating. This helps to influence your body's insulin response by allowing the slower breakdown of food lending itself to a slower release of sugars into the blood stream! 
  • Increase your consumption of healthy 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 can stimulate your insulin-like growth factor, which follows on to stimulate testosterone production. Your goals is to minimize all insulin responses to prevent testosterone surges. 
  • Minimize intake of dairy Dairy also has the capacity to stimulate your insulin like growth factor. This can exacerbate any symptoms of acne or unwanted hair growth (chin, neck and face).
  • Eat more wholefoods!. Increase your wholegrain and vegetable intake to maximize your intake of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. The extra fiber 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 poo's you will do ;)

Diet hack!

Ingesting 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in some water 20 minutes before each meal has been shown to reduce your insulin spike by 30%. This is amazing - it means you can eat what you normally eat without worrying too much about your blood glucose spikes.

Lifestyle tips ?

  • Exercise! 30 minutes a day of varied exercises will improve your insulin sensitivity and help you better manage your blood sugar levels. Resistance training with heavy weights has shown to have the greatest impact on insulin sensitivity - but any exercise is better than no exercise! 
  • Manage your stress! Whether that's through meditation, walking or singing - whatever helps you feel relaxed. Stress triggers the release of cortisol and adrenaline, signaling the body to produce more energy. Consequently, blood sugar levels rise, leading to energy fluctuations and potential unhealthy eating habits. By addressing stress, you can avoid the glucose rollercoaster and make better dietary choices
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Healthy sleeping patterns and sufficient melatonin production will help regulate your menstrual period and is essential for the balancing of estrogen and progesterone. Poor sleep quality is also linked to increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance which will have a significant impact on PCOS progression. 

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

Share this article