Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder and is common among women of reproductive age. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown but early diagnosis and treatment with weight loss can reduce the risk of complications like type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Due to hormonal imbalance in PCOS women are vulnerable to physical, mental and environmental stressors like a poor diet, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, stress and fatigue.
PCOS and fatigue may make you feel:
- Too tired to get out of bed in the mornings
- Extremely sleepy and tired by afternoon
- Suffer from shakes and sweating
- Have headaches, migraines, and weakness
- Experience vision changes
About 50-70% of women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) have insulin resistance. It is the hyperinsulinemia and fluctuations in blood sugar levels that cause profound fatigue in women with PCOS.
What Can You Do About It?
Start taking a balanced diet and make sure you’re getting good fats, complex carbohydrates and healthy proteins in every meal. For this you can:
- Fill up one-half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables e.g: lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, carrots, beans, asparagus, and tomatoes.
- Fill one-quarter of your plate with a lean protein e.g. poached salmon, tuna, grilled chicken and eggs.
- Fill the last quarter of your plate with carbohydrate-dense foods like sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables.
- Include healthy fats. E.g. nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, coconut, and avocados.
- Eliminate all refined and processed foods from your diet.
Take care of your sleeping pattern
Lack of sleep can also cause insulin resistance, fatigue, and weight gain if you aren’t getting 7-8 hours of proper sleep. You can uncooperative following measures for that:
- Maintain your sleep cycle, try to sleep, and wake up at same time daily.
- Eliminate any blue light exposure a couple of hours before Bedtime.
- Caffeine also interferes with a peaceful night’s sleep, so you want to ensure you have your last cup of coffee before 3 pm.
Reduce stress levels
You can overcome stress levels by:
- Simplify your life.
- Make time for rest.
- Make the time to practice yoga and meditation.
- Exercise, yoga, swimming, dance etc can help to relieve stress.
Keep yourself Hydrated:
Dehydration causes fatigue and the toxin build-up in the body contributes to sluggishness. Drink more water, and your kidneys and liver will start to flush out all toxins from your body. So aim for around 3-4 liters of water in a day to stay hydrated.
Take care of medical health conditions:
If your chronic fatigue is not caused by any of the above reasons, you could be suffering from another underlying medical condition. Some of the conditions commonly seen in women with PCOS women include:
- Iron deficiency: It’s common for women with PCOS due to heavy menstrual cycle. Get your iron levels checked, and discuss the right diet and supplement to boost iron levels.
- Food Intolerances: Many women with PCOS have gluten and dairy sensitivity. As your fatigue could be a symptom of intolerance.
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Sleep Apnea
- Clinical Depression- As women with PCOS are prone to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.