The Keto Diet For PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age affecting nearly 4% of women. Its symptoms show up as excess testosterone, irregular or absent menses, excessive body hair, and, you guessed it: infertility. Its also associated with medical abnormalities such as central obesity, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia.
Although there are no definitive curative therapies for PCOS, several interventions do improve symptoms and can increase your chances of fertility success. Its seems like those interventions that improve insulin sensitivity can have a major impact on treating PCOS.
You may have heard of the latest and greatest diet making all the headlines these days: The Keto Diet. Scientists put it to the test and the findings were significant. Recent studies show that women with obesity and PCOS who followed a low carb ketogenic diet over a 24 week period had significant improvement in weight, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH ratio, and fasting insulin.
So what is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet (keto for short) is a very low-carb, high fat diet similar to Atkins or Whole 30.
Normally, the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the brain use glucose (blood sugar) as fuel. Glucose is able to feeds the tissues of brain because it can cross the blood-brain barrier. If there is not enough glucose in the blood, lets say if you've been on a low carb diet, your desperate body is forced to converts fat, which cannot cross the blood brain barrier, in to ketones, which can. Ketones are used as an alternative energy source when there is little or no glucose in the blood. When this conversion happens your body becomes incredibly efficient at turning fat into ketones.
The Keto Diet Rules:
Be prepared to eat a lot of good fats and cut out the sugar. Your body will feel like its been put through the ringer the first week, but know that there are greener pastures full of more energy, better sleep and a radiating body waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. There are a plethora of websites and blogs that cover what you can and cannot eat on the Keto Diet but my favorite site is Ruled.Me. On his page, Craig Clarke shares shopping lists, recipes, success stories, and generates a place for community. Its a super friendly, easy to use site and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to explore a Keto lifestyle change.