PCOS, also known as polycystic ovary syndrome, is a relatively common condition caused by a hormonal imbalance. This hormonal endocrine disorder is one of the leading causes of infertility, which results in many women seeking medical treatment to conceive children.
We’ll discuss keto, PCOS, and the relationship between the two.
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What is PCOS?
PCOS occurs when the ovaries produce an irregular amount of androgens. Androgens are usually only present in women in trace amounts, as they are a male sex hormone. In result, several small cysts can begin to form in the ovaries.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
● Irregular menstrual symptoms
● Excess body hair
Though a number of factors can cause PCOS, many being unknown, excess weight and type 2 diabetes can both contribute to PCOS.
What is Keto?
Keto is a low-carb diet that works to put the body into a metabolic state of ketosis, which is efficient for fat burning and lowering blood sugar levels. A dieter’s carb level should drop to below 20 carbs per day, and instead be replaced with a high-fat consumption. In ketosis, your body will begin to fuel itself with fat instead of the carbs you eat.
We have outlined the four different types of keto diets:
● Standard ketogenic diet. 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs.
● Cyclical ketogenic diet. Includes higher carb re-feed days. The dieter will have 5 keto days and cycle with 2 high carb days.
● Targeted ketogenic diet. Add carbs around physical activity.
● High protein ketogenic diet. 60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs.
Foods to Avoid on Keto
● Root vegetables
● Sugary foods
● Low-fat products
● Unhealthy fats
● Sugar-free diet foods
Benefits of Keto for PCOS
Several studies show that there is a strong relationship with excess weight and PCOS. Because ketogenic diets often result in losing weight and lowering insulin levels, there are several benefits for the ketogenic diet and PCOS. Some of the most notable benefits of keto and PCOS include:
● Helps lose fat
● Lowers insulin levels
● Turns fat into ketones in the liver
● Lowers blood sugar
● Can improve chances of getting pregnant
Cons of Keto for PCOS
There is still some speculation around the ketogenic diet and negative repercussions on the body. In order to reap the benefits of the diet, it must be followed correctly, and careful attention must be paid to proper nutrition. Some of the cons of keto for PCOS include:
● May create an unhealthy relationship with food
● May not be nutritionally balanced
● Can cause constipation
The Connection Between Keto and PCOS
Research done by Dr. Michael Fox, a fertility specialist with over a decade of helping patients with PCOS, has found that patients on keto have transformed their chances of getting pregnant from 45% to 90%. This is due to the ketogenic’s incredible ability to help with weight loss, lower insulin levels, reverse insulin resistance, and help balance the hormone system.
According to Dr. Fox, women attempting to get pregnant should couple their keto diet with limiting extraneous and frequent exercise. He refers to this as a “stressor,” and suggests it be kept to a minimum.
For women who suffer from PCOS, working with a doctor to explore the ketogenic diet option is an excellent first step. The research completed shows a promising connection between PCOS and keto.