Frequent mood swings, anxiety and depression are common complaints made by women living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Still, many women suffering from PCOS are unsure whether their depression is a direct result of their body’s hormonal imbalance or they are merely feeling ‘down’ because of the daunting symptoms of the disease. Whichever way it is, coping with PCOS can be challenging.
Since PCOS causes a woman’s body to produce more than the required level of androgens (male hormones) resulting in acne, male pattern baldness, difficulty in conceiving, and hair growth on the face, chest or stomach, it’s quite possible that the symptoms themselves begin to cause depression.
However, scientists link hormonal imbalance, due to PCOS, directly to mood swings and depression. Studies have shown that besides producing unusual levels of male hormones, women with PCOS also experience changes in their blood sugar levels, which can also lead to mood disorders and depression.
The question is: how does a woman with PCOS deal with this?
While seeking medical help is something inevitable, there is a lot more you can do on your own. Here are some suggestions:
Take charge. Don’t wait for something or someone to make you happy. Take control of your emotions by beginning your day with something empowering. Strive for improvement and only then will improvement come. Do things that you believe will make a difference, so while you address the root cause you are actually feeling good and in control of the problem.
Know that you are not alone in this. According to a study 1 in every 10 to 20 women of childbearing age suffer from this condition. However, by taking control of your life, who knows one day even you might be able to find joy in the midst of all the pain and struggle.
Exercise - Physical activity has proved to enhance self-esteem and produces endorphins – hormones that produce strong and positive feelings in the body. On the other hand, staying stagnant will keep you low on energy all day.
Keep a check on what you eat. The benefits of healthy eating cannot be over emphasized. Eating healthy can also help reverse the symptoms linked to PCOS by lowering body’s androgen levels. Whole foods, such as unpolished grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and non-homogenized dairy products can boost energy levels, result in fewer cravings and most importantly maintain the blood glucose levels of those suffering from PCOS.
By taking responsibility of what you consume, you can actually reduce mood swings associated with over-eating or low blood sugars. While weight loss with PCOS can be challenging, reducing weight can help reduce PCOS symptoms and even increase fertility.