“The body heals itself,if we create the right conditions for it.“
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age.However, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly with today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle.
Fortunately, a nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best.
Here is the testimonial of Harshi kumar ,who was suffering from PCOS from a longer period of time. With her way power and persistent approach not only she made significant changes, she made me proud as well!
Let’s see what she has to share about her healing journey ?!
MY HEALING JOURNEY
I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15 years of age. Initially I used to have irregular menstrual cycles which eventually stopped completely, when I was 14. Apart from having no periods, I had signs of extreme mood swings, irritation, insomnia and exhaustion. I had always been quite active but had extremely poor dietary habits. Living under extreme environment of stress, I had unknowingly resorted to food as my coping mechanism. After months of not doing anything about my missing periods, I went to see a gynecologist and was put on the usual pills for PCOS. My experience with the medicine was much worse. It led to increased mood swings, irritability and extreme body ache.
This was around this time, I started gaining a lot of weight and my cravings increased exponentially. I started working out but poor dietary habits, lack of sleep and acute stress ensured it didn’t work. After being on, on and off, medication for almost 3 years, it was clear that I was not making any progress, even after regularly working out.
It was in February 2021 that I decided to make significant changes in my diets and lifestyle. With these changes in diet and working out pattern, I was able to lose around 15 kgs of weight. However, the three major changes which eventually helped me battle PCOS were
First, including Iodine and Magnesium supplement in my daily rituals. Taking iodine in ACV solution daily followed by magnesium really helped balance my hormones, kept my cravings in check and provided much needed energy boost. It also took care of Thyroid, which is something I was always on a verge of.
Second, taking small dose of ashwagandha first thing in the morning and again before sleeping (in a concoction of turmeric, crushed pepper, ginger and cumin). Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb known for reducing cortisol level and inflammation in the body, which are the two things it did for me as well.
Third, applying castor oil and heat pack on my lower abdomen every night for last 6 months. Castor oil therapy is the one thing which helped me restart my menstrual cycles naturally after 4 years. I have been following this practice since June 2020 and have had regular periods each month. It is nothing less than a miracle.
I still have a long way to go. I still have a lot to do to get a healthy body. But I am on the path and seeing what all I have gained in the last one year; I know it’s the right one.
How to restore your hormone?
Even small changes in hormone levels can result in adverse effects, including extra stress on the body. Symptoms can grow worse over time, and a hormonal imbalance can lead to chronic issues.
You can fix your hormone naturally with simple changes in ; Dietary,lifestyle (including exercise) and stress management.
- Pay attention to how different foods make you feel. After you eat do you feel tired? Energized? Heavy? Inspired? Depressed? Cold? Hot? This is the first step in learning how various foods affect your hormone.
- Eat adequate protein in your meals. Be aware of quality and quantity of food. “One man’s meat is another’s man poison”
- Eat predominantly plant based diet.
- Avoid stimulating food and drinks that contain sugar, alcohol, or caffeine.
- Avoid excessive amounts of cold or raw food (e.g raw salads or vegetables) and cold drinks. Switch to lightly cooked/steamed foods and warming drinks. Eat whole foods.
- Consume healthy fats and omega rich foods. Eggs and coconut oil are good examples of healthy fats.
- Consume high fiber diet.
- Take adaptogens like Ashwagandha(Indian ginseng),Turmeric,Black pepper, basil leaves.
- Eat smaller meals more often than a large meal. Avoid undereating and overeating.
- Do Intermittent fasting(calorie restriction).According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, intermittent fasting is a solution to hormonal imbalances: “Between meals, as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy.
- Wake as early as you can(predawn ideal) and meditate ,engage in quiet contemplation,or read inspirational material. Do prayer,or gentle breathing exercises.In any case whatever you do should quiet the mind.
- Exercise for 20-30 mins.This can be a combination of brisk walking, gentle stretching or yoga,tai chi,hiking or biking,depending on your energy and stamina. Do pranayama for 15-20 mins. It encourages the free flow of Prana(Qi) in the body.
- Get high quality sleep. Spend the evening quieting the mind and body, in preparation for bed.Avoid too much of light at night.
- Retire at the same time each evening.Create a calming, well-ventilated bedroom environment.
- Avoid heavy foods or drinks or any heavy activities before bedtime.
Learn to manage Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on your hormones. Try to devote at least 10–15 minutes per day to stress-reducing activities, even if you don’t feel you have the time.
- Do ABHYANGA( a form of self massage) .Apply warm oil to your body. This can take as little as 2-3 mins. This has an incredibly calming effect on the nervous system. Having a less trigger happy nervous system means less stress and more balanced hormones.
- Do deep breathing and meditation for vagal toning. By stimulating the vagus nerve you can activate parasympathetic nervous system and send a message to your body to relax and de-stress.Yoga and mantra chanting has deep impact on hormone balance.
- Cold bath and splashing cold water on face is quite helpful in stress. Our ancient yogis bathed in cold water to increase prana(vital force energy)in body.
- Get in touch with your feelings and take time to listen to your body and emotions.Go for a meditative walk/ forest bathing,do gardening,listen music, pursue your hobbies….
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness.“Hippocrates