What makes PCOD difficult to diagnose and treat is that it can affect several body systems. While most of us are aware of symptoms like acne, weight gain around the abdomen, painful or irregular periods, hair fall, too much body hair and even inability to get pregnant, there are 30 symptoms that someone with PCOD could face!
Since hormones have a body-wide impact, using simple, yet powerful healthy living tips is a great way to improve your PCOD symptoms.
In my clinical practice, I have used several such “health shortcuts” to help patients get an unfair advantage in their fight against their chronic diseases.
I’m going to focus on 4 big ones in this article – the ones that have helped my patients make a big impact on their hormones and their PCOD symptoms.
Secret Healthy Living Tip No.1 : Chew your food!
Insulin resistance and PCOD often go hand in hand. Most women with PCOD have resistance to the hormone insulin. They may have pre-diabetes for months or even years before they are diagnosed with PCOD. By chewing every mouthful 16 times before swallowing, you can reduce the blood sugar load on your body.
What’s more, many women with PCOD also have issues with weight. Research studies have shown that when we chew food thoroughly, we eat lesser portions and we lose weight. It takes the stomach some time to convey to the brain that it is full. When we gobble up our food, the stomach does not get a chance to convey fullness, so we eat more than we need to. Mindful eating has reduced portion sizes by 15% in studies, so it’s a gradual but steady weight loss.
The third benefit of this healthy living habit is directly related to the second. We all know the post-meal energy drop that happens after a heavy meal. Brain fog, feeling slightly cold…you know the feeling. Many women with PCOD feel this even more than others. This happens because the blood from your brain and extremities has to rush to the stomach and digestive system, which is overloaded.
One practical suggestion, for immediate implementation: chew every mouthful thoroughly during any one meal, after which you would normally have felt drowsy, like, say, lunch. Just see the difference that chewing produces. You’ve half digested your food in your mouth, so less blood needs to rush to the stomach. End result – you feel light and energetic at the end of the meal, instead of heavy and drowsy.
Secret Healthy Living Tip No.2: Use a Castor Oil Pack
The most effective use of a castor oil pack in my experience is to help with menstrual cramps. It is for this reason that it can be such a boon for women with PCOD and painful periods. Rather than pop several potent painkiller tablets, you can try the castor oil pack for more natural relief.
The American Healer Edgar Caycee was a huge fan of castor oil packs for healing. Castor Oil Packs work by stimulating the lymphatic system, the drainage system of our body. Lymph is everywhere in our body, and the lymphatic network drains waste and improves our circulation. When the pack is used over the abdomen, the oil is absorbed into the gut-associated lymphatic tissue, through the skin. It then circulates, relieving menstrual cramps that are often caused by congested lymph vessels.
There are several videos on youtube on how to make a castor oil pack.
The basic idea is to soak a piece of cloth, usually flannel, in the castor oil and then apply it on an area that you want to literally “move” or “cleanse” internally. You then place a thin plastic sheet or another towel on the one soaked in castor oil and finally, put a hot water bottle or a heating pad on it. You leave it on for between half hour to an hour for deep relief.
Secret Healthy Living Tip No. 3: Avoid milk and dairy products altogether or pick wisely
I know, I know. You’re most likely thinking – I’ve grown up drinking milk, so how can I give it up now? And why? Research shows that in a lot of people with PCOD, symptoms worsen when they consume milk or milk products. This is because all milk contains a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor or IGF. Since milk is meant for calves, to help them grow, it’s not surprising.
However, when human beings consume it, especially people who have issues with insulin hormone (most women with PCOD have such issues), it can create all kinds of congestion. Especially if you have PCOD and acne, going off dairy products for just a fortnight can tell you clearly if this healthy living tip will work for you. Also remember: most milk we get today is laced with hormones anyway, so with a hormonal imbalance like PCOD, going off milk can really help.
If you’re someone how simply cannot do without milk or milk products, make a little extra effort. Avoid the pasteurized homogenized milk that is sold in packets. If you can get access to fresh organic raw A2 variety milk, slow boil it at home and you will likely get most of the benefits of the milk that is praised in Ayurveda as being the nectar of the Gods.
Secret Healthy Living Tip No. 4: Ground yourself!
How do you do it? The good old free method is to simply kick off your shoes and spent time in contact with Mother Earth. Research says anywhere between 30 minutes to 80 minutes a day should do the trick.
Researchers conducted a study to assess the impact of walking barefoot on earth for a short period every day. The areas of life that were positively impacted the most by grounding or earthing in research studies were sleep and pain.
When subjects were divided into two groups – one which was actually “earthed” and the other, which was not, the group that got the grounding improved their ability to fall asleep, their quality of sleep, woke up with fewer muscular aches and pains and reported “feeling deeply rested”, which the control group did not.
Women with PCOD complain of aches and pains, sleep disturbances and mood swings. All of these complaints show fantastic improvements within the first month of implementing this healthy living tip. If you can find a little patch of grass to do this in, even better.
Why does this all happen? We have all heard of oxidative stress or free radicals, which are a result of pollution, stress, inflammation, etc. These factors can impact our cells very badly, affecting our health.
Scientists have found that the earth is an inexhaustible source of “free electrons”, fantastic little energy particles that our bodies can absorb and neutralize this free radical damage.
We are bio-electric beings and the earth is like a giant battery that we can get recharged from.
There are many more Healthy Living Tips that form the 5th Petal of the Sepalika 5-Petal PCOD Programme. I’ve chosen these from the tips that have worked best for my patients. Several times, I will choose a particular health habit that will help the specific individual best. That’s what the expert team will do for those who are part of the programme. Meanwhile, try one of these habits for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. I can assure you, you will feel the positive impact yourself. Wish you all vibrant health and well being.