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Dr. Laura Pipher

Dr. Laura Pipher

The Connection between PCOS and Gut Health

The Connection Between PCOS and Gut Health

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age. Symptoms of PCOS can include irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth, acne, and weight gain. While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, research suggests that it may be linked to inflammation and insulin resistance.

One factor that may contribute to the development and management of PCOS is gut health. The digestive system is home to trillions of bacteria, known as the microbiome, which play a crucial role in overall health. Research suggests that the microbiome may be involved in the development and management of PCOS.

Gut health and PCOS

Many people with PCOS experience digestive issues, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. These symptoms may be related to an imbalance in the microbiome, known as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis has been linked to inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which are associated with PCOS.

Improving gut health may help manage PCOS symptoms. Here are some strategies to manage the microbiome:

  • Focus on a fiber-rich diet: Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by the body. Instead, it passes through the digestive system and is fermented by the microbiome. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects and may improve insulin sensitivity. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Consider probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that are similar to the beneficial bacteria found in the microbiome. They may help restore the balance of the microbiome and improve digestive symptoms. Probiotics are found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, and can also be taken in supplement form.
  • Reduce intake of processed and high-sugar foods: Processed and high-sugar foods may contribute to dysbiosis and inflammation. Limiting these types of foods may help improve gut health and manage PCOS symptoms.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress has been linked to dysbiosis and inflammation. Finding ways to manage stress, such as through exercise, meditation, or therapy, may help improve gut health and manage PCOS symptoms.

Conclusion

Gut health is an important factor to consider when managing PCOS. Strategies such as eating a fiber-rich diet, incorporating probiotics, reducing intake of processed and high-sugar foods, and managing stress may help improve gut health and manage PCOS symptoms.

If you are experiencing digestive issues and have been diagnosed with PCOS, book your free call to chat and see how we can start moving the needle in your health

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