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International Women’s Day 2023: Ways Of Managing PCOS And Mental Health- Check Expert Tips

International Women’s Day 2023: Ways Of Managing PCOS And Mental Health- Check Expert Tips

Happy Women’s Day: Women who have an imbalance in their reproductive hormones may develop polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a medical condition. It leads to a wide range of problems such as irregular menstrual periods, facial hair growth, and trouble getting pregnant. Those with PCOS are four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

The term polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is no longer new and is frequently linked to several women’s health issues related to menstruation. Women with PCOS are typically diagnosed as being insulin-resistant, having high levels of inflammation throughout the body, being obese, and leading stressful lives. This complex and chronic lifelong problem is caused by hormonal imbalances and results in various physical health problems as well as mental health problems.

Many women are surprised to learn that PCOS often has an impact on their emotional and mental health in addition to its physical symptoms, which include irregular periods and extra facial hair. Women with PCOS may experience constant fatigue, lower patience, and a weaker tolerance for stress, yet they frequently credit these traits to everyday life and accept them as normal. 

While the connection between PCOS and despair has long been observed purely anecdotal in women who have the condition, the scientific community is currently beginning to catch up.

Zee Digital spoke with Dr Sushma Tomar, Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan before International Women’s Day to understand why women find that they are always tired and have less patience but they often attribute it to normal life and accept it as normal.

“Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is an endocrine disorder. PCOD is a disease of a young age, where one faces hormonal disorders. It causes androgenic symptoms like acne, hair thinning (especially on the scalp), facial hair, etc,” says Dr Sushma.

PCOS and mental health

Mood swings, difficulty getting out of bed, struggle to maintain social contacts, and a lack of self-care all come into play with PCOS and depression. Yet apart from these, PCOS can also result in a variety of other mental health problems, such as but not restricted to:

– Anxiety

– Bipolar disorder

– Severe depression disorders

– Bulimia and/or other eating disorders

– Somatizations (physical symptoms of bad mental feelings) (physical manifestations of negative mental states)

– Interpersonal awareness

Dr Sushma Tomar mentions, “Male hormones are dominant; hence the patient suffers from such symptoms along with Obesity, Hirsutism, irregular menses, infertility, and many more. Due to these various symptoms and physical differences that these individuals face, as compared to their friends and relatives, the mental health of many young girls gets impacted as they face Anxiety and Depression.”

“Also, excess weight, acne, and Hirsutism affect their confidence as they face body image issues. The mental health of older women, who are trying to conceive but are not able to due to infertility issues, is affected too,” says Dr Tomar.

Treating mental health issues caused by PCOS

Dr Sushma Tomar remarks and recommends, “To have better mental health, women should remember that PCOD can be treated. To manage weight, one can opt for a healthy diet comprising of protein, fibre, fruits, etc. and regular exercise as this will help to maintain a healthy weight. Also, it will release mood hormones, helping manage the moods of the patient. Additionally, exercising will help avoid binge eating. Girls can take hormone control pills, as prescribed by their doctor, which will help manage acne and reduce facial hair growth. Together, it will create a positive attitude, manage mental health, and help in creating a positive image.”

Talk therapy can help people who are dealing with depression linked to PCOS or general self-esteem issues, and cognitive behavioural therapy can help those who are dealing with anxiety attacks and PCOS. The practice of self-care and stress reduction through meditation, massage, essential oil baths, or anything else that makes you feel relaxed and cared for will help you keep track of patterns and triggers. You can also benefit from journaling your experiences.

PCOS diet for a healthy lifestyle:

– Vegetables and fresh fruits

– Omega-3-rich foods

– Sources of Protein

– Avoid fried food

– Stay away from caffeinated beverages like coffee

If you’ve been struggling with these problems, you’re not alone. There is a connection between PCOS and depression and other mental health conditions. It’s simple to believe that your symptoms are brought on by the everyday stress of life, but there may be therapies that might help you feel more like yourself again and resume your routine daily activities.

To women of all ages, take care of yourself!

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