This article provides helpful tips to lower your inflammation for PCOS naturally.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder often accompanied by a range of symptoms such as irregular periods, excessive hair growth, and weight gain. Beyond these visible signs, PCOS is also associated with a silent culprit: inflammation.
Fortunately, there are natural approaches, including dietary changes and supplements, that can help lower inflammation and improve the quality of life for people with PCOS.
Understanding the Inflammation-PCOS Connection
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and infection. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to a range of health issues.
Studies have shown that women with PCOS often have higher levels of CRP, a key marker of inflammation. Emerging research has shown a strong link between PCOS and elevated inflammation markers, particularly C-reactive protein (CRP), independent of weight. These elevated inflammatory markers are much higher in women with PCOS compared to those who don’t have it. Elevated CRP levels are linked to insulin resistance, a hallmark of PCOS, and may exacerbate the condition’s symptoms.
Interestingly, several studies have reported a positive correlation between chronic low-grade inflammation and high androgens in PCOS women.
Common signs and symptoms of inflammation in PCOS include:
So, what can be done to lower inflammation for PCOS and potentially improve symptoms naturally? Let’s explore some evidence-based strategies.
Vitamin D Lowers Inflammation for PCOS
Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with PCOS and is associated with higher inflammation levels. Supplementation with vitamin D has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation in PCOS.
Ensure you get enough sunlight exposure and consider taking vitamin D supplementation daily. I recommend getting vitamin D levels checked at least once a year to see if you are deficient and the severity. People with very low vitamin D levels will need higher amounts of vitamin D though supplements. Keep in mind that vitamin D is fat soluble so it will be absorbed best with a fat-containing meal.
Curcumin: Nature’s Anti-Inflammatory Spice
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have suggested that curcumin may help reduce inflammation and improve insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Incorporating turmeric into your food or taking curcumin supplements may be beneficial.
Resveratrol: A Polyphenolic Wonder
Resveratrol, found in red grapes and berries, is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects. Research suggests that resveratrol supplementation may improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation for PCOS.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): A Promising Supplement
NAC is an antioxidant that has shown promise in managing PCOS-related inflammation. NAC may also help reduce insulin resistance and improve ovulation.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Lower Inflammation for PCOS
CoQ10 is an essential nutrient for cellular energy production and it’s a potent antioxidant. Some studies suggest that CoQ10 supplementation may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation in women with PCOS.
Quercetin: A Natural Flavonoid to Lower Inflammation
Quercetin, a natural flavonoid found in foods like apples and onions, possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It may help lower inflammation and improve metabolic markers for PCOS.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Healthy Fats for PCOS
Omega-3 fats, found in fatty fish like salmon and in supplements like fish oil, have anti-inflammatory effects. They may help lower inflammation and improve lipid profiles in women with PCOS. Aim to eat omega-3 rich foods on a daily basis. Not a fan of fish or seafood? Consider taking a fish oil supplement to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits. Algae forms of omega-3 supplements can be used if you follow a vegan diet.
Herbal Support to Lower Inflammation for PCOS
Cinnamon, ginger, and green tea are herbs and spices with potential benefits for lowering inflammation in people with PCOS. Cinnamon may improve insulin sensitivity and ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding these spices several days a week.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Drinking green tea has also been shown to reduce testosterone levels in women with PCOS.
Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes
In addition to supplements, adopting a PCOS-friendly diet and lifestyle can play a crucial role to lower inflammation for PCOS and improve symptoms:
Include Antioxidant Rich Foods: Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. These are foods high in antioxidants to lower inflammation and fiber that can help improve gut health.
As mentioned earlier, daily consumption of omega-3 fats can help lower inflammation in PCOS. In addition to eating fish or seafood twice a week, include foods such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil into your nutrition plan.
Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to improve insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation for PCOS. A combination of aerobic and strength-training exercises can be beneficial to combat inflammation.
Stress Management: Chronic stress can exacerbate inflammation and hormonal imbalances. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or meditation are all proven ways to lower inflammation for PCOS.
Adequate Sleep: Prioritize getting enough quality sleep, as poor sleep can contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance. A large percentage of people with PCOS suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea can improve sleep and inflammation.
In conclusion, addressing inflammation through natural approaches can be a valuable strategy for people with PCOS looking to improve their overall health and well-being. By incorporating specific supplements and making nutrition and lifestyle changes, people with PCOS can lower their inflammation and take control of their symptoms.
Aboeldalyl S et al. The Role of Chronic Inflammation in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 8;22(5):2734.
Dr. Hina is a fertility specialist and radiologist working as a IUI Consultant. She is a beacon of hope for couples on their journey to parenthood, specializing in fertility treatment and serving as a trusted IUI consultant. With an impressive 8 years of experience in the field, she has witnessed the transformative power of reproductive medicine firsthand and is driven by a deep passion to help individuals realize their dreams of starting a family. Read More