Expert TalkExpert Talk: PCOS May Be Responsible For Your Low Metabolism!

Expert Talk: PCOS May Be Responsible For Your Low Metabolism!

One of the most common manifestations of PCOS is a low metabolism and insulin resistance, which can lead to a host of health problems. Insulin resistance and slow metabolism go hand-in-hand, especially in women with PCOS. However, there are several factors at play with regards to how low metabolism and insulin resistance are closely associated with PCOS. By managing insulin resistance through lifestyle changes, you may be able to improve your metabolic rate and maintain a healthy weight, along with reversing PCOS.

The Channel 46 collaborated with Dr Vishakha Shivdasani, physician, who specialises in reversing obesity, type 2 diabetes, PCOS, and other lifestyle ailments. She discusses about PCOS-induced metabolism, insulin resistance, & more.

PCOS & Low Metabolism 

Women with PCOS often have a low metabolism, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. PCOS is associated with hormonal imbalances and women with PCOS may have higher levels of androgens (male hormones) and circulating insulin, causing insulin resistance. 

PCOS & Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a fat storing hormone, Insulin resistance can slow down metabolism further by causing your body to store more fat and interfering with the breakdown of stored fat for energy. This interferes with the function leptin and ghrelin, the hunger and satiety hormones.

Low Metabolism & Insulin Resistance

At the same time, low metabolism can contribute to insulin resistance too in several ways, which are as below:

  1. A slower metabolism can lead to weight gain, which is a significant risk factor for insulin resistance.
  2. A slower metabolism can cause hormonal imbalances, which can affect insulin production and sensitivity.
  3. Besides insulin resistance, there are various other causes of slow metabolism like severe calorie restriction, improper ways of Intermittent fasting, FAD diets, etc. can all slow down the metabolism.

Slow Metabolism & Dieting

Expert Talk: PCOS May Be Responsible For Your Low Metabolism!
  1. Very low calorie diets or aggressive dieting can slow down metabolism as a survival mechanism.
  2. One of the ways that severe calorie restriction can cause a slow metabolism is by decreasing the production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolic rate. And when you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body may respond by impairing the functioning of these hormones.
  3. Calorie restriction can also cause a loss of muscle mass, which can further slow down metabolism. Your muscles are the most metabolically active tissues in your body, meaning that they burn more calories than other tissues even when you are at rest. When you restrict calories, your body may break down muscle tissue to use for energy, which can lead to a decrease in muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate.
  4. It can cause an increase in the production of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. Cortisol can increase your body’s breakdown of muscle tissue, leading to a loss of muscle mass and a slower metabolism.

3 Lifestyle Changes To Keep PCOS Under Control

1. Eat A Nutritious Diet

The intake of a balanced, nutritious diet is a must when it comes to maintaining the right body weight. Incorporate lentils, dairy products, vegetables, fruits – everything that are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Increase the intake of foods high in healthy fats like olive oil, walnuts, sardines, avocado, dark chocolate, cheese, and eggs, and avoid foods that are leaden with bad fats like aerated drinks, deep fried foods, etc.

2. Follow A Fitness Routine

Expert Talk: PCOS May Be Responsible For Your Low Metabolism!

Make sure to strictly maintain a daily fitness schedule. Select a form of exercise that interests you, one that you know you’ll be able to sustain. Walking, jogging, cardio, dancing, zumba – one or a combination of two or more of these to hold your attention and help you enjoy your exercise session. 

3. Supplements 

It’s highly recommended that you stay away from taking OTC (over-the-counter) supplements to reverse PCOS, so as not to aggravate the health condition. PCOS is best treated with medical intervention. Hence, visit a doctor and he/she may prescribe a suitable supplement, if he/she deems it right.

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