Managing PCOS without weight loss and the pill
There are a lot of things about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that, quite frankly, suck.
Managing the symptoms is hard, and it’s made even harder by health professionals, influencers, and your Auntie Susan telling you the only treatment options are losing weight and going on the birth control pill.
And to that I say, there are other ways!
There are some facts, like these, that I just can’t deny:
Weight loss improves the symptoms of PCOS.
Oral Contraceptives (OCPs) can improve your hormonal imbalances by lowering testosterone, which helps with acne, hirsutism, and hair loss.
However, as an FYI, there are more options than just losing weight and/or taking the pill to manage PCOS. Little known facts, I know!
Some other uncommon knowledge:
1. You CAN improve PCOS symptoms without weight loss!!!
If you want to lose weight, cool. There is nothing wrong with that!
My only issue with people pushing weight loss for women with PCOS is that our society pushes weight loss as the answer to any ailment when it isn’t always necessary or helpful!
2. Oral Contraceptives (OCPs) like the pill can also negatively impact insulin resistance as well as other metabolic parameters such as inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein), cholesterol & triglycerides.
While OCPs can help lower testosterone, they can actually increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, a precursor for diabetes or cardiovascular disease, so it is important to fully understand the pros/cons of OCPs and discuss this with your doctor.
If you are wondering why I am concerned about insulin resistance or high testosterone levels, read more on the driving factors of PCOS in our free resource for PCOS.
So, what are some other options you may have?
Optimal PCOS management includes:
Improving your gut health
WHY you eat
WHAT you eat
Regular physical activity
I won't ever tell you NOT to lose weight or try an OCP - I just believe it is important for you to be an advocate for your own health!
After all, this is YOUR life, YOUR body, and YOUR journey.
You deserve to know that there are more options than just weight loss or OCPs!
And remember, if you need help or are struggling with any of the bullet points I listed, you can always book a consultation call with me (your first one is always free!).
If you’re curious about what working with me looks like, I’ve outlined a helpful guide to the process here on my website, under the What to Expect page.
Letisha Hodges is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 7 years of experience in women’s health, healthy relationships with food, weight management, and PCOS.