Ketogenic diet and PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a health issue that many woman on the world face. When someone has a health condition, and are trying to manage it, they tend to be really careful when it comes to diet, so questions about the ketogenic diet and PCOS come more often than you may think.

What is PCOS and what causes it?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that causes (and is also related to) women’s sexual hormones (progesterone and estrogen) to be unbalanced. Such condition leads to the appearance of benign masses their ovaries (also known as cysts). As to the exact cause, unfortunately to this date it is uncertain. However, scientists believe that genetics, hormones out of balance and the overproduction of the hormone “Androgen” (which is linked to high insulin levels, as well) may contribute to its appearance.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

All the PCOS symptoms are related to hormonal imbalances symptoms such as (but not limited to):

  1. Irregular periods
  2. Acne
  3. Facial hair
  4. Weight gain
  5. Weight loss
  6. Depression
  7. Anxiety
  8. Infertility

Ketogenic diet and PCOS

If you were to ask me if the ketogenic diet helps with PCOS, I would say yes, after reading its “cause”. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the “possible” cause:

“Hormone imbalance”

Now if you are familiar with how hormones are made, you may already know that cholesterol plays a role in this. And hopefully you already know that cholesterol is somewhat related to your fat consumption (I say “somewhat” because this is only half true). Therefore, a well formulated ketogenic diet is going to regulate your sexual hormone levels. Now let’s take a look at the other possible cause:

“Overproduction of Androgen (linked to high insulin levels)”

Androgen, as well as insulin are both hormones, therefore the same statement as above applies. But speaking about insulin, there are other changes to insulin that happen while being on a ketogenic diet, including the suppression of one of insulin’s release’s phase, I speak about that and provide some information on the subject on another post, feel free to check it out by clicking the underlined text.

To this point it seems like I’m making assumptions and not helping you at all. And I’m not going to lie to you, those two paragraphs were written purely by common sense but taking in consideration the information I have on the ketogenic diet. It is fine if you don’t trust them. But I have something for you:

Ketogenic diet as treatment for PCOS

There is a study which investigated the effects of a ketogenic diet on overweight and obese woman with PCOS. They used a 20grams daily carbohydrate restriction and followed their patients every two weeks. By the end of the research the participants improved their weight, their hormone balance, and a couple of them even became pregnant despite having infertility issues. No, I’m not telling you this will solve your issues. I’m telling you it is a viable option, and throwing the idea out there for you. Don’t believe me? Check the study by clicking on the image below.