Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complicated endocrine disorder affecting many different areas of a sufferer’s body and life. Reliable information can be hard to come by and symptoms such as infertility, excess facial and body hair, acne, fatigue and excess weight can leave women with PCOS feeling inadequate, demoralised and depressed with life.
There are many simple steps that women with PCOS can incorporate into their lives to gain control over PCOS and put them on the path to better health. In this series of articles, we will explore 20 simple and easy steps that can make a difference to PCOS.
Step # 10
Eat a healthy diet by increasing foods which are beneficial and avoiding substances which harm: Reduce caffeine consumption
Caffeine is a drug. A legal drug and a commonly consumed one, but a drug nonetheless. It is a stimulant and can help make us more alert and energetic when used sparingly and appropriately, such as when driving long distances or working extra hours. When overused however, it can exhaust the adrenal glands causing chronic lethargy, hormonal disruption, anxiousness and irritability.
The bulk of the scientific literature seems to suggest that a moderate caffeine intake, up to 3 caffeinated drinks per day, may be beneficial. A cup or two of tea a day can reduce your risk of heart disease. A cup or two of coffee may reduce the risk of diabetes and improve brain function and memory. More than this, however, can have negative effects.
What you eat along with your caffeinated drink also impacts the effect that the caffeine will have. Drinking coffee along with carbohydrates increases insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, so if you are going to have a cup of coffee, enjoy it by itself without any muffins, toast or fruit.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2002 found that caffeine reduced insulin sensitivity by 15%. As insulin resistance is already a key issue for women with PCOS, caffeine restriction or avoidance may be helpful in managing this condition.
Next article in series: 20 simple steps you can take to control polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) #11
To read more articles by Anne Seccombe click on the links for PCOS, Health, Low-Carb Lifestyle, Nutrition.
You can also find more information on PCOS at www.mypcos.info
This article was originally published at My PCOS Info. Further references and links to the studies mentioned can be found there.
Keijzers GB, De Galan BE, Tack CJ, Smits P. Caffeine can decrease insulin sensitivity in humans.Diabetes Care. 2002 Feb;25(2):364-9.