PCOS/ PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian syndrome)
In Ayurveda, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) are considered as a result of an imbalance in the doshas, specifically Kapha and Pitta. According to Ayurvedic principles, PCOS is caused due to the accumulation of Kapha and Pitta doshas in the reproductive system, leading to the formation of cysts in the ovaries.
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle to manage PCOS and PCOD. This includes following a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical exercise, managing stress through practices like yoga and meditation, and maintaining a proper sleep schedule. Ayurvedic herbs like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, and Turmeric are known to be beneficial in managing hormonal imbalances and reducing the symptoms of PCOS and PCOD.
Ayurvedic treatments for PCOS and PCOD aim at restoring the balance of doshas in the body. This may involve detoxification therapies like Panchakarma, which helps in eliminating the toxins from the body, and specific herbal formulations to regulate hormonal levels and improve reproductive health.
Causes of PCOS/PCOD
According to Ayurveda, PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) are caused due to an imbalance in the doshas, particularly Kapha and Pitta. The accumulation of these doshas in the reproductive system disrupts the normal functioning of ovaries and leads to the formation of cysts.
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of PCOD and PCOS from an Ayurvedic perspective:
- Poor Diet: Consuming a diet that is high in heavy, oily, and sweet foods, and low in fresh fruits and vegetables can aggravate Kapha dosha and lead to hormonal imbalances, which can trigger PCOD and PCOS.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and leading a sedentary lifestyle can also cause an imbalance in Kapha dosha and lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body, which can contribute to the development of PCOD and PCOS.
- Increased Stress: Chronic stress and mental imbalances can disturb the delicate balance of hormones in the body, particularly Pitta dosha, leading to hormonal imbalances that can trigger PCOD and PCOS.
- Genetic Factors: Ayurveda recognizes the role of genetics in the development of PCOD and PCOS. If there is a family history of these conditions, it may increase the likelihood of developing them.
- Poor Digestion: Weak digestion can lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body, which can disrupt the normal functioning of ovaries and trigger PCOD and PCOS.
- Hormonal Imbalance: In Ayurveda, hormonal imbalance is considered a major cause of PCOD and PCOS. The increased production of male hormones (androgens) and decreased production of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) disrupts the normal menstrual cycle and ovarian function.
Symptoms of PCOS/PCOD
From an Ayurvedic perspective, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) are conditions that can manifest with various symptoms. Some common symptoms of PCOS and PCOD include:
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Women with PCOS and PCOD may experience irregular menstrual cycles, with periods that are infrequent, delayed, or absent altogether. This is due to hormonal imbalances affecting the normal ovulation process.
- Cyst Formation in Ovaries: As the name suggests, PCOS and PCOD are characterized by the presence of multiple small cysts in the ovaries. These cysts can be detected through imaging studies and may cause discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen.
- Hormonal Imbalances: PCOS and PCOD can disrupt the normal balance of hormones in the body, leading to increased production of androgens (male hormones) and decreased production of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone). This hormonal imbalance can cause symptoms such as acne, excessive facial or body hair growth (hirsutism), and male-pattern baldness.
- Weight Gain: Women with PCOS and PCOD may struggle with weight gain or difficulty losing weight, as hormonal imbalances can affect metabolism and lead to increased insulin resistance. This can further exacerbate hormonal imbalances and contribute to other symptoms.
- Skin Issues: PCOS and PCOD can also manifest with skin issues such as darkening of the skin, skin tags, and acanthosis nigricans (dark, thickened patches of skin) due to hormonal imbalances.
- Mood Swings and Emotional Disturbances: Hormonal imbalances in PCOS and PCOD can also affect mood and emotional well-being, leading to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
- Fertility Issues: PCOS and PCOD are leading causes of infertility in women, as hormonal imbalances can disrupt the normal ovulation process and affect fertility.
- Other Symptoms: Other symptoms of PCOS and PCOD may include fatigue, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, and changes in libido.
It’s important to note that the symptoms of PCOS and PCOD can vary from person to person, and not all women may experience all the symptoms mentioned above. Consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner, including an Ayurvedic practitioner, for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment is recommended for managing PCOS and PCOD effectively.
Secondary Disorders Developing Due to PCOS
- Insulin resistance
- Thyroid dysfunction
- High blood pressure
Line Of Management in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, the cyst is a sign of Kapha dushti , bloating and other menstrual flow irregularities indicating Apanavayu imbalance ( Vata located in the lower abdomen) and hormone imbalance shows pitta imbalance. So in short Ayurvedic treatment focuses on all the 3 doshas when it is PCOS. The other symptoms like hair growth, pigmentation in the neck, weight gain, etc gradually get solved when the cyst is completely eliminated, the gut is cleansed and the menstrual cycle becomes regular.
The primary concern for PCOS is a correction in diet and lifestyle. A carbohydrate-less diet with restrictions on oil and meat is necessary. Along with that regular exercise/yoga is also very important. Then come the medicines and treatments.
Nasya, Uttaravasthi, Avagaham, Udwarthanam, Shirodhara, and proper elimination therapy like virechana are the therapies.
We plan a personalized treatment schedule depending on patient’s body nature:
- Weight loss – Achieved through proper diet and exercise (5-10% reduction in weight ) will regularize the menstrual cycle.
- Restoration of proper cycle- Done by using herbal medications which strengthen uterine walls and also improve the quality of menstrual blood.
- Restoration of infertility – Through virechana we eliminate all doshas, then through proper diet, exercise, and medication we aim at improving gut health so that nutrients are well absorbed and properly reach cells and make them perfect for their functions. There are medications that help in endometrium strengthening
- The ovum should get proper nourishment for its healthy growth and only a healthy ovum is fertile.
- Hormone levels are also brought to balance by proper diet, yoga, and medication. Shirodhara can also help in balancing hormone fluctuation.
- Hair growth and Acne – When the doshas are back to their balanced state, these after-effects naturally disappear. There are also therapies to combat skin and hair issues
- Lowering of serum insulin levels – By balanced hormones
- Reduce carbohydrates and sugars
- Reduce salt
- Increase water intake , vegetables, fruits and nuts in diet
- Avoid red meat and chicken
- Can have small fishes
- Avoid oil dip fries
- Perform regular exercise /yoga
- Practice Pranayama – Nasal breathing
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