Ayurvedic treatments for PCOS – Poly cystic ovarian syndrome or disease
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a serious genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects women. PCOS can lead to lifelong complications and other serious conditions including severe anxiety and depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardio vascular diseases. PCOS affects 1 in every 10 women.
Common signs and symptoms
- Irregular periods
- Excess facial and body hair
- Severe acne
- Small cyst in ovaries
- Insulin resistance
- Anxiety and depression
- Weight gain
- Male pattern hair loss
How can we diagnose
Up to 70% of affected women are going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. PCOS is usually diagnosed by symptoms or by blood and scan reports-Irregular periods along with blood work showing high androgens or by polycystic ovaries on ultra sound. Periods will be considered as irregular if the interval is less than 21 days or greater than 35 days or less than 8 cycles per year.
Even though many will not take proper treatment for PCOS, it can lead to many other complications. There is 2-3 fold increase in risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in women with PCOS. 50% women with PCOS become diabetic or prediabetic before the age of 40.
As per Ayurveda, PCOS is considered as a “Santharpana janya” roga. Santharpana janya means it is formed because nutrition is not absorbed in a proper way. It is due to inefficient digestion and absorption. All the three doshas are involved in the formation of PCOS. Due to lack of proper digestion also called as Ama, Kapha dosha gets accumulated in the body which leads to increase in weight, lack of energy, insulin resistance etc. Later excess kapha will block Vatha dosha and Pittha dosha which will lead to hormonal changes, irregular periods and other symptoms.
Causes of PCOS
Lifestyle has a major role in causing PCOS. Unhealthy food and altered food habits like junk foods, non-calorie, non-nutritious foods will alter the normal digestion patterns and upset the Agni or digestive fire. Another important factor is stressors. It will have an overall impact on your digestive system and hormonal system.
Ayurveda approaches PCOS in a holistic way. As discussed, it is a “Santharpana janya roga”, treatment line is “Apatharnapana”. It includes dietery changes, exercise and herbal medicine to keep the Doshas in control. As one of the causes of disease is unhealthy food and life style changes, treatment should correct these things first. Ayurvedic approach of dinacharya or daily routine, Rhithucharya or seasonal routines is to be followed for healthy lifestyle. Diet should include Sathvik food or more natural foods. Processed foods should be avoided completely.
Along with lifestyle changes, pancha karma detoxification will help to regulate the dosha imbalance.
Udwarthana (dry powder massage), snehapana (ghee intake), virechana and vasti (medicated enema) will give wonderful results.
Ayurveda believes in mental involvement as well. Hence yoga and meditation are also recommended along with Ayurvedic treatments.