Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as Polycystic ovarian disease or PCOD is a very common female health complaint. PCOS is a common female endocrine disorder affecting approximately 5- 12% of women. It causes worry as it is commonly found in reproductive age ; also it is thought to be one of the leading causes of female infertility.
What happens in PCOD?
There is increased production of Androgen (a hormone) by the ovaries, which suppresses the maturation of ovarian follicles (ovarian follicles lead to ovum). So, ovum does not get properly formed and released (anovulation). Remember that ovum meets with the sperm during intercourse leading to conception. So, in a case of PCOD, the lady usually will be having problem with conception.
What happens inside the body?
Typically, the ovaries are enlarged two to five times the normal size (PCOS – Ovarian cysts). Stroma is increased. The capsule is thickened and pearly white in color. Ovary which is normally oval in shape, will have many cysts within it. Biggest lifestyle contributor to PCOS is poor diet.
Young women with PCOS tend to eat far too much sugar or carbonized drinks and highly refined carbohydrates which causes unhealthy raise in insulin levels. Insulin stimulates androgen receptors outside of ovary, causing typical PCOS symptoms which also play a role in blocking release of ovum from follicle.
This type of diet will cause obesity and thus aggravating PCOS. Also, in stressful women,as they eat more food that are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrate in response to stress, the more fat they store, thus, contributing in the development of obesity- linked PCOS. Thus we can deduce that the modern stressful lifestyle and food- habits are linked and contribute or accelerate many diseases, PCOS being one among them.
The signs and symptoms:
-Androgenic symptoms like Hirsutism (increased body/facial hairs), acne, alopecia (Hairfall)
-Obesity, menstrual abnormalities in the form of less menstrual bleeding, absence of menstruation, or abnormally high and irregular bleeding and infertility
-In some patients, due to insulin resistance, a dark coloured band like skin lesion may be developed at the back of the neck, inner thighs and axilla, called as Acanthosis nigricans.
Diagnosis of PCOS is mainly based upon clinical presentation together with USG – Ultrasonography findings and hormonal profile appropriate to mode of presentation.
Treatment of PCOD needs individualistic approach because, not all the symptoms might be seen in all the patients. It depends on the presenting symptoms, like menstrual abnormalities, infertility, obesity, hirsutism or combined symptoms.
Ayurvedic herbal remedies for PCOD:
Ayurvedic treatment is by applying a multi-pronged approach towards –
– correcting the hormonal imbalance,
– treatment to obesity and avoiding high cholesterol levels,
– treatment to insulin resistance.
1. Correcting hormonal imbalance: there are many herbs useful in correcting the hormonal imbalance. Ashoka(saraca asoca), Dashamoola (a group of ten herbal roots) a group of herbs useful in preparation of Sukumaram Kashayam (with herbs like Ashwagandha, Eranda,Shatavari etc), Ashokarishta, Pushyanuga churna, Phala ghrita etc are useful in correcting the hormonal imbalance.
2. Treatment to obesity: Treatment of obesity and specifically against cholesterol can be achieved by using Ayurvedic herbal remedies like Vrikshamla, Shuddha guggulu, Methika, Lashuna, Navaka Guggulu, Medohar Guggulu etc plus diet and lifestyle changes.
3. Treatment Insulin resistance: Treatment for insulin resistance involves a time-consuming approach with effective Ayurvedic treatment and diet and lifestyle changes including exercise and yoga asanas.
Herbs like Dana Methi, Jamun seed, Karela, Meshashringi, Vijayasaara, Saptarangi etc are found to be very effective for treating insulin resistance
1. Yogas – Asanas – Surya Namaskar, Matsyasana, Vajrasana, Shavasana, Sarvangasana etc are found to be very effective.
2. Pranayamas, Kapalabhati, Surya Bhedi, and Nadi shodhana pranayama are effective
3. Meditation and Omkar Chanting reduces the stress levels and have very good effect on balancing the disturbed hormones
PCOD or PCOS is a common complaint in women, which can be effectively managed using Ayurvedic herbal remedies and herbal medicines. A multi – pronged approach taking care of different organs and glands is necessary. Not all the symptoms are manifested in all the cases of PCOS, but irregular periods is seen as common symptom in many.