PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a disorder related to the female reproductive system. But the gut or the GI tract is the key part of the digestive system. Then what connection can these two have?
As humans, apart from human cells we also have microbes living in our bodies. This kicks off our minds with a question. What kind of microbes live in our bodies?
Curious to know the answers to the above questions?
Then let’s dig into this blog to learn more about it.
What is a Microbe? Where are they present in the human body?
A Microbe is a tiny little organism that is invisible to the naked eye but is present all around us. Microbiome refers to the microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. present in one specific environment. In simpler terms, Microbiome is a community of microorganisms that exist in all parts of the human body. In fact, our human body is one of the niche regions for millions of these microbes. Studies have shown that there are more than 1000 species of bacteria in our gut alone!
Microbes are predominantly present in our gut, the Gastrointestinal Tract, along with other regions such as the nose, ears, and vagina. We can classify these microbes into two types. Let’s tag these two types of microbes as good and bad. The good kind of microbes assists us in maintaining a healthy body such as the gut microbes which help in digestion. Another is a kind that usually sabotages our healthy metabolism to cause diseases.
What role exactly do the good guys play in our bodies? Several research studies have shown that gut microflora help in digesting fiber, synthesizing Vit B and Vit K, absorption of nutrients, facilitating fat metabolism, and so on. Moreover, it has been understood to significantly impact hormone synthesis and hormone release!
Role of Gut Microbiome:
- Production of vitamin
- Helps in fat metabolism
- Produces fatty acids like CLS (conjugated linoleic acid) to reduce fat deposits and improve immune function.
- Helps in liver metabolism
- Helps in maintaining the structural integrity of the gut
- Builds a strong immune system
- Provides protection against pathogens
- Nutrient metabolism, etc.
Your age, diet, lifestyle, and sleep routines that you follow will all determine the type of microbes that can survive in your body. If you follow improper lifestyle or diet methods then it will destroy the healthy microbes. The diversity of the good bacteria reduces. And your body will be left with unhealthy or bad microbes. This severely impacts many bodily functions. They can cause metabolic disorders that can promote PCOS. To summarise, unhealthy diet patterns and lifestyles will offer disturbances to your bio mechanisms and cause disease or disorders.
What is a PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)?
PCOS is a complex metabolic and endocrine disorder where the symptoms of androgen excess (hirsutism, hyperandrogenemia), menstrual disorders, and ovulatory dysfunction are visible. We call it ovarian syndrome because we can observe numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) formed in the ovary. Behind the screens in PCOS are a set of events much influenced by the destruction of the gut microbiome.
How is Gut related to PCOS?
The gut begins from the mouth and extends to the anus. The nutrients from the food we eat are absorbed from the intestines. The microbes in our gut are especially present in our small intestine where they exert their functions. The gut microbiome usually supports your digestion along with various other mechanisms.
Destruction of good bacteria has been found to be linked with all cases of PCOS. Here’s how they contribute to PCOS:
- Increase secretion of androgens
- Inhibit the secretion of female sex hormones
- Increase aging mechanisms
- Reduce lipid metabolism and result in high levels of bad cholesterol
- Disturbs ovulation
- Hinders the coping mechanism of stress by the brain
What kind of foods destroy the good guys?
- High-sugar and high-fat diet triggers inflammation in the body (including refined sugars, refined oils, and refined flour)
- Consuming packaged foods laden with preservatives
- Lack of exercise (athletes have better gut microbiomes than others!)
- Indiscriminate use of drugs and antibiotics
As PCOS is related to imbalances in the gut microbiome, your gut health is very important to manage PCOS and improving fertility. PCOS can be managed by following healthy diet plans and lifestyle methods. Following the right Diet plan is as important as breathing oxygen for survival. Everybody wants to enjoy life, but why not enjoy it in a healthy way by eating healthy foods?
What is the way out?
- Low glycemic index diet
- Regular exercise
- Consume probiotics regularly
Ayurveda strongly accepts the theory that all diseases begin from an ill-maintained gut. Also, Ayurveda has always been a guide for us to lead a happy life in a healthier way. It has given us the opportunity to follow the right diet, lifestyle, and sleep routines to lead a happy life. How much ever you are busy, never mind. Just keep a track of the foods you intake and have good sleep for a stress-free life.
We are what we eat!