Caffeine and PCOS
Coffee is a tired person’s best friend, but is it friend or foe for those that suffer with polycystic-ovary syndrome?
Unfortunately, PCOS-sufferers may have to give up a lot of their food and drink loves because of the condition. This is because polycystic-ovary syndrome’s symptoms can be mildly alleviated by a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. For example, exercise can begin to regulate hormone levels.
Caffeine and Insulin
Caffeine can actually lower your insulin sensitivity, so your cells do not react to the hormone as effectively as normal. Consequently, the body tries to make more insulin, which isn’t good news for a PCOS-sufferer who already struggles with insulin resistance and using the hormone properly. Caffeine makes it harder to bring your insulin levels back to a normal level, which inevitably leads to higher blood sugar.
Caffeine and the Adrenal Glands
Caffeine has been known to stimulate your adrenal glands, which play an important role in a PCOS-sufferer’s condition. The adrenal glands produce hormones that become testosterone, and also produce the male hormone themselves too. Studies showed that women with polycystic-ovary syndrome may produce excess adrenal hormones, meaning sufferers need to be more mindful of the glands.
Thus, because of the stimulation elements of caffeine, it can wear out the glands and cause adrenal fatigue, which essentially means you’re running on empty. It is thought that the adrenal glands play an often ignored or downplayed role in PCOS. An excess in androgen can lead to, ‘anger, aggression, hostility, irritability, hair thinning, excess hair growth, and acne in unwanted places’, and adding to the stress of having the condition.
Caffeine and Fertility
As PCOS can make getting pregnant harder, it’s important to eliminate factors in your lifestyle that could also contribute to infertility. Caffeine is unlikely to affect your chances of falling pregnant, when it isn’t consumed in high amounts. However, it’s important to limit your overall intake if you are suffering from polycystic-ovary syndrome and trying to have a baby. Giving up caffeine seems like a worthy objective if you want to boost your body’s natural fertility, especially if your condition is having an adverse effect on your regular ovulation.
Giving Up the Coffee
If you feel that caffeine is contributing negatively to your condition, it’s time to take steps to ditch the coffee and highly caffeinated drinks. There are lots of benefits to giving up caffeine including lower blood pressure, better sleep, improved mood, less anxiety and fewer headaches.
You can either go cold turkey or wean yourself off the caffeine day by day. If you’re drinking four cups of coffee a day, gradually start drinking three, then two, then one, until eventually you break the habit of drinking one altogether.
Why don’t you try giving up caffeine for a month and seeing how you feel? If you feel less stressed and find your PCOS symptoms have improved, then you can remove caffeine permanently from your diet. Think about all the money you’ll save from avoiding expensive coffee shops too!
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