Keto For PCOS - The Do's and Don'ts

Women suffering with PCOS find diet one of the trickiest elements to deal with when struggling with the condition.

Eating the wrong thing can result in bloating or a hormone flux. Thus, some women try different diets to help manage the adverse side effects of PCOS like weight gain. One of the most popular trends at the moment for PCOS-sufferers is the keto diet which has been used to help relieve the symptoms of the condition.

However, with all diets there can be problems. You should invest a lot of time into understanding the effect a keto diet lifestyle can have on your body.

What is a Keto Diet?

A ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, is a ‘low-carb, high-fat diet’, which involves ‘drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat’. The reduction in carbs puts your body in a state called ketosis. This lowers your blood sugar and insulin levels and helps you lose weight and speed up your metabolism.

Keto diets have also been beneficially linked to other diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

How Can a Keto Diet Help PCOS Sufferers?

Women who suffer with PCOS often struggle with infertility and getting pregnant. The reason for this is because the high insulin levels caused by an insulin resistance overpower the production of eggs. Cleveland Clinic conducted a study on four women suffering from polycystic-ovary syndrome. They switched them to a keto diet to see the effect it would have on their fertility. All four of the patients in the study were having irregular periods prior to the start of the research. Within just four to eight weeks of starting the diet, all four had regular menstruation and two even conceived spontaneously.

Diet Doctor believe that a low-carb diet is essential in effective treatment for polycystic-ovary syndrome. They have listed studies that have shown ‘great promise’ in a keto diet helping reverse the adverse symptoms of the condition.

However, they are still looking into ways a keto diet can help other symptoms of PCOS like hair growth and insulin resistance.

The Don’ts of a Keto Diet

Although a Keto PCOS diet may seem appealing because of the weight loss it can provide, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different.

The keto diet has been known to result in a condition labelled the ‘keto flu’. Its name comes from the side effects of entering ketosis that resemble symptoms of the illness - headaches, dizziness, insomnia and so on. Your body thinks it’s starving, so can react badly to the change in diet. Ketosis is an incredibly difficult state to reach, and even when your body starts to enter it, it’s easy to fall out of the stage. Don’t be so hard on yourself or view food as the enemy. With diets, there will be good and bad days. Don’t put yourself down if you’ve let yourself have a day off.

A keto diet is a change in lifestyle and can be difficult to achieve successfully. Many may fail, or not receive enough nutrition through their food. It may be incredibly useful to those trying to conceive or lose some weight, but on a long-term basis, a keto PCOS diet may not be the most suitable lifestyle for everyone.

You can read some of our recipes for low-carb meals here.