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It is believed that women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are "genetically programmed" with some metabolic changes, which make the woman prone to have ABNORMAL FLUCTUATIONS OF MALE HORMONES (testosterone, androstenedione, 17-hydroxyprogesterone).

These abnormal fluctuations of the male hormones is partly due to an ABNORMAL reaction to the consumption of carbohydrates: the more carbs a woman with PCOS consumes, the MORE male hormones are produced in the ovaries (in the 4 hours following after the consumption of the carbs).


The higher the male hormone production, the more IMBALANCE there is between the female and male hormones, and as a result there are variable effects of PAINFUL PERIODS, UNSTABLE PERIODS, ABSENT PERIODS, HAIR GROWTH, DIFFICULT TO OVULATE.


The traditional way of treatment is to minimise this effect by use of medications such as METFORMIN (GLUCOPHAGE), INOFOLIC, CELINE. Such medications try to MINIMISE the impact of carbohydrate consumption to the ovaries, hoping to reduce production of MALE HORMONES.

A simple way to appreciate the effect of carbohydrates to the testosterone-producing effect they have on the ovaries, is to use the GLYCAEMIC LOAD of a specific food, and assume the the number of the glycemic load denotes the number of times that that particular food STIMULATES the ovaries to produce male hormones

-> Egg has a glycemic load of 0. Therefore it stimulates 0 times the ovaries to produce testosterone

-> A plate of pasta has a glycemic load of around 70. Therefore consuming that quantity of pasta will stimulate the ovaries by 70 times to produce testosterone.

It is widely accepted (and certainly I see this effect a lot in my practise) that use of medications alone WITHOUT changing the diet have a REDUCED or MINIMAL effect. By adopting a LOW GLYCAEMIC LOAD DIET, the effect of medications is MULTIPLIED and often we see COMPLETE NORMALISATION OF PERIOD.

My suggestion is to adopt the following targets for the glycemic load:

--> Breakfast: Glycemic load of less than 20

--> Lunch (or biggest meal): Glycemic load of less than 30

--> Dinner (or small meal): Glycemic load of less than 20

--> Snacks (max 2 daily): Glycemic load of 10 or less

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