In September this year, The PCOS Awareness Association held their annual Symposium in Copenhagen USA. It is a global summit; presenting the latest research on PCOS with the aim of raising awareness within health care professionals and to help those living with PCOS. Its main hope is to provide awareness among governing bodies for more funding to aid more research, as there is still so much about PCOS that we don’t know, yet it affects 1 in 10 women (Jean Hailes Foundation).

Day 2 was on Lifestyle Management of PCOS. I tuned in and here are my take home messages from the conference:

  • Insulin resistance is a big deal in PCOS – a lot of focus was given to insulin in all talks

  • Managing PCOS is not about cutting carbs (registered dietitian, Martha McKittrick)

  • Those with PCOS have a circadian rhythm which feels similar to one who is experiencing jetlag. Due to their reduced estrogen (due to a deficiency in an enzyme conversion); there is a circadian rhythm dysfunction (Gynaecologist: Felice Gersh)

  • Gut health is really important; even your gut microbe has clock genes; and these send signals all around the body (Gynaecologist: Felice Gersh)

  • Preventing Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is a key focus (endocrinologist: Sidka E Karadas)

  • Fetus exposure to high insulin or high androgens in the womb could be linked to causes of PCOS. These genes remain quite until puberty (Dr Fiona McCulloch)

  • Four different phenotypes of PCOS. Lean PCOS is managed quite differently (Dr Fiona McCulloch)

  • Many different supplements for PCOS; some can be quite effective (APD Angela Grassi)

  • Yoga has great benefits for PCOS Management (Kendara Tolbert)

  • Plant Based Diets can be effective in weight loss (a small study, but a low GI vegan diet (no calorie restriction) was more effective than just a low-calorie diet) – Ass Prof Brie Turner McGrievy

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