While treating your Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)/ Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) symptoms with diet is essential, supplements contain higher doses of the nutrients needed for PCOS/PCOD than found in reasonable portions of food. Therefore, it is a good idea to supplement as well, especially while you are still trying to find the ideal diet for you, and if you struggle to digest food and absorb nutrients properly.
I love taking supplements. I always have. But when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and started trying out various supplements to test if they would improve my symptoms, I started to become annoyed with the fact that I had to take so many pills every day. I decided to simplify things to make my life easier, and narrowed my list of supplements down to only the best ones that would have the biggest impact on my health and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms.
I decided to stick to only a few supplements for now (I chose seven, because it is my lucky number, and I need all the luck I can get when it comes to my health improving with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), but I will probably still test and try different ones in the future. Here is a list of the seven best supplements that I have chosen to take for my PCOS/PCOD symptoms, and that I highly recommend you give a try if you also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:
Number One: Methylated Folate
If you do not take any other supplements, take folate. Most women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have a folate deficiency, which is why doctors usually recommend that you take folic acid, the synthetic form of folate. The reason why I recommend taking folate (methylated folate) instead of folic acid is because if you have the MTHFR gene mutation, which a lot of women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome do, your body will not be able to convert folic acid into its active form. Methylated folate is easy to absorb, on the other hand.
Folate is also found in various foods, such as liver, leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard, beets, eggs, and asparagus.
Number Two: Inositol
Inositol is found in two forms, namely myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. It is recommended that you take both to improve your Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms. Inositol is used in the treatment of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, and can even help regulate insulin, which is why it is prescribed to people with diabetes or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
A lot of women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disorder report having anxiety. Taking inositol as a supplement could help to relieve anxiety symptoms.
Many doctors prescribe taking Metformin for women with the condition to manage insulin levels and other symptoms, but it can have a lot of side effects, such as nausea, diarrhoea, low levels of vitamin B12 (which can make anxiety worse), and weakness.
Number Three: DIM (3,3′-Diindolylmethane)
DIM is a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables that can help reduce high androgen levels and lower oestrogen when too high. Taking 200mg a day is recommended if you do have PCOS/PCOD. When my period did not end for a year and a half because my progesterone levels were too low, taking DIM helped restore the oestrogen balance in my body, which then allowed my progesterone levels to increase and my period to finally stop naturally.
I was especially excited about the fact that I was able to do it naturally, because I was being pressured to take hormonal birth control by my doctor and a few others, but I was determined to do it naturally, and I did!
Number Four and Five: Vitamin B6 & B12
A vitamin B deficiency is a common symptom amongst women who struggle with PCOS/PCOD. You can find it in foods, such as meat, eggs, seeds, nuts, and dark leafy vegetables, but supplementing is still recommended, especially in the beginning. If you are taking metformin, you especially need to supplement, as it can lower your vitamin B12 levels.
Number Six: Vitamin D
Even if you spend a few hours in the sun per day to help your body produce vitamin D, if you have PCOS/PCOD, you could still develop a vitamin D deficiency. A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to high insulin levels, anxiety and depression, and high triglyceride levels, which are all associated with PCOS/PCOD.
If you want to supplement, choose a vitamin D3 supplement of at least 1000 IUs. If you have anxiety or depression, you can go up to 5000 IUs.
Number Seven: Omega-3
As PCOS/PCOD causes inflammation in the body, supplementing with omega-3, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties is recommended. Inflammation is made worse when we consume too much omega 6 in comparison to omega 3, which is why I recommend that you avoid taking a supplement that contains omega 6, as well as reduce your intake of omega-6-rich foods, such as processed foods that have been made with vegetable oils.
You do not have to take all of these supplements at once if you have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, especially seeing as they can be quite expensive. Choose the one(s) that you feel are the most important, and start there. Also, give it some time to see if something has a beneficial effect on your body. I recommend waiting for at least a month.
You can judge whether or not a supplement is helping to improve your PCOS/PCOD symptoms by how it makes you feel, and you can even have blood tests done to see if there have been any improvements, but for that I recommend that you have blood tests done before you start taking a supplement or supplements.
It is hard and can take time to manage PCOS symptoms through your diet, supplements, and other lifestyle habits. I guess it is a good time to practice having patience. They do say that delayed gratification is an indicator of success, and when it comes to improving any aspect of your health like when you are trying to lose weight with PCOS, there is a lot of it.
To learn how to change your diet to help you lose excess weight that is making your PCOS symptoms worse, click the link and download my free eBook: How to Lose Weight with PCOS.