PCOS is a common hormonal issue in women. Apart from weight gain, facial hair, it also increases chances of heart diseases in women.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects up to 10% of females, making it one of the most prevalent endocrine disorders in women. While mortality rates from circulatory disease appear similar between women with and without PCOS, there is an intriguing connection between PCOS and cardiovascular health. This connection becomes evident when we delve into the increased risk of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction among PCOS-affected women.
HOW PCOS MAKE WOMEN PRONE TO HEART ATTACKS?
The increased cardiovascular risk in PCOS is multifaceted and involves a convergence of various factors. Firstly, high levels of testosterone and insulin resistance, common in women with PCOS, have been linked to endothelial and diastolic dysfunction. This dysfunction can impair the normal functioning of blood vessels and the heart, potentially increasing the risk of heart-related problems.
Obesity and diabetes pose direct threats to heart health, and women with PCOS are at an elevated risk of developing these conditions. Both obesity and type 2 diabetes significantly raise the lifelong risk of heart disease. It’s important to note that PCOS-affected individuals may also face lifestyle factors that exacerbate their cardiovascular risk. Sedentary habits, an unhealthy diet rich in complex carbohydrates and alcohol, work-related or personal stress, irregular sleep patterns, and disrupted circadian rhythms all contribute to this risk.
PCOS: 7 LIFESTYLE HABIST TO MANAGE HEART HEALTH
- Physical Activity: Regular exercise is a cornerstone of heart health. Engaging in moderate aerobic activities for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, can lead to improvements in lipid profiles, ovulation, and insulin sensitivity, even without significant weight loss. Exercise helps to regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the heart.
- Dietary Habits: A balanced and heart-healthy diet is vital. Women with PCOS should focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while limiting processed foods, added sugars, and saturated fats. Emphasizing complex carbohydrates and reducing alcohol intake can also contribute to better cardiovascular health.
- Stress Management: Chronic stress can exacerbate cardiovascular risks. Stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help manage stress levels. Establishing a healthy work-life balance and seeking support when needed are equally important.
- Sleep Patterns: Irregular sleep patterns and disrupted circadian rhythms can negatively impact heart health. Prioritizing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment can promote better sleep quality. Adequate restorative sleep is crucial for overall well-being.
- Weight Management: While not all PCOS-affected individuals are overweight, those who are can benefit from weight management. Sustainable weight loss through a combination of diet and exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
- Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol intake can have adverse effects on heart health. Women with PCOS should consume alcohol in moderation or consider abstaining altogether to protect their cardiovascular well-being.
- Smoking Cessation: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you smoke, quitting is one of the most significant steps you can take to safeguard your heart health.
In addition to adopting heart-healthy lifestyle choices, consistent health check-ups and heart health assessments are essential for early detection and prevention of complications in PCOS-affected women. Routine cholesterol and blood sugar tests can uncover underlying issues like diabetes or prediabetes, even when fasting blood sugar levels appear normal.