Can a Balanced Diet Help Relieve Symptoms of PCOS?

Many gynaecologists believe that certain diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce the symptoms of PCOS.

Having trouble with irregular periods? Have you had a sudden burst of pimples and put on a lot of weight without any apparent reason? If the answer to all this is yes, then you are probably suffering from PCOS.

Don’t panic! It only sounds complicated, but it’s not!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a growing hormonal disorder mostly found among women of reproductive age. There is no one test to diagnose this syndrome but usually the first sign is having irregular periods or in some cases, no periods at all.

In PCOS, women cannot ovulate due to formation of small cysts in their ovaries.
In PCOS, women cannot ovulate due to formation of small cysts in their ovaries. (Photo: iStock)

In PCOS, there are cyst formations in the ovaries due to overproduction of certain hormones. Yes, the resulting imbalance of hormones is what causes most of the distress.

In PCOS, women cannot ovulate due to formation of small cysts in their ovaries. This results in the imbalance of estrogen, progesterone and other hormones that causes irregular menstruation cycles.

Dr Deepti Khare, Gynaecologist

Though the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, many experts link it to insulin resistance that cause the excessive weight gain, disrupt ovulation, and increase sugar cravings, among other things.

What Is Insulin Resistance?

The carbohydrates that get digested in our body release glucose into the bloodstream. Insulin helps the cells to absorb glucose and produce energy that can be used by our bodies.

But when our bodies develop resistance, the cells stop absorbing the glucose. This forces the glucose to accumulate in the blood stream which ends in high blood sugar levels.

When our bodies develop insulin resistance, the cells stop absorbing the glucose. This forces the glucose to accumulate in the blood stream which ends in high blood sugar levels.
When our bodies develop insulin resistance, the cells stop absorbing the glucose. This forces the glucose to accumulate in the blood stream which ends in high blood sugar levels. (Photo: iStock)

So, basically you need to work on decreasing the insulin resistance of your body.

Though cases of PCOS have been on the rise in the past few years, many gynaecologists believe that certain diet and lifestyle changes along with some medication can help reduce the symptoms.

Stress and sedentary lifestyle are the two main causes of PCOS in women these days. A balanced diet and proper exercise help a lot in dealing with the symptoms of PCOS.

Dr Deepti Khare, Gynaecologist

Seems doable?

Diet and PCOS: The Connection

When your body becomes insulin resistant, then it starts producing more insulin to maintain normal sugar levels. High level of insulin makes it harder to lose weight resulting in a higher Body Mass Index (BMI).

So, it is very important to know what to eat and what to avoid!

It is very important to know what to eat and  what to avoid!
It is very important to know what to eat and what to avoid! (Photo: iStock)

Since insulin resistance builds up in the body, it is extremely important that women understand the constituents of their diet well and have a balanced meal.

Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Let us help make you a perfect diet plan then…

What to Eat?

Remember, you must prevent excess sugar from entering your blood stream. So, you must eat food that doesn’t convert to sugar easily.

Experts advise a high fibre-lean protein diet which will help control the amount of insulin in the body by slowing down digestion.

PCOS diet must include a lot of green vegetables and fresh fruits. A high fibre-lean protein diet will help control the amount of insulin in the body.
PCOS diet must include a lot of green vegetables and fresh fruits. A high fibre-lean protein diet will help control the amount of insulin in the body. (Photo: iStock)

So, your diet must include a lot of:

• Green vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach

• Beans & lentils

• Almonds, berries

• Tomatoes

• Pumpkin

• Olive Oil

• Chicken

• Fish (like Salmon, Sardines)

Have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include more body cleansing items like turmeric, lime, garlic, onions, coriander in your meal preparations. They will detox the body and help you get rid of extra sugar.

What to Avoid?

Sugars and carbohydrates are a strict NO!

Yes, prepare yourself to bid farewell to all your favourite chocolates, candies, cakes, pies! Sorry, but they are of no help now!

Sugars and carbohydrates are a strict NO! 
Sugars and carbohydrates are a strict NO!  (Photo: iStock)

Strictly stay away from:

• White bread (Bye-bye Pizza!)

• Rice

• Sugary juices

• Desserts (Basically, anything with sugar in it!)

• Potatoes

• Pasta noodles made from wheat flour (Try lentil flour (masoor aata) pasta, instead!)

You are also advised to cut down on foods like red meat, French fries (yes, you read that right!) since they cause inflammation in the body.

You have to be extra careful even while grocery shopping.

Why? Because packaged foods have a lot of sugars and carbohydrates that we usually don’t see because we rarely read the labels!

Read the labels of packaged food items while shopping. Make sure the salt content is low, avoid items with simple sugars, make sure that Trans fat is zero and the amount of preservatives present is minimal. Fresh food is always better than preserved food.

Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Other Lifestyle Changes…

Along with a perfect diet, some exercise will also help you feel better.

No, you don’t have to run to the gym! Simple physical activities like brisk walking, jogging, swimming will help control your BMI.

Simple physical activities like brisk walking, jogging, swimming will help control your BMI.
Simple physical activities like brisk walking, jogging, swimming will help control your BMI. (Photo: iStock)

Any type of physical activity helps improve insulin sensitivity, reduces your BMI and increases your frequency of ovulation.

Dr Deepti Khare, Gynaecologist

Do you feel better now? You can deal with PCOS with the right diet and exercise. Try to gather more information which will only help you feel more confident in dealing with PCOS.

Remember, when in doubt, always consult your gynaecologist.






Alternative medicine might help treat premature ejaculation

Reuters | Jan 28, 2017, 01.54 PM IST

Alternative medicine might help treat premature ejaculation (Thinkstock Images)Alternative medicine might help treat premature ejaculation (Thinkstock Images)
Complementary and alternative medicine options may help men manage premature ejaculation, according to a new review of existing research.

The improvements were small, and the studies were of varying quality, but preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Ayurvedic herbal medicineand a Korean topical cream may all have desirable effects, researchers conclude in the journal Sexual Medicine.

“There are a range of treatments available for premature ejaculation, including drug treatments, behavioral techniques and counseling, however, some men may not want to visit the doctor, take drugs long-term or be on a long wait list for counseling,” said lead author Katy Cooper of the University of Sheffield in the UK.

“It’s important to evaluate the evidence for other therapies,” she told Reuters Health by email. “To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review to assess complementary and alternative medicine for premature ejaculation.”

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, premature ejaculation can be a lifelong problem, and this primary form of the problem is usually defined as ejaculation happening within one minute of initiating vaginal intercourse every time a man has ever had sex. A man’s “latency time” can also become reduced later in his sexual life, and this secondary form is usually defined as ejaculation within three minutes or less.

In the current study, researchers evaluated 10 randomized controlled trials that included comparisons either to another type of treatment or to a placebo, or dummy, treatment. Two studies were of acupuncture, five were of Chinese herbal medicine, one of Ayurvedic herbal medicine and two of Korean topical “severance secret” cream.

Together, the two acupuncture studies found that the treatment slightly increased intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) by about half a minute compared to placebo.

Chinese herbal medicine increased IELT by about two minutes, Ayurvedic herbal medicine increased IELT by nearly a minute and topical cream increased IELT by more than eight minutes.

In some instances, a combination of traditional and alternative options was the most effective. For example, Chinese medicine paired with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increased IELT by two minutes longer than SSRIs alone and nearly three minutes longer than the Chinese medicine alone.

“There are no approved treatments for premature ejaculation,” said Donald Patrick, vice chair for research at the University of Washington in Seattle. “This is a common condition that has serious psychological effects on relationships,” said Patrick, who wasn’t involved in the study. “We need treatments to address it, and it should be treated with equal seriousness as erectile dysfunction.”

The prevalence of premature ejaculation is difficult to measure because of the differing definitions of the problem and some men’s reluctance to report it. Some studies suggest that between 20 and 30 percent of men report early ejaculation concerns, but the International Society for Sexual Medicine estimates that about 4 percent of men have a lifelong condition.

“Although it is not openly discussed in the media – at least not as much as erectile problems have been discussed in the post-Viagra era – numerous studies report men feel frustrated, depressed and anxious because of this problem,” said Ege Can Serefoglu of the Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.


Romantic love hormone may help treat psychosexual disorders


Romantic love hormone may help treat psychosexual disordersRomantic love hormone may help treat psychosexual disorders

Men who were given an injection of a naturally occurring hormone showed enhanced activity in brain regions involved with sexual arousal and romantic love, decline in negative moods as well as helping treat some psychosexual disorders that commonly occur in patients with infertility, a study has found.

Kisspeptin has been linked to sexy and romantic feelings and is essential to the body’s reproductive system.

“Our study indicates that kisspeptin plays a role in stimulating some of the emotions and responses that lead to sex and reproduction,” said lead author Waljit Dhillo, Professor at Imperial College London.

“Kisspeptin boosts sexual and romantic brain activity as well as decreasing negative mood. This raises the interesting possibility that kisspeptin may have uses in treating psychosexual disorders and depression which are major health problems which often occur together,” added Alexander Comninos from Imperial College London.

For the study, the team involved 29 healthy heterosexual young men who were given either an injection of kisspeptin or placebo who were shown a variety of images, including sexual and non-sexual romantic pictures of couples.

The findings demonstrated that men who received the injection of kisspeptin, had enhanced activity in structures in the brain typically activated by sexual arousal and romance.

This shows that kisspeptin boosts behavioural circuits associated with sex and love, the researchers said.

Further, the volunteers also underwent MRI scans where they were shown sexual and non-sexual romantic, negative, and neutral-themed images, and images of happy, fearful and neutral emotional faces.

Kisspeptin did not appear to alter emotional brain activity in response to neutral, happy or fearful-themed images.

However, when volunteers were shown negative images, kisspeptin did enhance activity in brain structures important in regulating negative moods, suggesting that then hormone might be used for treating depression, the researchers stated.

The study is detailed in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Diet tricks that can help you gain weight

TNN | January 24, 2017
Gain weight in a healthy way

1/8Gain weight in a healthy way
Your journey to gain weight doesn’t necessarily have to be unhealthy. As a matter of fact, wrong food choices can create havoc within your system. (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Increase healthy calories

2/8Increase healthy calories
Instead of mindlessly increasing your calorie intake, focus on adding healthy options like nuts, seeds, cheese and healthy side dishes.
(Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Nutrient dense foods

3/8Nutrient dense foods
Don’t focus on junk food but have nutrient rich foods like high-protein meats, which can also aid in building muscle. Have high quality carbs like brown grains, bananas, saturated fats like ghee, butter, coconut oil to protein like chicken and dal.
(Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Snack right

4/8Snack right
Have healthy protein and carbohydrate rich snacks like protein bars, peanut butter or hummus. (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

This gene could help fight obesity

, 2016, 03.01 PM IST

This gene could help fight obesity (Getty Images)This gene could help fight obesity (Getty Images)
Scientists have identified a gene that could protect against obesity by increasing the feeling of fullness, a finding that may lead to potential new therapies to treat eating-related disorders.
Researchers from King’s College London and Imperial College London in the UK tested a high-fat diet, containing a fermentable carbohydrate, and a control diet on mice. They looked at the effect on food intake of those with and without the FFAR2 receptor, a protein coding gene.

The results showed that mice fed the diet containing fermentable carbohydrate were protected against obesity. However, this protection was lost when the FFAR2 receptor was not present.

Indeed, those with the receptor showed an increase of 130% in the satiety inducing gut hormone peptide YY, as well as an increased density of cells containing PYY, leading to an increased feeling of fullness.

“Obesity is currently one of the most serious global threats to human health, determined by genetic background, diet and lifestyle,” said lead author Gavin Bewick from King’s College.

“We know that supplementing your diet with non-digestible carbohydrates reduce appetite and body weight gain, but in this study we demonstrate for the first time the essential role of the FFAR2 receptor in enabling specific dietary constituents to reduce food intake and protect against obesity,” said Bewick.

“With this discovery, we can start to look at whether we can use diet or pharmaceutical means to change the cellular make-up of the gut in order to treat a host of disorders,” he said.

“This a major step forward in understanding the relationship between diet and appetite regulation. Until a few years ago dietary fibre was a thought of as inert, and having very little effect on physiology,” said Gary Frost from Imperial College.

So the fact it actually has a major impact on cells that help control appetite regulation in the colon is amazing,” Frost said.

“Our challenge now is to translate this into a technology that we can apply to humans. We need to understand how we can use the knowledge and insight gained to develop food systems that are attractive to a large percentage of the population,” he added. The study appears in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology.


Novel AI technique can help brain overcome fear

Novel AI technique can help brain overcome fear (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Novel AI technique can help brain overcome fear (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and brain scanning technology, a team of researchers has developed a novel method that can help remove specific fears from the brain.

The new technique that could read and identify a fear memory can pave way of treating patients with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias, the study said.

Neuroscientists, from the University of Tokyo, developed ‘Decoded Neurofeedback’ — which used brain scanning to monitor activity in the brain, and identify complex patterns of activity that resembled a specific fear memory.

In the study, the team included 17 healthy volunteers in whom a fear memory was created by administering a brief electric shock when they saw a certain computer image.

Using brain scanner, the researchers monitored the volunteers’ mental activity and were able to spot signs of that specific fear memory. Using AI algorithms, they also developed a fast and accurate method of reading the fear.

The findings showed that the volunteers’ brains showed brain patterns of that specific fear memory, even when they were resting and not consciously aware of the fear.

Because the researchers could decode these brain patterns quickly, they gave the participants a reward of small amount of money, so that the fear memories would become associated with rewards. However, the volunteers were told that the reward depended on their brain activity, although they didn’t know how.

At the end of the reward therapy that continued for three days, the team showed the volunteers the pictures previously associated with the shocks.

“We could not identify enhanced activity in the amygdala — the brain’s fear center. This meant that we were been able to reduce the fear memory without the volunteers ever consciously experiencing the fear memory in the process,” said lead author Ai Koizumi from the University of Tokyo


Marijuana could help treat drug addiction, depression

Nov 17, 2016, 02.05 PM IST

Marijuana could help treat drug addiction, depressionMarijuana could help treat drug addiction, depression
Using marijuana could help some alcoholics and people addicted to opioids kick the habit and may also help people suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety, says a study.

“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication,” said the study’s lead investigator Zach Walsh, Associate Professor at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Canada.

The study published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review is based on a systematic review of research on the medical cannabis use and mental health as well as reviews on non-medical cannabis use.

However, the review concluded that cannabis use might not be recommended for conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.

“In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points,” Walsh said.

It is important to identify ways to help mental health professional move beyond stigma to better understand the risk and benefits of cannabis, Walsh added.

“There is not currently a lot of clear guidance on how mental health professionals can best work with people who are using cannabis for medical purposes,” Walsh said.


MRI can help detect bone marrow cancer

IANS | Nov 16, 2016, 12.15 PM IST

MRI can help detect bone marrow cancerMRI can help detect bone marrow cancer
In a first, researchers have shown that doctors can effectively identify bone marrow cancer (myelofibrosis) using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The findings, in an experimental model and published in the journal Blood Cancer, may change the way this disease is diagnosed which is now through invasive bone marrow biopsies.

“Our study provides proof-of-concept that this non-invasive modality can detect pre-fibrotic stages of the disease,” said lead researcher Katya Ravid, Professor at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in the US.

“It is intriguing to speculate that future pre-biopsy MRI of the human pathology might guide in some cases decisions on if and where to biopsy,” she added.

Bone marrow cancer is a slow evolving condition hallmarked by increased myeloid cells and in the case of primary myelofibrosis, with an excessive number of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.

The pathology also is characterised by structural abnormality of the bone marrow matrix, which at end-stage manifests in excessive deposition of reticulin fibers and cross-linked collagen in the bone marrow, suppression of normal blood cell development and bone marrow failure.

Currently the diagnosis is made via an invasive bone marrow biopsy and histophatology to assess cellularity and reticulin deposition in the marrow, the researchers said.

In this study, the researchers designed and tested whether a T2-weighted MRI could detect bone marrow fibrosis in an experimental model.

The researchers said they were able to show that an MRI could detect a pre-fibrotic state of the disease with a clear bright signal, as well as progressive myelofibrosis.

The investigators proposed that the abundance of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes contribute to the signal.

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LSRC girls on mission to help stray dogs

Identifying the issues created by scores of stray dogs in the campus, students vaccinated around seven dogs, adopted four dogs, and most importantly drew a feeding chart to feed the stray dogs on a daily basis.



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The arrival of winter season prompted five girls from the Lady Shri Ram College to provide necessary help and care for the homeless dogs and puppies straying across the campus.

Five girls – Malavika Nambiar, Shriya Singh, Himanshi Yadav, Ynaiita Warjri, and Apoorva Gangwar, have just started a campaign called Campus Care for Animal Welfare (CCAW) with a mission to vaccinate, neuter and adopt stray dogs.

Identifying the issues created by scores of stray dogs in the campus, students vaccinated around seven dogs, adopted four dogs, and most importantly drew a feeding chart to feed the stray dogs on daily basis.

‘Working with dogs formally and informally for last few years’

  • “We have all been working with dogs formally and informally for last few years, so this was not new to us. We started out helping the strays on our campus by feeding them, getting the ones with distemper treated, and others sterilized. Soon we realised that we could do it for other stray dogs around campus as well and started working for stray dogs in Amar Colony and other neighbouring areas,” said Nambiar, a BA (Hons), as reported by HT
  • “Students in our college started having problems as the number of strays started going up. Not everyone is dog friendly, and those who are scared face issues. Also, these are college buildings at the end of the day. How many stray dogs can live here?” added Nambiar
  • The girls also received assistance from Friendicoes, an NGO for animal welfare, in their mission to heal the stray dogs
  • “We had started a group earlier as well but that could not work out as most seniors passed out of the college, and the group just kind of died after that. This time, we will ensure that this does not happen,” said one girl, Shriya Singh.
  • source”cnbc”

Yoga May Help Fight Back Pain In Astronauts: Study

LOS ANGELES: Yoga may help fight spinal stiffness and reduced mobility suffered by astronauts during prolonged spaceflight, a new study on NASA crew members suggests.

While astronauts on long space missions do not experience a change in spinal disc height, the muscles supporting the spine weaken.

The study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in the US provides new insights into the elevated rates of back pain and disc disease associated with prolonged spaceflight.

“These findings run counter to the current scientific thinking about the effects of microgravity on disc swelling,” said Douglas Chang, associate professor at UC San Diego Health, and first author of the study.

The findings suggest possible preventive steps to reduce the spinal effects of spaceflight. Core-strengthening exercises, like those recommended for patients with back pain on Earth, might be a useful addition to the astronaut exercise training programme, Chang said.

He also said yoga might be another promising approach, especially for addressing spinal stiffness and reduced mobility.

“It is information like this that could provide helpful information needed to support longer space missions, such as a manned mission to Mars,” said Chang.

Six NASA crew members were studied before and after spending four to seven months in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS).

Each astronaut had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their spines before their mission, immediately after their return to Earth and again one to two months later.

The researchers’ goal was to understand factors affecting lumbar spine strength and low back pain during long-duration spaceflight, as well as the spine’s response after returning to Earth gravity.
Back pain is common during prolonged missions, with more than half of crew members reporting spinal pain.

Astronauts are also at increased risk of spinal disc herniation in the months after returning from spaceflight – about four times higher than in matched controls.

Back issues in astronauts are accompanied by a roughly two-inch increase in body height, thought to result from spinal unloading (lack of weight carried by the lower back) and other body changes related to microgravity.

The MRI scans showed significant weakening of paraspinal lean muscle mass during the astronauts’ time in space.

The functional cross-sectional area of the paraspinal muscles decreased by an average of 19 per cent from preflight to immediate post-flight scans.
A month or two later, only about two-thirds of the reduction had recovered.

There was an even more dramatic reduction in the functional cross-sectional area of the paraspinal muscles relative to total paraspinal cross-sectional area.

The ratio of lean muscle decreased from 86 per cent preflight to 72 per cent immediately post-flight.
The study was published in the journal Spine.