WHEN NICOLE GRANATO first received the diagnosis of Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) she set out on a mission to find healing. And - good news - she found it. Now living in vibrant health, Nicole is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach devoted to helping other women on their journey of healing PCOS themselves. We love Nicole's story, especially it's roots in the importance of self-care, and asked her to share her advice with readers looking for their own solutions to PCOS...
PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) has become a diagnosis that more and more women are facing everyday. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 20 years old while in school for nutrition. And I was passionate about expanding into women's health and fertility.
Being 20 years old at the time, having children was not top of mind, but I knew that in the long run it was something I was put on this earth to do. Being a mother was, and is, a dream of mine. Once diagnosed with PCOS, a woman's chances of having children (and having them naturally) decrease dramatically. I was personally able to reverse my PCOS diagnosis through holistic nutrition and natural remedies, primarily by focusing on balancing my hormones.
I've been passionate about teaching women to protect their bodies from a diagnosis like PCOS ever since. And to shift gracefully through hormonal changes. From my holistic perspective, the real issue at hand for most women is not how to control the disease and simply hope it goes away, but to address and heal the root of the disease.
It's time we get down to the truth of PCOS and how we can heal instead of continuing to "treat" a disease that is rapidly being diagnosed - even to girls as young as 12 years old. I believe healing, rather than "treating," is about strengthening our bodies through nutrition and supplementation to fight off the disease once and for all. I went from a PCOS diagnosis and a very slim chance of having children naturally to being undiagnosed with this disorder and living a more vibrant life than ever. Here is what you need to know...
8 TIPS FOR HEALING PCOS
DIET IS KEY:
We are what we eat and that is the truth when dealing with PCOS. Extreme diets are not going to be what is best. Instead, I highly recommend a balanced diet of healthy fats, protein, green, sea vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.Nourishing your body with thesehealthy fats and amino acids, as opposed to starving it of these minerals, is the root to strengthening your body to fight this disease. I also recommend foods low in sugar; fruits I love to incorporate are blueberries and acai.
AVOID PROCESSED SUGAR AND WHITE FLOUR:
It is pretty well known that processed sugar and white flour should be avoided in general to reach optimal health, but even more so for people suffering from PCOS. PCOS creates inflammation in the body that can lead to a downward spiral of exhaustion, acne, inflammation of the skin, digestive issues and pain in the pelvis. Most people notice a dramatic difference within two weeks of removing sugar and white flour from their diets.
DRINK A SUPERFOOD TONIC IN THE MORNING:
I absolutely love noni juice as a daily tonic! Noni is a super powerful healing tonic used for thousands of years. Noni has been esteemed for its anti -inflammatory properties, boost of energy levels, aiding in cardiovascular health, immunity boost, anti fungal
properties and promotes healthy liver function! I measure one shot of noni juice and pour into a large glass of water first thing in the morning. Drinking an antioxidant-rich drink first thing in the morning is a great start to the day!
NOURISHING EXERCISES VS. HIGH INTENSITY:
Working out is great for you, there is no doubt, but there is a difference between promoting a healthy body and physically stressing the body. When dealing with PCOS, high-intensity workouts more than two times a week can actually do your body harm.The goal is to find exercises that are going to help blood flow, promoting healthy circulation and nourishing your reproductive organs. Try exercises like pilates, swimming, yoga, long walks, light jogs and hiking.
A HEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM IS KEY:
The importance of a healthy digestive system can't be understated. It is safe to say that a healthy gut means a healthy body. Digestion can be an issue at different times of the month for women suffering from PCOS. Not having healthy bowel movements can create stagnation in the body and a blockage and buildup of toxins; this will dramatically throw off your hormones! I suggest trying a detox you can take with food around these times of the month to promote a healthy bowel movement.
ASHWAGANDHA FOR BALANCED HORMONES:
Ashwagandha is your hormone balancing superherb. Since PCOS stems from a hormonal imbalance, it is great to have things on hand that can aid in balancing hormones all month long! Known to enhance brain function, diminish depression and greatly reduce anxiety, it is also widely known to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. You can find this in liquid form and keep it in your purse. When you feel stress coming on, put a dropper in a glass of water and drink! I love taking mine mid-day and before I go to sleep. You know all those things that used to really get to you? Yeah, they may not after a week of adding this to your water!
FIGHT ACNE WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Acne associated with hormone imbalances is no joke. Women with severe acne related to PCOS and hormonal imbalances tend to break out around their cheeks, chin and jaw line. When dealing with acne, less is more. Apple cider vinegar is a go-to for clearing skin and promoting a healthy glow. When used topically, it kills bacteria deep in your pores while helping prevent future breakouts, scaring, oily skin, blackheads and a build-up of dead skin cells.
AN END OF DAY RITUAL FOR EMOTIONS
Life is stressful, some days more than others, so it is important to put aside a little time at the end of the day to just relax. Having an end-of-the-day ritual can create an oasis internally and keep you from feel burnt out at the end of the week. For example, coming home to a nice relaxing cup of tea and sitting in the bath and taking a few deep breaths will really help you release stress and become more present. Stress has been linked to depression and lack of energy and can disrupt healthy sleep patterns. Learning to make your home your center for decompression and relaxation will help you separate your work life from home life and help you feel an overall sense of well-being.