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Dispelling Common Myths About PCOS: Insights from a Women's Health Nutritionist

As a women's health nutritionist, I encounter many misconceptions surrounding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in my practice. Today, let's debunk some of these myths and shed light on evidence-based approaches to managing PCOS.


Myth 1: You Need to Have Cysts on the Ovaries to Have PCOS.


Nope! While the term "polycystic" may imply cysts are necessary, PCOS can manifest without ovarian cysts. Diagnosis relies on a combination of factors, including irregular periods, elevated androgens, and possibly ovarian cysts. However, only two out of three are required for diagnosis, highlighting that cysts may be just one piece of the puzzle. You can have cysts without having PCOS.


Myth 2: You HAVE to Go Dairy or Gluten-Free if You Have PCOS.


Incorrect! While some individuals with PCOS may find relief with dietary changes like reducing or removing dairy or gluten (if they are allergic or intolerant), or reducing or removing has led to a change in overall dietary composition or a reduction in other ingredients such as particular FODMAPs etc.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact we should not be removing these things from our diet unless essential. But they sadly still get a lot of hate.


Myth 3: YOU Caused PCOS.


Absolutely not! PCOS is a multifaceted hormonal syndrome influenced by genetics and environmental factors. Blaming oneself for PCOS is unwarranted and unproductive. Instead of dwelling on self-blame, empower yourself with knowledge and focus on managing symptoms through evidence-based nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle modifications.


As a women's health nutritionist, I emphasise the importance of dispelling myths surrounding PCOS.


Understanding that PCOS can occur without ovarian cysts, that dietary adjustments should be personalised, and that PCOS is not self-inflicted is essential for effective management.


By adopting evidence-based approaches to nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle, individuals with PCOS can better navigate their health journey.


If you would like support with your PCOS, or would like to know more on diagnosis, get in touch here.


Best wishes, 


Claire

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