PCOS And Diabetes
Around 50% of women with PCOS will develop either diabetes or prediabetes before the age of 40. A 2017 study found that women with PCOS are 4x more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women without PCOS. With these stats in hand, the logical question is, what’s the link between PCOS and type II diabetes?
The answer lies with insulin and the overlapping condition of insulin resistance. Research suggests around 60-70% of all women with PCOS will have a varying degree of insulin resistance. A condition where the cells of your body stop reacting as normal to the hormone, insulin.
This leads to the body being unable to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and leads to hyperinsulinemia, a fancy way of saying high (hyper) insulin levels in the blood. As your hormonal system is always looking for a healthy balance, chronically high or low levels of hormones will cause issues.
In this case, over time, if your insulin resistance goes untreated, either via medicine like metformin, or lifestyle behaviours, this condition can turn into prediabetes or type II diabetes. Another double-edged sword is the fact that for many, the hormonal state of PCOS makes it extremely easy to gain weight, being overweight is also a risk factor for Type II diabetes.
✅ WHAT TO DO ✅
Due to the fact that PCOS is linked to type II diabetes through insulin resistance, improving your insulin sensitivity should be your #1 priority, this is also the way to dramatically reduce your risk.
👉 Keep carbs to 20%-30% of your overall diet
👉 Ensure most of your carb sources are low-GI
👉 Eat protein at every meal
👉 Perform between 2-5 workouts a week (following the principles I talk about on this page)
👉 Supplement with inositol, magnesium, berberine, chromium, and omega-3
👉 Sleep!! Try your best to get at least 7 hours per night. Let me know if you’d like a post all about sleep
👉 Reduce, and manage your mental & physical stress levels
⚠️ Quick Note ⚠️ Difference between type I & II diabetes;
TYPE I: An autoimmune condition. It's caused by the body attacking its own pancreas with antibodies. In people with type 1 diabetes, the damaged pancreas doesn't make insulin.
TYPE II: When the pancreas usually produces some insulin. But either the amount produced is not enough for the body's needs, or the body's cells are resistant to it.