Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS as it is usually called can be quite frustrating to deal with. The hormonal disorder caused due to the production of androgen not only causes trouble to your menstruation cycle and pregnancy but also affects your confidence with its symptoms like excessive facial hair growth, weight gain and acne.
Overall, there are so many things that you have to worry about.
There are also many other health complications associated with this syndrome that you might not even know. One such condition is a fatty liver disease, also called as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Most women suffering from PCOS do not know that even fatty liver disease can occur along with this syndrome. The lack of knowledge about this potentially serious condition can delay the diagnosis and can cause problems at a later stage.
This article briefs you about this liver condition and how you can prevent it.
Fatty Liver Disease
It is an umbrella term that is used to describe various liver diseases that occur as a result of fat accumulation in the liver. In women with PCOS, the metabolic syndrome associated with obesity can result in excess fat deposition in the liver which may slowly begin to damage it.
The causes of NAFLD can be varied. What connects it to PCOS is the common association of PCOS and NAFLD with Insulin resistance, Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain, hypertension, abnormal lipids. Insulin resistance appears to be the basic mechanism shared by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and NAFLD.
In cases where NAFLD is not treated well and progresses, the woman may suffer from cirrhosis, liver failure and even liver cancer (which may even require liver transplantation in some), many years later. NAFLD not only causes liver-related complications, but it also increases the risk of a range of other diseases like heart disease, Strokes, and certain other cancers.
How to Prevent Fatty Liver Disease?
Though fatty liver can have serious consequences, it can easily be prevented or controlled by adopting healthy lifestyle changes. Here are some ways you can prevent fatty liver if you have PCOS:
Make Changes in Your Diet
A healthy and balanced diet can be a great start to avoid/treat fatty liver. Food products that have high sugar and fat levels and therefore excess calories (simple sugars, too much fruit juices, chocolates, sweets, high saturated fats) are the major contributors to fatty liver disease. Hence, you must avoid them as much as you can.
Processed foods should also be excluded from the diet. Instead, boost your liver’s health by taking a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fish, beans and legumes, dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Take Fish Oil
Another way to lower your risk of NAFLD is to consume fish oil supplement that has Omega-3 fatty acids in adequate amounts. Found in fish like salmon, trout and tuna, Omega- 3 fats are quite effective in reducing inflammation, triglycerides, and insulin in women with PCOS. This, in turn, proves beneficial for the liver’s health also.
Move Your Body and shed those extra kilos
Just eating healthy food is not enough. You must also get rid of your sedentary lifestyle and involve yourself in physical activities. Women who exercise regularly for at least 30 to 45 minutes can effectively reduce their risk of NAFLD.
If exercising is not your cup of tea, you can also join aerobics or dance classes. Women with PCOS who shed some kilos have witnessed significant improvement in insulin sensitivity. Not only this, but it also helps in reducing fat accumulated in and around the liver.
Dealing with PCOS in itself is a tough task, and if other conditions (for example NAFLD) get added, it leads to extra stress and frustration, making management even more difficult. So patients of PCOS, but simply taking care of their lifestyle, can not only prevent NAFLD, but they can also control many other potentially serious conditions related to the metabolic syndrome.