Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a medical condition where as many as ten small, fluid-filled cysts (2-5mm across) develop around the outside of one or both of the ovaries. This condition should be differentiated from ovarian cysts, in which case cysts appear singularly and may stop the ovary to function normally. Any woman of childbearing age can be affected. The condition can be hereditary and is more common in women who are overweight.

The cause of PCOS can be a hormonal imbalance, which causes higher levels of androgens (male sex hormones) being releases from the ovaries. Some sufferers may produce lower levels of oestrogen. These hormonal imbalances affect the menstruation cycle. These sufferers can also have high insulin levels, which explains why some women are prone to obesity and are at greater risk of developing diabetes.

The main symptoms are:

  • Disturbed menstrual cycle - irregular or even no periods.
  • Acne or "spottiness"
  • Obesity.
  • Excess body- or facial hair, hair loss or hair thinning.
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility or recurrent miscarriage

In order to confirm a diagnosis, you can have a blood test done by your doctor. A scan may also confirm the diagnosis and can check whether you have ovarian cysts in stead.

Nutritional intervention:

The treatment will involve seeing a gynecologist as well as changing your lifestyle and eating habits. A dietitian plays a crutial role with the changing of your eating habits. Concentrating on low GI, low fat foods will ultimately prevent weight gain and promote weight loss. The low GI will also give you constant energy and regulate the insulin in the body.


The practice:

21 Highland avenue
Bryanston, Johannesburg


Office  073 179 4907


NutritionWeek 2016 link