Going gluten free in PCOS. Connection between Gluten and PCOS (Benefits, Success, Diet).

Going gluten free in PCOS | Connection between Gluten and PCOS (Benefits, Success, Diet)

While undergoing treatment for PCOS, research has shown that certain lifestyle modifications can expedite your recovery. One such modifications is - going gluten-free. In this article you will discover - what gluten is, the impact it has on PCOS symptoms, why it may be necessary to go gluten-free if you have PCOS, how to fulfill nutrient requirements while on a gluten-free diet and much more!


 Table of Content


What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It provides chewy texture to food. For instance, it helps pasta hold its shape.

Gluten free foods include many grains such as rice, corn and quinoa, as well as some alternative flours such as almond flour or coconut flour. Gluten-free diets exclude all foods that contain gluten. Gluten-free products are available in most grocery stores and online.


Impact of Gluten on PCOS Symptoms

Studies suggest that there may be an association between gluten consumption and PCOS symptoms. Researchers suspect that gliadin - a portion of gluten - may act as an endocrine disruptor. It triggers aberrant stimulation of some of the hormones such as insulin.

Many women have reported improvements in their symptoms after removing or limiting gluten from their diet. Gluten seems to cause an inflammatory reaction within the body. This can potentially flare up the PCOS symptoms.

Although more research is required, if you experience positive outcomes by experimenting with a gluten-free lifestyle, there is no harm in avoiding the same.


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Is it necessary to go gluten-free if you have PCOS?

It is no secret that you have to bring about appropriate adjustments in diet and lifestyle if you have PCOS. Some women have demonstrated relief to their PCOS symptoms after they had gone gluten-free.

Gluten can often be a hidden culprit in digestive issues. Directly or indirectly it can contribute to hormone imbalance and other PCOS symptoms, such as fatigue, acne or weight gain.

Going gluten-free for a few weeks or months can help improve overall health. It can also reveal any other underlying issues.

That said, not all women experience breakthroughs from removing gluten from their diets. Therefore, before changing anything substantial, it’s wise to speak with your healthcare practitioner about the best next steps for you.

Taking into account individualized needs is the foundation of good maintenance of PCOS symptoms!


Tips to go gluten-free for best results in PCOS

When you know you have embrace gluten-free diet, it is important to understand how to extract best results. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure your gluten-free diet is offering best results for managing PCOS symptoms:

  1. Choose Healthy Gluten-Free Foods: As I've mentioned earlier, not all gluten-free products are healthy. It's important to choose healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of processed gluten-free products.
  2. Make Sure You're Getting Enough Nutrients: Eating a gluten-free diet can be challenging. Ensure you're getting enough of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. You can try adding nutrient dense foods such as legumes, nuts & seeds to your meals for optimal dietary balance.
  3. Find Gluten-Free Products That You Enjoy: If you're following a gluten-free diet, it can be challenging to determine which products are right for your taste and lifestyle. To make sure that the diet sticks in the long term, identify delicious options of gluten-free food.
  4. Seek Out Social Support: Going gluten free can sometimes be isolating. Seek out social support from friends, family, or online groups to help you through the process.
  5. Educate Yourself: Learn about the pros and cons of going gluten free. There are many books and online resources available.
  6. Make a Plan: Decide which foods you will eat and which ones to avoid. Make a list of gluten-free foods that you like. Find out where are such foods available easily.
  7. Be Prepared: Always carry gluten-free snacks and meals when you are away from home. This will prevent you from getting hungry and making unhealthy choices.
  8. Avoid Processed Foods: Gluten-free processed foods are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Choose whole, unprocessed foods instead.


Foods to avoid if you want to go gluten free

If you want to go gluten free, you should avoid all foods that contain gluten such as bread, pasta, cereal, and cookies. Examples of some foods containing gluten are:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Pizza crusts

Gluten-free versions of these foods are available, but they may not be as healthy as the regular versions. It's important to choose healthy gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of processed gluten-free products.


Benefits of gluten-free diet in PCOS

For women with PCOS, a gluten-free diet can be an excellent way to improve overall health.

For some women, gluten-free diets have been found to reduce the symptoms of PCOS, such as acne, hirsutism, fertility issues, and hair loss.

Reducing gluten in the diet makes it easier for the body to regulate blood sugar levels and hormonal balance.

Further research is needed to determine exactly how effective a gluten-free diet is in managing PCOS symptoms. However, there are strong evidences that following a gluten-free diet can produce positive effects in some women with PCOS over time.

Fulfilling nutrient requirement when going gluten-free

Eating gluten-free does not mean you have to compromise on important nutrients.

In fact, there are many tasty and nutritious alternatives for anyone following a gluten-free diet. Making simple substitutions with naturally gluten-free foods like nuts, eggs, fruits, and veggies can provide protein, B complex vitamins, and other essential dietary needs. That too without the need to add overly processed or sugary products.

In addition to whole grains, eating a variety of vegetables is important for maintaining optimal health. Leafy greens such as spinach tend can ensure you receive ample amounts of Vitamin A and C when going gluten-free.

All in all, it’s easy to find the right balance of essential nutrients while staying on a gluten-free diet.


Eating out while on a gluten-free diet

Sticking with a gluten-free diet while eating out can be daunting. But, by taking the right precautions you can enjoy a safe and satisfying meal!

Call ahead to check what options are available on the menu at your chosen restaurant. Then ask for an off-menu item prepared without sauces or dressings that may contain gluten.

If needed, when you get there convey your gluten-free requirement to the chef. 

Opting for plain grilled meats/fish along with side salads and steamed vegetables is also an excellent way to guarantee yourself a gluten-free diet experience!


Myths and misconceptions about going gluten-free in PCOS

There are a few myths and misconceptions about going gluten free in PCOS that you should be aware of:

  • Myth: Gluten-free diets are only for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Fact: Gluten-free diets can be beneficial for people with PCOS even if they don't have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Myth: Gluten-free diets are only for people who want to lose weight.
Fact: Gluten-free diets can help improve insulin resistance, reproductive hormones, and menstrual cycle in women with PCOS even if they don't want to lose weight.
  • Myth: Gluten-free products are always healthy.
Fact: Gluten-free products can be just as unhealthy as regular products if they are processed and high in sugar. It's important to choose healthy gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of processed gluten-free products.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to handle social events where there will be food that's not gluten-free

If you're attending a gathering where gluten-free items are scarce, there are steps to help ensure that your dietary needs can still be met. The simplest way is bringing along some of your own food.
Alternatively, consider contacting the host ahead of time. Find out if gluten-free diet options can be made available.

Lastly, don't hesitate in asking questions about ingredients to the host or the food manager. It's always better to double check than take chances with one's diet requirements!


Conclusion: Going gluten free in PCOS

Going gluten free in PCOS can be beneficial to some women. However, it is important to make sure that you educate yourself on the pros and cons of going gluten-free. Additionally, being prepared with snacks or meals when eating out and double checking ingredients at social events will help ensure that your dietary needs are met while staying gluten-free. With careful planning and research, following a gluten-free diet in PCOS can ultimately lead to an improved overall health!


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