Does The Keto Diet Help PCOS Symptoms?

When dealing with a new diagnosis, there can be a number of changes that need to be made, including ones to your diet. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a medical term used to describe a cluster of symptoms that otherwise have no specific cause. PCOS is characterized by irregular or missed periods, hair loss, excessive body hair growth, cysts on the ovaries, hormonal imbalances, and a number of other symptoms (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). 

Individuals living with PCOS may also experience difficulty losing weight due to insulin resistance, according to Healthline. In addition, while PCOS is considered a diagnosis of exclusion with no known direct cause, there are some risk factors and lifestyle practices that can contribute to the symptoms associated with PCOS. While managing PCOS symptoms is something that should be discussed with your doctor, certain diets like the keto diet may be beneficial in helping reduce those negative side effects.

What is the keto diet?

Maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge for those with PCOS, but dietary supplements and excessive workout routines may not be the best for combating those symptoms. The keto diet is a popular weight loss approach that focuses on drastically reducing the daily carb intake while focusing on higher amounts of fat with moderate protein (via Medical News Today). The simplicity of the diet is one of the attractions that makes it one of the most searched diets on the internet each month (via Everyday Health)

The keto diet plan is said to not only help with weight loss, but also may also aid in brain health, heart health, fighting acne, regulating blood sugar levels, and possibly even reducing seizures (via Medical News Today). It is important to consult with your doctor before engaging in any new diet plan to ensure there aren't additional risks or considerations that are unique to you.

Can keto help with PCOS?

PCOS symptoms can be exacerbated when a proper diet isn't maintained. This is due, in part, to the condition's association with insulin resistance in the patient (via Medical News Today). Currently, there are a few suggestions regarding the best diet options for patients suffering from PCOS. While the keto diet isn't specifically listed, Medical News Today states that diets with a lowered glycemic index, which includes lowering carbohydrate intake, are recommended. 

Healthline explains that the keto diet, which has been found to be beneficial in helping insulin resistance, might be effective in reducing some symptoms associated with PCOS. Furthermore, adopting a keto diet means consuming less processed foods, which can result in reduced inflammation. So if you're ready to dive headfirst into a restriction of your favorite bread, pasta, and potatoes, lowering your carb intake may help to get your PCOS symptoms under control.