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Dr. Marion M. Pandiscio, MD , Gynecology, answered on behalf of Blake Medical Center

To decrease symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the single most important thing a woman can do is to maintain a normal body weight. If she is overweight, as many women with PCOS are, she should lose weight.  While this is often hard to do on a typical American diet, it is the most effective treatment. Losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can often restore normal menstrual cycling and ovarian function. Most of the symptoms of PCOS (irregular periods, excess body hair, acne) are helped by weight loss. Long term consequences of PCOS (metabolic syndrome with diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol) can often be avoided by maintaining a normal weight. Changing from a typical American diet (meat based, high fat, high simple carbohydrate) to a plant based, whole food diet can be an effective way to lose and keep weight off for PCOS patients and all overweight people.