Gluten Free Diet Relieved My PCOS Symptoms

by Paola B.

I was never tested for PCOS but I strongly believe I have it. A couple of weeks ago, after eating a high carbohydrate meal (wheat) I felt terrible. Being an Italian, I know that pasta dishes with a salad are well tolerated by almost anyone. Thus, I thought that either I have a problem with carbs in general, or only with wheat products. I tested this hypothesis and noticed that within 4 days of leaving wheat (but still eating carbs such as rice) I felt much better.

That was about a month ago, and since then I have eaten only a gluten free diet. And my life has changed. Before I used to spend my weekends at home to recover energy from the working week. Now I go out with friends and spend more time for the house and myself. I also noticed that my concentration is much better, and, true miracle, I have been able to put myself again on a diet, which I haven't been able to follow in years.

Hopefully, I will also be able to stay on the diet this time. Could it be that gluten intolerance is a fact with people with PCOS?

Thank you very much for the support you website is giving to people with PCOS.

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Pcos and gluten elimination..what do you have to lose?
by: Jen

Hello PCOSers! I just wanted to give you some hope and share my pcos story. I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 21. I was obese at 5'7 and 250 lbs. And had all of the usual PCOS symptoms (no reg periods, extra hair growth, IR) I continued to not do much about it until I hit 30. I just thought I would get pregnant on my own. Well, I started researching, eating better on a low carb diet and regularly exercising. I lost 30 lbs and felt great. I noticed when I would "cheat" on my low carb diet and eat bread, I felt lousy. Gluten intolerance runs in my family, so I investigated further. I cut out all gluten from my diet and continuied diet and exercise lost another 30 pounds. I also am proud to say I am 12 weeks pregnant! After 10 + years, clomid and other medicines that failed to work. In the end, I believe fertility is restored through diet..

PCOS and Gluten Intolerance
by: Elizabeth

I was on the cusp of having PCOS. I've had regular periods my whole life...but a few months ago started noticing my period was heavier...a few dark facial hairs growing in and a ton of hair loss and IB problems :( Went to my PCP and she tested me because I had mild psoriasis as a teen. Through blood test she found my testoterone was slightly elevated and my DHEA levels were very high...she ran a food allergy panel and it came back just as suspected. I'm allergic to wheat and peanuts. I just started my gluten free journey a month ago and what a difference...a lot less hair shedding, better mood, lighter periods and IB is healing nicely...gluten definately has an autoimmune reaction in the body and it manifests differently in each women...hoping after 6 months I will be completely healed through a healthy gluten-free diet!

Gluten in Indian Diet
by: Reema

Dear all,

Maybe it's my 10th or 11th year living with PCOS, actually I always had a doubt regarding the presence of gluten and its effect on pcos.

Normally in our culture we have South Indian diet, which is largely devoid of glutens.

But in my family wheat was inexclusible as in our part there is a belief that S.Indian diets are hyperglycemic and wheat is better than rice. Of course wheat has many health effects than rice, but I was always puzzled with my high wheat intake.

Now with this newsletter I think I got the answer.

I was always dejected by the fact about having PCOS. But now its OK. After my marriage my husband and myself wanted to be parents soon. I also wanted to avoid medications.

I tried alot without medications. I tried regular exercise. But that did not succeed. Eventually I tried metformin with regular exercise (walking regularly). I became pregnant, delivered the baby and now everything is fine. I haven't taken metformin till now since I am breast feeding and I don't know the problem still exist.

With my baby I am happy and content.

No more Cysts!
by: Anonymous

I have now been TTC for 15 months . I was diagnosed with PCOS about six months ago. My doctor could not find any physical problems with my fertility other than cysts on my ovaries and irregular periods. While doing some research I read about Gluten and it's affect on fertility. Bread/Noodles were the basis of almost all my meals. I decided there was no use getting tested for gluten sensitivity, since the end result would be avoiding gluten anyway. Plus, I was bound and determined to become pregnant on my own?.so I started a gluten-free diet. The first few days were a nightmare, I went through major withdraw symptoms (i.e. headache, nausea, tired, depressed). After the withdrawal symptoms wore off, I felt better than I had in years. After a month on the diet, I went back to my doctor for an ultrasound checkup and to my surprise (and my doctors), my cysts were completely gone!!! Before the diet, I would start spotting halfway through my luteal phase and continue thru to my period. After the diet, you guessed it, the spotting became shorter and more normal each cycle. During the first two months on the diet, I was able to slowly reduce my anti-depressant medication from 100mg to 25mg. I am now on month five of my diet and last month was the first time I ovulated when I was supposed to, on my own and without the help of fertility drugs! I have not become pregnant yet, that I know of, but I feel more positive and hopeful than ever before. If you would have asked me a year ago to give up my bread, I would have laughed in your face! It is funny how the desire for a child makes you strong enough to conquer anything! If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!

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Editor's comments: Wow, what an inspiring story! We firmly believe, based on a mountain of scientific data, that a healthier diet will do much to improve virtually any aspect of PCOS, as well as reduce the incidence of ovarian cysts.

The diet described in The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility e-book is one example of a gluten-free diet.

Gluten and PCOS
by: Anonymous

Hi Ladies,
Yes there is a link, I do have PCOS and did for years and only started on gluten free diet recently and wala - my non stop period finally stopped and I am a different person. No longer emotional and depressed and that is just one symptom disappeared.
The REASON for being gluten intolerant is that the wheat we eat now is MODIFIED - it contains 8x the amount of gluten that is naturally in wheat.. plus added more to the loaf of bread to make it fluffy and soft..Diseases are man made unfortunately. we need to stop mucking around with nature and how god intended it to be. Anyway, good luck to you all :)

Watch out for high-glycemic gluten substitutes
by: PCOS Editor

Congrats on making the move away from foods containing gluten!

Some health practitioners suspect that gluten is a cause of autoimmune disease, a condition where the immune system attacks itself.

PCOS has a strong autoimmune component. Some suspect that PCOS is basically an autoimmune disease. The most common manifestation is Hashimoto's disease, which is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid where the immune system attacks thyroid tissue.

Research on rodents has shown that the immune system of female fetuses is permanently altered when the mother's hormones are out of balance. When the rodents become adults, they exhibit symptoms similar to PCOS.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is partly an immune disorder.

Therefore, if gluten might worsen autoimmune symptoms, it should be completely avoided.

I've been on a gluten-free diet for 10 years. It would be fun to have a pizza or a piece of French bread. Or maybe a pastry or two. But I don't do it. I just eat some almonds or something else and forget about it.

A problem with a gluten-free diet is that people often tend to consume other refined carbohydrate foods that have a high glycemic index, meaning that they make your blood sugar rise too fast, thus disrupting your hormone balance.

For example, if you remove regular bread from your diet and start eating gluten-free bread instead, you have gotten rid of the gluten.

But...you have not gotten rid of the other damaging effects of refined products like bread. The primary concern with non-gluten breads is that they are highly refined and thus release their carb calories into the bloodstream way too fast and cause a spike in your blood sugar. The sudden increase in blood sugar throws your body into a state of alarm. Insulin and other hormones over-react and thus throw your entire hormonal system into disarray.

In addition to avoiding gluten, you'll want to stick with low-glycemic foods such as vegetables and legumes. Also whole non-gluten grains are a better choice than refined non-gluten grains. For example, brown rice is better than white rice.







5th day gluten-free
by: sarah

This thread is seriously outdated, but oh well!
I also have PCOS, though symptoms are moderate; I am not (crazily) overweight, nor do I have irregular periods. I have been struggling with infertility, though, and obviously there is a PCOS link. I've not been watching my diet lately - mainly because I'm depressed that I can't get pregnant - so I've gained a few lbs thanks to all the wheat-based products I've been eating!...which tend to leave me bloated, weepy, foggy, and with terrible BMs.
This is day 5 of going totally gluten-free and so far so good; not feeling deprived in any manner and unless I am imagining it, feel much more clear-headed.
I plan to keep it up so that I can rebalance my hormones & moods, get rid of some excess weight (especially around my middle - so gross), some excess facial hair (totally turning into a man) and hopefully soon, get prego:)

85% of PCOS patients test positive for gluten intolerance
by: Anonymous

85% of PCOS patients test positive for gluten intolerance - this is documented in the medical literature, although few doctors seem to be aware of it.

I stopped eating gluten 6 months ago, and I have seen a reversal of all of my PCOS symptoms and other health problems: I have had a period every month with minimal to no PMS symptoms (this has never happened in my life) , my hair stopped falling out, I have no mood swings, no compulsion to overeat, no insomnia, no hot flashes, so diarrhea and no constipation - even my body hair is has started to get thinner and lighter.

I am on zero medications or supplements, but I eat a very nutrient dense diet of whole food.

Honestly, I feel so good physically, emotionally and energetically, that I really don't care at all about not eating wheat. Eating gluten made me crave gluten.

If you have PCOS, you lose nothing by trying a gluten free diet, and stand to gain a very great deal. Just don't make the mistake of living on processed gluten-free substitutes - these have little to no nutrition, and they will make you fat.





Gluten & Pcos; A Connection?
by: Cali Zanardo

I am Italian, I have pcos, AND I am a celiac (allergic to gluten). I do strongly believe the two are related because PCOS is really a syndrome brought around by malnutrition (in my opinion), and eating gluten (if you're a celiac) destroys your villi and therefore you don't absorb proper nutrients. I've also read that celiacs when they eat gluten gain weight because fat genes are expressed or something.

I've been skinny, fat, lack of appetite and finally I have a ravishing appetite now that I am off all gluten.

I also have a flat stomach these days, less cravings, and less pain in my stomach (ovary area?).

Connection? I think so. Being gluten free has relieved a lot of my pcos symptoms :)

I'm pretty sure it's related
by: Gwen

I have PCOS and can not tolerate gluten in any amount. After 14 years of being sick, I'm finally living a much more normal life. I'm still not losing weight, even though I exercise 1 and 1/2 hours a day and am following the low GI diet.

that's my hypothesis!!
by: Barbara

gluten sensitivites and allergies manifest in different genes different ways, and i definitely think there is a link with pcos!!

Gluten Intolerance
by: Editor's Comments

Paola may have a condition called "gluten intolerance". Gluten refers to a group of proteins in cereal grains such as wheat, rye and barley. A component of gluten is gliadin, which is thought to be the cause of gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance means that when you consume gluten, the cells in your gastrointestinal system are damaged. Moreover, gliadin can enter the bloodstream where it may cause an allergic response.

Gliadin appears to be involved in celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes, dermatitis herpetiformis, schizophrenia, osteoporosis and other disorders.

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