It should come to no surprise that hirsutism is often times related to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). PCOS is a condition that due to abnormal functions of the ovaries, usually from benign tumors that should not be there, a woman’s hormones are thrown outta wack!
PCOS women suffer from harsh difficulty losing weight, abnormal menstrual cycles, infertility, and hirsutism. These side effects are only a few of the countless unwelcomed side effects to PCOS.
It will probably be of great assistance to change your diet to a PCOS-fighting one if you are hirsute but don’t necessarily have PCOS.
Both PCOS and strictly idiopathic hirsutism (IH), which from my previous posts, means you suffer from a genetic form of hirsutism and not because of a more serious medical issue, are hormonal conditions that weigh heavy on insulin. That is why it is not usual for many PCOS sufferers and hirsutism sufferers to be diabetic or have diabetic folks in their family.
I have at least one diabetic aunt who ironically is a little hirsute and is a fairly large woman. I cannot say without knowing her weight and height right off the back if she is obese or not.
I have reading about diets for hirsutism and came across many good resources, including the PCOS Challenge. I listened to a prerecorded radio convo between two doctors discussing insulin and how it affects PCOS sufferers, including sufferers of hirsutism.
After doing a quick Google search about insulin and hirsutism, I came across a study in the US National Library of Medicine website detailing how women who suffer from idiopathic hirsutism typically have insulin resistance.
In summary insulin resistance occurs when the body is abnormally sensitive to sugars and cannot process those sugars properly. The more sugar you intake while you have insulin resistance, the more your insulin levels overwork, making things grow faster than usual, including weight and yes, facial and body hair.
DIET FOR HIRSUTISM AND PCOS
So after doing a little more research, I found out some good foods to battle IH and PCOS. It’s all about balance. Yes I know we heard balanced diet since the dinosaurs roamed, but it seems to be effective.
According to the PCOS radio recording, avoiding carbs is not a bad thing. It’s actually encouraged to have carbs in your diet but to just balance them.
As the doctor said in the radio broadcast, “All carbs are not created equal.”
So here is a list of foods that I gathered to try and include in my diet:
1. None starchy, dark green vegetables help lower insuling activity and fight acne, rich in Vitamin A
2. deep rooted vegetables like beans
3. Yogut, fruit and milk, rich in antioxidant properties (some sugars are welcomed in a PCOS diet)
4. Lean meats are rich in protein (skinless chicken, fish, etc.)
5. Water, of course!
I found this nice chart on PCOS: PCOS Nutrition Guide that helps you substitute not so good foods for PCOS and hirsutism-friendly foods. Please give it a looksie when developing your own diet.
This other website, PCOS Insulite Labs, made a list of vegetables good for PCOS and hirsutism which are low in glycemic load (GL). GL indicates how much sugar affects blood levels in the body. Of course, the lower GL level, the better:
Alfalfa, Artichoke, Asparagus, Broccoli (I personally like!), Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (Love this too!), Cauliflower, Celery (Like!), Cucumber (LOVVVVEEEE!!!), Green beans, Lettuce, Onions (barf!), Peppers (as long as they are cooked very well!), Radishes, Sauerkraut, Spinach, Squash
I would have added collard greens to this list as well!
So as you can see, you have vast options to eating a hirsutism/PCOS diet as long as you balance yourself. You don’t have to starve to fight this! I have started eating more fruits only for breakfast on my way to work. I love green apples and pineapples and cant eat a whole cucumber no problem! I personally like sparkling juices from Cranberry and IZZE, especially IZZE. Their juices have little to no refined sugar in their drinks and they taste incredible!
Thanks for reading!