Effective PCOD/PCOS Diet Program

By Effat Maqsood •  Updated: 03/20/23 •  4 min read

What is PCOD ( Polycystic Ovarian Disease)?

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a medical condition that affects women of reproductive age. This condition is characterized by the presence of multiple small cysts in the ovaries. The prefix “poly” means many, hence the term “polycystic”.

PCOD occurs when the normal changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle are disrupted, causing the formation of these cysts. These cysts cause the ovaries to enlarge and produce excessive amounts of androgen and estrogen hormones. The hormonal imbalance can lead to a range of symptoms such as irregular periods, acne, weight gain, and excessive hair growth on the face and body.

One of the most significant complications of PCOD is infertility. The hormonal imbalance, along with the absence of ovulation, can make it difficult for women to conceive. Additionally, PCOD can increase the risk of developing other health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

PCOD is also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. It is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age. Early diagnosis and treatment of PCOD can help manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.


In certain patients, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can be diagnosed easily based on certain symptoms. The usual medical history includes irregular menstrual cycles that are unpredictable and may involve heavy bleeding, as well as the use of hormonal tablets (progestins) to trigger a period. Patients with PCOS are frequently overweight and may experience hirsutism, which is an excess of facial and body hair caused by high levels of androgens.

This diagnosis can be confirmed by vaginal ultrasound, which shows that both ovaries are enlarged; the bright central stroma is increased; and there are multiple small cysts in the ovaries. These cysts are usually arranged in the form of a necklace along the periphery of the ovary. ( It is important that your doctor be able to differentiate multicystic ovaries from polycystic ovaries. )

Blood tests are also very useful for making a diagnosis. Typically, blood levels of hormones reveal a high LH (luteinizing hormone) level; a normal FSH level (follicle stimulating hormone) (this is called a reversal of the LH: FSH ratio, which is normally 1:1); and elevated levels of androgens ( a high dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate ( DHEA-S) level).

What is the cause of PCOD/PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOD/PCOS remains unclear, although it is known to have a strong hereditary component and is often passed down from mothers to their daughters. The emergence of the characteristic polycystic ovary is linked to prolonged anovulation. Patients with PCOD have chronically high levels of androgens and estrogens, which creates a vicious cycle. Obesity can worsen PCOD because fat tissues are hormonally active and produce estrogen, which can disrupt ovulation. Overactive adrenal glands may also produce excess androgens, which may contribute to PCOD. Additionally, women with PCOD typically experience insulin resistance, meaning their cells do not respond normally to insulin, resulting in high levels of insulin in their blood.

What is best PCOD/PCOS Diet?

A proper diet plays a crucial role in the management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It is not only important for weight loss and maintenance, but also for regulating insulin levels. Many women with PCOS experience insulin resistance, which means their pancreas produces more insulin to be effective. Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar from the blood into the muscles, allowing the body to use glucose as energy. High insulin levels can lead to several PCOS symptoms like increased hair growth, weight gain, skin tags, fatty liver, high cholesterol, polycystic ovaries, and an irregular menstrual cycle. It can also increase hunger levels and cravings.

However, insulin is not the only hormone affected by PCOS. If it were, everyone with PCOS would have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, which is not the case. Therefore, the diet needs to include low glycemic index (GI) foods to manage insulin levels, as well as address other aspects of PCOS.

Designing the right diet to manage PCOS is a complex and individualized process as the underlying cause and hormonal imbalances vary from woman to woman. Therefore, it is essential to consult a registered dietitian or healthcare professional for personalized guidance on the appropriate dietary changes to manage PCOS effectively. A balanced and healthy diet that includes whole foods, fiber-rich vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help manage PCOS symptoms, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote overall health and well-being.


Effat Maqsood

I’m Effat Maqsood, a passionate health and wellness enthusiast with a background in nutrition and dietetics. I’m the author and chief editor of this website dedicated to providing informative and inspiring content on all aspects of health, cure, nutrition, diet, and wellness.