PCOS Carb Cravings Play Key Role in Depression

Many people suffering from PCOS and depression give in to a craving for carbohydrates because starches in junk food help to subdue anxiety. But there’s often a heavy health price to pay. A surge in carb intake can lead to an imbalance in the body’s insulin levels, which may result in the onset of obesity.
 
Excessive weight gain can, in turn, increase the danger of Cardiovascular Disease by raising levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and the attendant risks of high blood pressure, inflammation of the arteries and blood clotting.
 
Research from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health shows that depressed women in their early 30s are at significantly greater risk of heart trouble than those who are not depressed. Two groups of “thirtysomething” women, one set depressed and the other not, were matched for height and weight, with researchers taking into account smoking, diet and exercise tolerance differences.
 
In health tests, the depressed women showed considerably higher levels of cholesterol, insulin and triglycerides (the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body).
 
“Depression is not only a brain disease. It’s a disease of the whole body,” said lead researcher Philip Gold, a neuro-endocrinologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, whose findings were presented to the American Psychiatric Association.
 
“The tragic thing is that probably 80% of people with depression don’t get treatment,” he added.
 
Depression, which affects almost 19 million Americans, has long been closely linked to Cardiovascular Disease. Depressed adults have about twice the death rate of people the same age who are not depressed, even when suicide rates are not counted.
 
Doctors stress the vital importance of seeking treatment for depression as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome research increasingly reveals the combined mental and physical toll that the condition takes on the body.


Next Steps

  1. Take the PCOS Quiz! Get your PCOS score and assess your risk.
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