A major underlying cause of PCOS is high blood sugar. This high blood sugar disrupts ovarian function and leads to high testosterone. Blood sugar can be raised by stress (I seem to do a good job of this in my body!), but diet is also a major player. Quitting sweet foods can be difficult, but thankfully there are supplements to control sugar cravings!
PCOS is said to be the #1 cause of infertility. It also contributes to other unfortunate things such as PMS, acne, coarse body hair growth, and irregular menstrual cycle. Many, but certainly not all, women with PCOS are also overweight.
image by Ruth Black, canva.com
Three supplements to control sugar cravings
You may already know that you should avoid candy and soda, ice cream and muffins, pasta and french bread. But these things are so delicious! And they are all over the place. Plus when we’re feeling down or tired, we crave them all the more.
The subject of sugar cravings is complex. It includes adrenal function, bacterial overgrowth, even a history of abuse.
So while the cause of your cravings may be due to multiple issues, today we will cover a few nutritional supplements or herbal options that can help beat down your sugar tooth. If one or more them resonates with you, I have also supplied safe doses to take.
Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb grown in Asia. It has been used traditionally for diabetes and weight management.
Gymnema has a near magical ability to suppress the taste of sweets. You pretty much have to try it to believe it. After ingesting gymnema tincture, putting anything sweet in your mouth will now taste completely bland. The effect is that you no longer want the food because you are not getting any satisfaction out of it. This in turn can even lead to weight loss (if needed).
Besides its magical taste-changing activity, gymnema works internally to fasting lower blood sugar, when used over an extended period. This is great news for PCOS sufferers.
I prefer the liquid at a dose of 1-15 ml/day in divided doses. My preferred brand is Mediherb. (available here on Amazon)
Chromium is a trace mineral that is essential to carbohydrate metabolism. It helps insulin deliver glucose to your cells. When this glucose is delivered, you feel clear-headed and energetic. Chromium also helps in the process of building DNA, which is pretty important for fertility and pregnancy.
Chromium is not found in simple sugar foods. It is found in trace amounts in onions, tomatoes, oysters and properly soaked, rinsed and cooked whole grains.
It is absorbed better in the presence of vitamin C and niacin. In supplement form, 100 mcg/day is advised in most cases. When your blood sugar is more stable, you will have less cravings for the sweet stuff.
Magnesium is an important macro mineral for sugar handling. It is also needed for 300 enzymatic processes in our bodies. It is depleted by….drum roll please…sugar. Magnesium really seems to help me with sugar cravings, and it’s calming.
Magnesium is best consumed with its buddy calcium at a ratio of 2 calcium to 1 magnesium. A magnesium deficiency often accompanies a potassium deficiency. Lately I am taking all three in a supplement in the form of Bio-CMP* by Biotics. (I personally take 3 pills at night and find it on Amazon.) I also like A to B Calm, which is a powder that absorbs really well.
Minerals also need vitamin A and D to be activated, so get your daily dose of pastured butter!
And if you need some more help on dietary changes to reduce the symptoms of PCOS and get past your sugar cravings, check out the kindle book (available on Amazon) Sugar Detox Challenge. It’s an 8 week program to gradually help you reduce your sugar consumption and includes plenty of healthier recipes to replace your normal desserts!
Do you deal with a sweet tooth? What do you do to help get rid of it?