What Does It Mean To Have Pcos Belly?

If you have recently been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS for short, you are not alone in this battle. Many women face this hormonal disorder that not only impacts their reproductive health but also overall well-being. More often than not, people raise awareness about the causes, but we are here to highlight a common consequence that affects self-esteem the most – PCOS belly. Let’s discuss what it is and how you can manage it.

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    Women with PCOS and Their Belly Shape

    So, what does the term “PCOS Belly” actually mean? It refers to the particular fat pattern that is distributed in the abdominal region in women with PCOS. This characteristic fat accumulation is mainly because of the hormonal imbalances associated with this condition, especially insulin resistance and elevated androgen levels.

    Normal vs. PCOS Belly

    The shape of a normal belly varies from a pot-like shape to a more defined waist with a bigger lower body. On the other hand, a PCOS belly looks enlarged with bloating and excessive weight gain, accompanied by a beer-belly appearance due to the accumulation of visceral fat.

    Visceral fat surrounds internal organs, making it harder to lose compared to subcutaneous fat that is stored beneath the skin. Those with PCOS often have high visceral fat, which can lead to difficulty losing belly fat.

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    What Does a PCOS Belly Look Like?

    • Enlarged Abdomen: PCOS belly is seen as abdominal bloating and distention, leading to a larger appearance, often round and protruding.
    • Visceral Fat Accumulation: Accumulation of visceral fat around the abdomen is common, increasing the chances of developing health risks like insulin resistance and inflammation.
    • Apple-Shaped Body: They appear to have an apple-shaped body with weight gain in the midsection, independent of BMI.
    • Firmness: The belly seems firm, all thanks to visceral fat and bloating from hormonal imbalances and metabolic issues.

    Causes

    Multiple factors contribute to the development of PCOS, belly fat, and bloating. This condition is driven by factors like:

    • Elevated male hormones
    • Insulin resistance
    • Genetics
    • Hormonal imbalance
    • Metabolism defects
    • Inflammation.

    Those dealing with this condition often have a disproportionate midsection regardless of their body mass index, resulting in a distinct belly shape. PCOS belly is not solely due to stress but is worsened by stress-induced cortisol release, which promotes fat deposits around the waistline. Insulin resistance hinders the ability to convert sugars efficiently into energy, leading to high insulin levels and subsequent weight gain.

    How to Manage PCOS Belly?

    • Follow a diet that has PCOS-friendly items like whole foods.
    • Avoid everything processed, refined sugars, and excessive carbohydrates.
    • Balance the time of your meals to stabilize blood sugar levels.
    • Practice portion control for weight management.
    • Keep up with adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water.
    • Plan cardiovascular and strength training exercises.
    • Reduce stress with the help of yoga or Pilates.

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    Closing Note

    Managing PCOS belly is a challenge, but not invincible. Addressing the root causes that drive your PCOS is one way to manage all the symptoms, including belly fat. Do you have more questions regarding this condition and ways we can be of help? Get in touch with our expert, Dr. Munira Dudhbhai, MD, FACOG, certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Lewisville Women’s Care in case of queries or confusion of any sort. We always prioritize open communication, so consider us just a call away to help you with your gynecological health management. Call us at (972) 956-8008 to schedule an appointment today.

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