While metformin (Diabex) can help with insulin resistance and PCOS, the most important thing you can do is make lifestyle changes aimed at improving insulin sensitivity, and losing weight if you are carrying excess weight - lifestyle modification is recommended as the first line of treatment for PCOS.
Lifestyle changes should focus on diet and exercise/activity levels as well as getting adequate sleep and managing stress. In my experience, addressing all of these areas together will give the best results.
The best type of eating plan for women with PCOS is one that is low in saturated fat and high in fibre and which includes carbohydrate foods that have a low glycaemic index. Spreading food intake evenly across the day and avoiding eating large amounts of carbohydrate foods at one time is also important as this helps to prevent large rises in blood glucose and insulin levels. A healthy eating plan for women with PCOS will focus on vegetables, salads, minimally processed wholegrains, legumes and fruit, moderate amounts of lean protein foods and some healthy fats (e.g. from avocado, nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil), while avoiding added sugars and highly processed grains.
Combining a healthy eating plan with regular exercise is also important and women with PCOS should aim to include at least 30-40 minutes of activity on most days. Aim for a combination of both aerobic exercise (eg. walking, running, dancing) and resistance training (using weights). Limiting sedentary time is also important, so if you spend most of your day sitting at work, try to take regular movement breaks throughout the day.
Poor or inadequate sleep, and high stress levels can worsen insulin resistance, so aim for around 7-8 hours sleep, and incorporate strategies to manage stress levels and ensure good quality sleep.
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