There is NO research to support recommendations for a gluten free diet for women with PCOS.
ZERO, NOTHING, ZILTCH!
But let's break it down a bit further and give you an unbiased look at it.
Women with PCOS are more likely to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) than women without PCOS (remember it's all intertwined down there!). One study compared two groups of women, one group with PCOS & one 'healthy' control (no PCOS). They found 42% of the women in the PCOS group had IBS, compared to just 10% in the 'healthy' control group (1).
SO, WHY IS THIS RELEVANT?
Gluten is the PROTEIN found in barley, rye, wheat (and oats depending on where in the world you live).
Most of the grains which contain the protein, gluten, also contain the carbohydrate, fructan! Fructans are a a type of carbohydrate, called FODMAPs, which trigger IBS.
Now, with the low FODMAP diet, you find your tolerance level for these foods, you don't eliminate them completely.
GLUTEN = PROTEIN
FRUCTAN = CARBOHYDRATE
You can't do a half-do gluten free diet. It doesn't work like that, you either go all in or eliminate it completely. That's it, not gluten free, but eats a gluten-containing croissant on the weekend. Even a small amount of gluten can do damage and cause symptoms, it also takes time to repair. Seek help from a gut health/gastro dietitian (like me!) who can make sure you do it properly.
BUT IT WORKED FOR ME?
Just because there is no research doesn't mean it's not effective. It just means there hasn't been enough research into it-yet! So if it works for you awesome, but if not, introduce it back in because it's found in plenty of foods which are good for our gut and fuel for our microbes, helping to manage the root cause of your PCOS symptoms.
LESS GLUTEN, MORE WHOLEFOODS
Symptoms may have also improved because gluten is found in lots of ultra-processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries, ready-made sauces. So if you're eliminating ultra-processed foods and having more whole foods such at nuts, seeds, fruit & veg, you will ALWAYS feel better and it has NOTHING to do with the gluten, you've simply just improved your diet.
If you've found this helpful or know someone who would, please share this to spread the message!
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME HELP WITH MANAGING YOUR PCOS OR GUT PROBLEMS? CLICK HERE TO WORK WITH ME