Meditation for mitigation ... of stress...
Meditation is often used to help us relax and relieve stress. Meditation is easily accessible and inexpensive and could be a useful tool or addition to traditional therapies for PCOS but research in this area is lacking.
Stress plays a role in the association between PCOS and depression or anxiety (Damone et al., 2019). Stress can also exacerbate the reproductive and metabolic symptoms of PCOS (Papalou & Diamanti-Kandarakis, 2017). Metabolic stress is particularly troublesome in PCOS. The interplay of metabolic, inflammatory, oxidative and psychological stress can have long-term health implications with a resulting cycle of chronic illness (Papalou & Diamanti-Kandarakis, 2017). This means that any interventions or treatments that can help reduce stress are welcomed.
A recent meta-analysis found that various types of meditation reduced cortisol, c-reactive protein, blood pressure, heart rate & triglycerides (Pascoe et al., 2017). Furthermore, studies have found that overall, meditation can help to reduce cardiovascular risk (Levine et al., 2017). This is useful given that those with PCOS already have increased cardiovascular risk factors such as inflammation and oxidative stress (Teede et al., 2010).
When it comes to superiority of particular types of meditation, again more research is needed. Some studies have focused on Transcendental Meditation and found beneficial effects on blood pressure (Gathright et al., 2019). A current study is examining the effect of transcendental meditation on adolescents with PCOS (Hewawasam et al., 2020). If found to be effective, this could prove to be a useful self-management tool for those with PCOS that is affordable, accessible and low risk. In the meantime, we will have to wait and see!
© PCOS Vitality, 2020
Not medical advice. PCOS Vitality does not recommended any particular course of treatment(s).
Damone, A. L., Joham, A. E., Loxton, D., Earnest, A., Teede, H. J., & Moran, L. J. (2019). Depression, anxiety and perceived stress in women with and without PCOS: a community-based study. Psychological Medicine, 49(9), 1510–1520. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718002076
Gathright, E. C., Salmoirago-Blotcher, E., DeCosta, J., Balletto, B. L., Donahue, M. L., Feulner, M. M., Cruess, D. G., Wing, R. R., Carey, M. P., & Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J. (2019). The impact of transcendental meditation on depressive symptoms and blood pressure in adults with cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 46, 172–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2019.08.009
Hewawasam, E., Brennan, L., Giles, L., Hull, M. L., Short, A., Norman, R., & Peña, A. S. (2020). Assessing Whether Meditation Improves Quality of Life for Adolescent Girls With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(1), e14542. https://doi.org/10.2196/14542
Levine, G. N., Lange, R. A., Bairey-Merz, C. N., Davidson, R. J., Jamerson, K., Mehta, P. K., Michos, E. D., Norris, K., Ray, I. B., Saban, K. L., Shah, T., Stein, R., & Smith, S. C. (2017). Meditation and cardiovascular risk reduction a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(10), 57–60. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.117.002218
Papalou, O., & Diamanti-Kandarakis, E. (2017). The role of stress in PCOS. In Expert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism (Vol. 12, Issue 1, pp. 87–95). Taylor and Francis Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1080/17446651.2017.1266250
Pascoe, M. C., Thompson, D. R., Jenkins, Z. M., & Ski, C. F. (2017). Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 95(September), 156–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.08.004
Teede, H., Deeks, A., & Moran, L. (2010). Polycystic ovary syndrome: A complex condition with psychological, reproductive and metabolic manifestations that impacts on health across the lifespan. BMC Medicine, 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-8-41