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What is Inflammatory PCOS and how to manage it.

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

If you're experiencing signs of inflammatory PCOS, you may benefit from an Omega 3 supplement - read more to find out.



If you have PCOS then you may have heard the term ‘chronic inflammation’ mentioned before or had a blood test result which shows elevated CRP (C-reactive protein) levels. But what does all of this mean? Acute inflammation is often experienced in response to an infection, a cut or other injury and will only last a few days. Chronic inflammation is a pro-longed inflammatory response, lasting weeks, months or years.


Omega 3 Supplement


It is often referred to as ‘low grade’ chronic inflammation because the symptoms are not quite as obvious as acute inflammation where there will be redness or swelling at the injury site. And although we can’t see this ‘chronic low-grade inflammation’ it can affect multiple parts of the body including the digestive system (we often experience bloating or IBS type symptoms). Symptoms of this type of inflammation include fatigue (imagine your body constantly fighting off a mild cold – that’s basically what this inflammation feels like), bloating or other digestive issues, joint pain, or muscle aches.


The cause of chronic inflammation in PCOS is not fully understood yet (another area where we need more research), but we do know that it’s important to address it as it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


So how do you know if you’ve got inflammatory PCOS?


Inflammation is a symptom of PCOS, this means that not everyone with PCOS will have chronic low-grade inflammation. However, the advice for reducing inflammation is very similar to general healthy eating guidance that is given for PCOS – so everyone would benefit from making these changes.


The symptoms you may recognise if you do have inflammatory PCOS include:

  • Fatigue

  • Digestive issues (like those of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating)

  • Muscle aches/joint pains

  • Prone to injury when exercising

  • Not getting an endorphin hit after exercise

If you suspect that you may have inflammatory PCOS here’s what you could do to reduce inflammation:

1. Follow a Mediterranean style diet


This includes eating plenty of anti-oxidant rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, seeds and other healthy fats (olives and avocados), wholegrain carbohydrates, vegetarian protein sources such as chickpeas, lentils and beans.


2. Take an Omega-3 supplement


Studies have shown that taking an Omega 3 supplement, specifically those rich in DHA may help reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that play a vital role in various bodily functions, including reducing inflammation.


Most Omega 3 supplements will contain both DHA and EPA, when choosing your Omega 3 supplement, look for one that contains around 500mg of DHA per day.


It’s important to remember that we should never rely on a supplement alone to improve our symptoms. Supplements are far more effective when they’re taken alongside making other changes.


These are the brands of Omega 3’s that I would recommend:

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