Inflammation in PCOS, and its Link with Excess Carbohydrates

A number of foods in the standard North American diet cause inflammation in our bodies. Even though we’re already aware of many of these inflammatory food triggers, it’s interesting to learn more about them. For example, finding out which specific nutrients cause the most issues.

As new information comes to light through scientific research, we discover how nutrition can improve the lives of women with PCOS exponentially.

Countless women with PCOS have to deal with chronic, low-grade inflammation. This kind of inflammation is associated with weight gain, insulin resistance, mood changes, cardiovascular risk, and testosterone excess.

Why Do We Have Inflammation in Our Bodies?

Our immune systems are our first line of pathogen defence. It secretes chemical messengers—cytokines—whenever bacteria or viruses threaten our bodies.

Basically, inflammation is the immune system’s chemical messenger system, protecting  the body against potentially harmful invaders. It sends immune cells in to save the day.

In conditions like PCOS, this kind of inflammation is present all of the time—not just when an invader is threatening our wellbeing. This constant inflammation, is typically derived from insulin resistance and fat cell dysfunction. It causes constant stress in the body, disrupting hormones, causing tissue damage, and impacting everything from energy levels to mood.

Carbohydrates and Inflammation

We know that high blood sugar levels after meals can cause inflammation and oxidative stress. That said, are carbohydrates themselves the cause of inflammation?

Well… yes and no.

Our immune systems respond to heightened blood sugar levels by producing reactive oxygen species. These chemicals are released as mitochondria work to store that sugar through metabolic pathways. When it comes to how much inflammation is produced after we eat a meal heavy in carbs depends on two factors:

1. How long our blood sugar levels stay high after we eat
2. Just how high those blood sugar levels get

Keep in mind that anything that increases insulin levels significantly contributes to greater insulin resistance. Additionally, anything that significantly increases insulin levels (especially if extremely elevated) will also contribute to further insulin resistance.

To learn more about how excess carbohydrates affect insulin in our bodies, and how my Eating for PCOS course can help you reverse inflammation as well as numerous other PCOS symptoms, head over to