Should PCOS Detox and Cleanse be a part of your PCOS Diet?

You may well be thinking about doing a detox or cleanse of some sort as we head closer to the New Year. However, in doing research for my own “Get-back-on-track Plan”, I have found little scientific evidence on a detox plan or diet.


Detoxification can be defined as the elimination of toxins and harmful chemicals from the body. Many people suggest the use of diet, herbs, supplements and alternative therapies as part of a detox plan.

The liver is the main organ responsible for ridding the body of toxins. It has the mammoth task of filtering and cleaning 1.5 litres of blood every minute so that the body receives clean blood. It works hard to:

  • Remove excess hormones like oestrogen and testosterone
  • Eliminate toxic waste by sending it the kidneys
  • Produce amino acids and enzymes used to metabolize food, including fat, protein and carbs.

So, you can see that the liver is hugely important, not only for removing harmful toxins from the body, but also for blood sugar regulation and hormonal balance.

The liver performs its job with precision but it can be overworked when we drink, smoke, have caffeine and generally “let go” like most of us probably did over the festive season.

So, whilst my “Get-back-on-track Plan” doesn’t necessarily include a full-blown detox, it does involve a “Be kind to your liver” plan. Here are some of the things that I plan on doing to get back on track and regain control, not only of my PCOS, but my eating and habits:

Ditch the caffeine

coffee beansI’ve never been much of a coffee drinker but do enjoy diet sodas, chocolate and tea, all of which contain caffeine. Whilst small amounts of caffeine can give you a lift when you need an energy boost, it also has been shown to cause hormone imbalances in women. Many women who drink 2 or more cups of coffee a day have been shown to have elevated levels of oestrogen. This does not seem to have a significant impact on fertility in most women but women with PCOS tend to have oestrogen dominance already. Caffeine may just tip the scales in the wrong direction.

Caffeine can also overwork the adrenal glands, inhibit vitamin and nutrient absorption and has been linked with infertility.

So, I am going to cut out caffeine as much as possible. Here is a newer article I wrote on the topic of pcos and coffee


Cut out Alcohol

I must say that I don’t generally drink but I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. Alcohol:


  • Intake in excess can delay ovulation and cause difficulties in falling pregnant
  • Is high in sugar and calories and can impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Is processed by the liver and can interfere with it’s normal functioning


If you had a big festive season with lots of alcohol, eliminate it completely for a couple of weeks and give your liver the break that it needs to focus on dealing with any excess hormones and focus on metabolism. You can then reintroduce a glass of wine or beer every now and then.

Get some beauty sleep

pcos and sleep Seriously! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 5 hours per night have higher levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and less leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) leading to weight gain. Bear in mind that these hormones are already out of whack in women with PCOS, causing our carb cravings and over-eating tendencies. Why add to that by depriving ourselves of our beauty sleep?

I know that it’s not always possible (I have a very busy two year old and am lucky if I get 6 and half hours a night) but for the next two weeks, I’m going to make it my goal to get 8 hours if I can.

Drink loads of water

waterWater is essential to life. It forms a huge portion of the body and blood volume. It also helps to eliminate toxins from the bowels as it causes fibre to swell, in addition to supporting the liver, kidneys and adrenals in their role of detoxing the body.

It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. It is important that you drink pure water. Tap water contains thousands of additional chemicals, as well as man-made oestrogens. The water purification centres are also unable to rid the water of all dissolved chemicals.

You don’t need to go for bottled or mineral water. This comes with it’s own set of issues. The best thing is to get a good quality water jug with a filter (like BRITA). These filters remove limescale (caused by calcium and magnesium ions), and reduce chlorine, copper and lead content.

Water, anyone?

Eat fresh foods and vegetables

This goes back to The Best PCOS Diet and I won’t repeat all of the details here but it’s important to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. They are high in nutrients, enzymes and vitamins, which will provide ample nutritive support for your body while it detoxes. These foods are also naturally high in fibre and will help your gut eliminate waste and prevent the absorption of oestrogen.

Just remember that if you are going to have fruit or something fairly high in carb, you’ll want to balance the carb with some protein so that you aren’t causing a huge spike in your insulin and sugar levels.

Ditch the carbs and eat clean

detox salad pcosI think this goes without saying but I’m going to put it in here anyway. No refined, processed foods for the duration of your detox (and beyond!) Cut out the junk from your diet. If there are ingredients in your food that you can’t pronounce, don’t eat them! Think whole foods, lean meat and plenty of veggies!

Okay, so these are the steps that I’m taking to get back on track:


  • Ditch the caffeine
  • Cut out Alcohol
  • Get some beauty sleep
  • Drink loads of water
  • Eat fresh foods and vegetables
  • Ditch the carbs and eat clean


Leave me a comment below if you’re on board with the Get-back-on-track Plan and we can give each other some support and motivation!

Join the PCOS Weight Loss Program:


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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

17 Responses

17 Responses

  1. Hello,I read your new stuff named “Should PCOS Detox and Cleanse be a part of your PCOS Diet?” on a regular basis.Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work! And you can look our website about powerful love spells.

  2. Hi,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15/16 and I had it completely under control, until I turned 18 and discovered nightclubs (18 was the legal age to drink back then :D) When I was 19 I started a relationship that lasted 5 1/2yrs and there was a fair amount of alcohol abuse, he had a big family, so alot of parties, weddings and general celebrations, but the relationship wasn’t healthy so I did drink quite alot. Since exiting that relationship, I have now found someone who isn’t a big drinker. I have been with him now 9/10months and I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a drink, he is just such a nicer guy in general and since then I have noticed such a difference in my weight and skin and I’m starting to become more regular again. So I 100% backup the whole ‘cut out alcohol’!
    However, if anyone on here is the same has me, you’ll understand that losing weight is frustrating has it can take longer then people with PCOS!
    This article is amazing, in fact this whole website is amazing. It’s become my bible in a way! So thank you so much for all your advice and tips you give 🙂

  3. Have you ever used Metformin? If so, how did it work for you? I really need to weigh my options carefully.

  4. It’s remarkable to visit this site and reading the views of all friends
    regarding this article, while I am also keen of getting knowledge.

  5. thankyou for this article! I have been feeling so depressed and gross with my self and unfortuantly the coffee and alcohol intake has increased because of this but is obviously making things worse for me! iam cutting out caffeine and alcohol and eating clean and I know I will feel better because of it!

  6. I think everything posted made a bunch of sense. But, what about this?

    suppose you composed a catchier title? I am not saying your content
    isn’t solid., but suppose you added something that makes people desire more?
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    You might try adding a video or a picture or two to get people interested about what you’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it could make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  7. I have known I’ve had pcos since 2002, when I was trying for my 2nd son, over the years it really didn’t bother me but lm 38 now and am really struggling I’ve gained a lot of weight and have been told I now have a fatty liver and also are on the borderline of diabeties. I’m trying to lose weight and it’s so hard feeling low no matter how hard I try it just seems to get harder..doctors don’t understand how hard this disease is. Just wish I knew how I could feel normal again…

  8. Hi Tarryn I found out that I had PCOS in 2011 after my marriage. I have put a weight and finding it very difficult to lose my weight. Requesting for your help. I finding it very difficult to conceive.. I am from India. I stay in Bangalore city. Please do call me @ 8892983992 or reply me on mail id… I would like to buy the weekly meal prepared by you.. Thank You so much for your assistance.

  9. I found out I have PCOS in November 2013 after being trying to get pregnant for a year. I just turn 29, and it seems that I develope this very early in age but my gyno just gave me birth control pills and never told me about this possibility. I am very sad! I found your website while researching and I am hopeful that all your experience, knowledge and guidance helps me get pregnant. I am committed 100% to make this work. Thank you!

  10. Heya I want to Thank you it’s a interesting site when I was 20 I was told I had pcos it crushed me to learn me and my partner can’t have kids like we planned after finding out I had pcos I started to gain weight everytime I go to the doctors they always tell me about my weight it’s not suitable for a 23 year old they want to go to weight watchers but I want to try and do it myself I miss being a size 16 when I was a kid I use to always eat meat and veg but one day I stopped eating meat fruit and veg My goal is to start them again I have a Wii do you think if I take a hour a day to go on my Wii will help and if I start going swimming and the gym to lose my weight

    Thanks xx

  11. i just found you site. Very interesting stuff you have here. I found out that I had PCOS about a month ago. I have had missed or infrequent periods for years Went to my gyno in OCt he put me on the pill to regulate me. I have 3 boys already. Symptoms got worse after my last baby about 3 yrs ago. Currently im on metform. I know that nutrition plays a huge role but unformilar with the supplements.

  12. I’m definitely looking to get back on track with my PCOS! I found out that I had PCOS in November 2011. In February 2012 I started p90x which I did for 60 days by the book and I had actually gained body fat and not lost any weight. Frustrated I called a dietician who was the first person to inform me that with PCOS generally come insulin resistance and that I should be balancing carbs and proteins. Good to know! So I started counting carbs and that really helped with the symptoms and the panic attacks that I was getting daily. I slipped on my diet and just got bloodwork done to get additional life insurance and I got denied! My globulin levels were too low which points to a lot of things, but the one thing that stuck off the page at me was DIABETES. Insulin resistance and PCOS can lead to diabetes :(. I’m hoping this isn’t actually it, I am only 25. Getting back on track with a healthy diet is a good start either way.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Alisha!

      It must have been very scary to be denied life insurance! I have also tried P90X, although I didn’t follow the meal plans. How frustrating that you did all of that HARD work and didn’t see any results! P90X is tough going.

      The good news is that you don’t have to get Type 2 Diabetes and you can definitely make the changes you need to make to get your health back on track. I agree that 25 is way too young for Diabetes! You still have a long and happy life to live without Diabetes.

      Good luck with getting back on track and please keep me posted on your progress!


  13. Hi, I was diagnosed with pcos this afternoon. I have been ttc but struggled with my irregular periods. I was crushed when I know I have pcos as my hubby and I really want to start a family. I found your website while browsing for more info on pcos and I am really glad that you are such an inspiration to me. I am gg to watch my diet and exercise more regularly. My weight is 53kg and I’m 167cm. Plan to lose another 4-5kg to be more healthy. I didn’t know that soy products are actually bad for pcos. I’m lactose intolerant so I rely on that for calcium. Anyways, thank you for having this website so as to motivate N support us women with pcos:) cheers! Update regularly:)

    1. Hi Regina,

      Thanks so much for your comment and I am so sorry to hear that you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS. I totally understand how devastating it can be, especially when you’re trying to conceive. Diet and exercise will definitely help and make sure that you’re taking your supplements (Omega 3, Inositol and Folic Acid and Vitamin D). I wouldn’t lose too much weight. You’re a good weight for your height and you need to make sure that you’re eating all of the right nutrients to make sure that you’re giving your body the best shot of pregnancy.

      Good luck!


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