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Important truth about PCOS you should know

Updated on August 26, 2016
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Fact about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a diseased condition of women of reproductive age. That occurs due to the hormonal problem. In this unhealthy state, the ovary of a woman become enlarged due to having the collection of fluid filled bags that are also known as cysts. The exact cause of this condition is not known. It is also known as a silent killer.

Early diagnosis and appropriate measures are very much essential as PCOS is linked to developing of Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, Heart Disease & Stroke. Proper education & lifestyle modification after early diagnosis can lower all the risk factors and ensure a healthy life.

The menstrual period is related to hormonal activity within a woman. So when a woman starts experiencing her first period, there is more possibility of showing up of PCOS. So if you want to prevent it, you need to identify it. It is of growing concern as 50% of PCOS remain undiagnosed. 70% of PCOS affected women face the problem of infertility. So it’s important to identify PCOS early.

As hormonal imbalance remains as a principal contributing factor for developing PCOS, the inner and outer factors that affect female hormonal level plays a key role in developing PCOS. If you can address these factors with a holistic approach, you can treat & prevent polycystic ovary disease naturally.

Let us now enlighten these factors that affect your hormone and know how they can threaten your life.

PCOS symptoms:

Two or more of the following symptoms are indicative of having PCOS.

  • Irregular Menstrual Periods:

Women commonly experience this as a part of PCOS. It can be in the form of decreased frequency that means the larger interval between consecutive two menstrual periods, for example, more than 35 days or less than eight times per year or no period for last four or more months, etc. It can also be in the form of duration and/or amount of menstrual bleeding, for example, prolonged, a small or heavy passage of blood during a menstrual period.

  • Polycystic Ovary:

Enlarged ovaries filled with fluid filled sac. That can be found while investigating the cause of lower abdominal pain or sometimes incidental findings during evaluation of other problems.

  • Androgen Excess:

Hormonal imbalance may result in increased level of male hormones like androgen. This imbalance causes increased facial & body hair in women, baldness like that in male, adult acne, etc. Obesity can worsen polycystic ovary disease. Sometimes PCOS develops after a woman gains weight.

  • Other symptoms of PCOS are:
  1. Infertility
  2. Weight gain
  3. Fatigue
  4. Acne
  5. Mood changes
  6. Headache
  7. Sleep disturbance

Factors that lead to PCOS & Ovarian cysts:

Following listed factors are most likely to be related to the development of PCOS.

  1. Genetic Predisposition
  2. Poor Dietary Choices
  3. Weakened immune system
  4. Accumulation of toxins in the digestive tract (Including environmental toxins)
  5. Insulin resistance and obesity

Why PCOS develops?

Insulin excess:

Insulin is a hormone produced by the body to work on glucose and influence it's utilization by the body. But when a person gains weight in the form of deposition of fat, deposited fat causes insulin resistance.

So when a woman gains weight, she develops insulin resistance which results in increased blood sugar level as glucose isn't metabolized in the body properly. In response to raised blood sugar, more insulin is secreted. This extra insulin then stimulates the ovary to cause increased production of the male hormone androgen by the ovary. This male hormone then hamper the ovulation process of the ovary and developing of some male pattern bodily changes as I mentioned above.

Low-Grade Inflammation:

Women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation which stimulates polycystic ovaries to secrete androgen. Again, women with central obesity have fat deposited in the abdomen. This body fat draws immune cells and causes chronic low-grade inflammation which ultimately affects ovaries.

Women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation which stimulates polycystic ovaries to secrete androgen. Tweet This

PCOS might be acquired from mother to daughter. There is 50% chance that a girl will develop PCOS if her mother has it.

Unhealthy lifestyle:

Unhealthy foods, stressful life, contributes to the development of PCOS.


Hormones involved in PCOS:

First, you'll have to know the hormones involved in developing Polycystic ovary. Hormones are chemical substance works as messenger, secrets into the blood after being produced by a gland. Now, what are these hormones that cause PCOS:

  1. Androgens
  2. Insulin
  3. Progesterone

With a proper balance of the hormones, your body functions properly, but if an imbalance occurs, it can affect your body in different ways. Sometimes it can threaten your life also. So balance is always required.

Tests

PCOS can be diagnosed clinically, but pathological and radiological tests will confirm it.

  • Physical exam
  • Blood test - hormonal levels, lipid profile
  • Ultrasonogram - Transvaginal ultrasonogram

Treatment

Lifestyle changes:

  • Weight reduction - Even losing 5%-10% of excess weight can help a woman to ovulate regularly and lessening PCOS symptoms. As because a decrease in weight results in increased insulin sensitivity. The increased insulin sensitivity leads to decreased production of insulin. Decreased insulin will result in decreased androgen and ultimately reduced PCOS symptom.

  • Low but complex carbohydrate diet to reduce insulin, avoid processed carbs, exercise & increase activity.

Medication:

  • Hormonal supplement to regulate menstrual period and ovulate
  • Reduce the influence of male hormone.

Surgery:

Minot surgery may be required like Laparoscopic ovarian drilling.


Major Complications of PCOS

  • Type II diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Hyperlipidemia

  • Infertility

  • Depression & anxiety

  • Endometrial Cancer

  • Gestational diabetes

Finally eating healthy, remaining active, sound sleep and avoiding stress can keep PCOS away. Weight loss remains the cornerstone for treating and preventing Polycystic ovary disease. Changing dietary habits is another crucial part which most people ignore. Surgery or drug is not the only answer for polycystic ovary. Holistic approach towards PCOS is now gaining popularity as it not only treats & prevents polycystic ovarian syndrome but also helps to build a healthy life.

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