Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common condition that affects 5-10% of women. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition in which there are many undeveloped follicles in the ovaries, which can reduce a woman’s ability to get pregnant.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome affects hormone cycles. Hormones help regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries. It is not completely understood why or how hormone cycles are interrupted, although there are several ideas.
Like Diabetes, PCOS is caused by a hormonal imbalance, usually with the levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. The imbalance often leads to infertility, obesity, and the inability to properly use insulin that the body produces.
Follicles are sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs. In polycystic ovary disease, there are many poorly developed follicles in the ovaries. The eggs in these follicles do not mature and, therefore, cannot be released from the ovaries. This can contribute to infertility.
The condition is similar to Type 2 diabetes, in that it is characterized by obesity, unexplained weight gain, and insulin use problems. Diabetes medications, such as Metformin are often used to treat the condition. Many doctors consider PCOS to be a form of Pre-Diabetes, though not all women with PCOS will develop diabetes.
Symptoms and Signs of Polycystic Ovarian syndrome
Researchers are still uncovering the causes and complete symptoms of PCOS. In many cases, women will have undeveloped follicles in their ovaries, while others will cease having their menses. However, not all women with PCOS will develop cysts, just as not all women with PCOS will cease having their menses. One common trait is that most women with PCOS have problems with their insulin resistance and sugar absorption. The latter characteristics make PCOS a strikingly similar condition to Type 2 diabetes.
Here are more symptoms of PCOS:
- Missed periods
- Facial, back and chest hair
- Unexplained weight gain
- Increased levels of testosterone in the body
- Painful periods
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Elevated insulin levels, insulin resistance, Diabetes,
- Thinning scalp hair (alopecia (al-uh-pee-shee-uh)) Exercise Feeds on Burns Blood Sugar
Treatments for insulin and weight problems associated with PCOS are similar to treatments for Type 2 diabetes. Often, if a person with PCOS loses 5-10% of her body weight, she will reduce the risk of developing full-blown diabetes or may reduce common complications associated diabetes if she already has the disease.
Medications, such as Metformin, are often used to help PCOS patients become more sensitive to the insulin in their bodies. Metformin also stops the liver from making sugar. When the blood sugar level decreases, PCOS patients often are able to lose significant amounts of weight and curb their appetites. The weight loss will help to decrease related conditions of PCOS and Type 2 diabetes, including high blood pressure, dizziness, and heart disease.
Additional treatments may be required for other conditions associated with PCOS, such as infertility, acne, hair growth, and painful cysts. Consult your physician for more information about PCOS and its symptoms.