PCOS is a common hormonal problem that affects one in every ten women of childbearing age. In the United States, PCOS affects millions of women of childbearing age every year. Hormonal imbalance and problems with metabolism are the most common problems found in women having PCOS. Some symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular Menstrual cycle - Problems with the menstrual cycle is the most common symptoms of PCOS. High levels of androgens especially testosterone and excessive insulin disrupt the monthly cycle of ovulation and menstruation. Women with PCOS often miss their periods or have fewer periods. Their periods can also come more often like in every 21 days.
- Excessive hair growth - Excess hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and upper thigh is normal in women with PCOS. It is again associated with the abnormal level of hormones, called androgens. Excessive hair growth is also known as hirsutism. Approximately 70% to 75% of women having PCOS have this symptom.
- Weight gain - Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS often find that their number on the weight scale has gone up and most often, they have no clue on why are they gaining weight. PCOS can be the reason behind it.
- Infertility - Fertility is negatively impacted in women with PCOS and this is due to an overproduction of hormone androgen. Women with this condition are unable to ovulate or release an egg.
- Acne - Sometimes it is more than acne. PCOS can lead to sudden breakouts. It can be one of the risks of acne and these sudden breakouts can be due to excess oil production and hormonal changes. Also, breakouts due to PCOS involve tender knots under the skin rather than the normal bumps.
Well, primarily there are two factors that are required for you to have PCOS and those factors are
1. Overproduction of androgens
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS occurs when the production of androgen is higher than normal. Androgens are present in both men and women but men have a much higher level of biologically active androgens. In women, these hormones are produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. High level of androgens in the women prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg during each menstrual cycle.
2. High levels of insulin
Insulin is a hormone made by the organ pancreas and it controls, how the food we eat converts into an energy. In women with PCOS, high insulin level causes the ovaries to produce more hormone androgens. Insulin resistance results in the high insulin blood levels and it is more common in women who are overweight or obese.
Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
There is no cure for PCOS.
Now, what’s next??
The good news is that despite the popular belief, you can still manage PCOS and accompanying symptoms.
- Weight loss improves the hormonal abnormalities in many patients suffering from PCOS. Increasing physical activity is one of the most effective and easiest ways of weight reduction.
You can start your weight reduction program with walking or jogging and gradually increase your speed and duration. You can also opt for yoga and other exercises that aid in weight loss. The regular physical activity also helps in reducing stress which greatly contributes to weight gain.
- Eating the right food at right time is very important for the treatment and management of any medical problem and PCOS is not an exception. Eating the right food and avoiding and avoiding unhealthy food items can help you manage the symptoms of PCOS. A nourishing diet can not only help you maintain a healthy weight but it also regulates the hormones.
To maintain a healthy diet, it is essential to increase the intake of proteins and balance the consumptions of carbohydrates. Proteins help you stimulate the production of insulin. Food items such as broccoli, almonds, beans, pumpkin, spinach, and tomatoes are beneficial for women suffering from PCOS.
On the other hand, food items such as white bread, sugar, high glycemic index carbohydrates, and gluten should be avoided by women having PCOS.
- Take all your prescribed medicines on time. Taking medication is the most important thing to control and manage PCOS. Changing the lifestyle is one way to improve the symptoms of PCOS but in order to treat the problem, it is highly essential to take all the prescribed doses.
PCOS is an endocrine disorder that is linked to other health problems as well, such as diabetes, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndromes and if it is left untreated, it can lead to the occurrence of other complications as well. Therefore, managing PCOS is highly important.