Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, all the in’s and out’s
4 Dec 2016
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS) is prevalent in the modern day woman, it presents with a variety of symptoms which are inconsistent. PCOS is often misdiagnosed with the secondary symptoms being investigated instead of the real issue more often than not. The secondary symptoms include fertility problems, irregular periods, acne and excessive hair growth.
So what is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome has several common symptoms:
Irregular periods, Fertility problems, Acne, Excessive facial and body hair, Weight gain, Hair loss and Mood swings
With PCOS a woman’s ovaries are larger than they should be, the ovary follicles stop growing too early and instead of releasing an egg they develop into cysts.
What causes PCOS?
PCOS is an extremely common condition affecting 20% of women with no known cause. The consensus, however, is that polycystic ovarian syndrome is as a result of both genetic and environmental factors.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
Diagnosis includes ultrasound scans; blood tests your hormone levels and glucose level tests. Results often include: raised testosterone levels, raised LH (luteinising hormone levels), reduced sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and increased glucose levels due to hormonal disruptions.
PCOS has no known cure. Therefore only a combination of lifestyle changes and medications can alleviate the symptoms.
Most noteworthy is that treatment needs to include weight management, balancing insulin levels, balancing hormones and diet. Weight loss improves fertility, reduces insulin resistance, this reduces cardiovascular risk including high blood pressure and cholesterol.
It is important to seek medical assistance in order to manage your PCOS and get the best solutions possible, do not self-diagnose. It is advised to seek assistance from a functional medicine doctor who can run the necessary test, advise on diet and lifestyle changes. But most of all a doctor who can constantly monitor your progress.