PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is becoming more and more common these days. I too had it in grade 10 and 12 and I was told a lot of it is due to an unhealthy lifestyle (no exercise, eating a lot of junk). With today’s eating habits that we have which consists of junk predominantly, PCOS is spreading more as girls hit puberty.
So what is PCOS ?
It is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female hormones, has central adiposity with increase insulin and androgens which may lead to menstrual cycle changes ,either missed or irregular, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, acne, excessive hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, and stomach , hair loss from scalp, weight gain ,depression, and skin changes, such as skin tags or dark, velvety skin patches under the arm, on the neck, or in the groin etc. It has numerous implications for general health and well-being. It can affect all females –from adolescence to post menopause. Scary, isn’t it ?
So women with PCOS typically have the following :
- High Estrogen, Androgens and LH( Luteinizing ) hormones
- High Insulin due to Insulin Resistance
- Low FSH or Follicle stimulating hormone leading to cysts in ovaries.
I would also say that having PCOS can usually lead to the following, especially if obesity is a factor as well :
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal uterine bleeding, miscarriage
- Gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension.
- Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low HDL.
- Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a cardiovascular disease marker.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or Fatty liver, a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
- Acne, excessive hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, and stomach , hair loss from scalp,
- Sleep apnoea
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Endometrial cancer
- Infertility: There are two main reasons for this: Ovulation does not occur, or Ovulation is difficult to predict since fluctuating hormones interfere with the ovulation process.
- Acanthosis nigricans — dark, velvety patches on skin, particularly on the back of the neck and underarms.
So what should you do if you have PCOS? Below is the list of investigations you have to go through :
• Family History: of Diabetes, PCOS
Medical history: Insulin Resistance, Diabetes
• Physical examination: Body mass index (BMI), and waist size. Check for areas of increased hair growth ,Skin acne and pigmentation , Measuring blood pressure.
• Blood tests –
|Glucose, fasting||70.00-100.00 mg/dl|
|Insulin, Fasting ( Optional)||2.00-25.00 uU/mL|
|Total Testosterone||<150 ng/dl (if >200 ng/dl, consider ovarian or adrenal tumor)|
|GTT with 75 gms of Glucose ( If required)||5 Prick method|
|HbA1C||Normal -5.6 %,
Pre-Diabetes: 5.7% -6.4%
Diabetes : 6.5% or higher
• Vaginal Ultrasound (Sonogram) – Doctor may perform a test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the pelvic area. It might be used to examine ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the womb). This lining may become thicker if periods are not regular.
Now I know it all sounds dreadful, but do not worry ! I got over it by doing something as simple (ok, not that simple) by losing weight ! Of course you and I have different body types and one solution doesn’t fit all, which is why getting professional consultation should be your first step.
Another program I have got to know about is about VLCC. VLCC as part of the wellness solutions introduces Medically supervised “ Get Well Soon “ programs and packages . These weight loss and Body shaping packages are specially designed for clients suffering from common ailments like Hypothyroidism, PCOS, Diabetes and Hypertension which are directly linked with Obesity. These will help clients to not only improve their condition but may also reverse it in some cases along with desired weight loss and body shaping, thus improving both health and longevity.
Based on Medical, Fitness and health assessments including BCA, Anthropometry and DNA screening they include the following planned, monitored and customized solutions :
- Ongoing Medical supervision by our in house doctor through the program
- Personalized therapeutic diet plan for specific ailment.
- Customized Exercise routine with special precautions and contraindications
- Supporting therapies and appliance in unique combination to help take care of signs and symptoms of the disease and achieve weight loss and Body shaping goals.
- Lifestyle education that focuses on practical training and achieving optimal emotional health.
Get yourself treated before its too late, after all as women our hormones are really complicated and it’s essential to maintain the required balance 🙂
I too am suffering from pcos. And I am obese as well. Will the excessive hair growth be cured if I exercise?