Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This can lead to the growth of ovarian cysts. The condition can give rise to many health conditions such as issues related to a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, skin, hair as well as weight. In simpler words, PCOS is a condition when your hormones go out of balance and it results into irregular or no menstrual cycle or difficulty in getting pregnant, heart diseases or even diabetes, on a smaller scale, you might face excessive skin hair growth, acne, hair fall as well as massive weight gain. We might be aware of our health issues but hardly any of us would ever realize that the underlying cause is actually PCOS.
Out of every 10 women, 1 has PCOS. That’s alarming. Also it is a chronic disease and can last lifelong, if not treated. This disease can affect even a 6 years old girl and an 80 years old woman. It is mostly found in women aged between 14 to 60.
Causes Of PCOS
Unfortunately, the real reasons behind PCOS are not clear, but it, certainly, runs in families. You may have PCOS if your family members, even any body from your mother’s or father’s family has it. It is in genetics and can be passed on to you too.
Even if you did not get PCOS genetically, but a long term hormone imbalance can cause it. All of the sudden if you start having irregular periods or no periods at all, acne erupts, excessive growth in facial hair, it might be due to hormone imbalance which might result in PCOS.
Woman body produces male hormones androgen in small amounts, but due to internal or external triggers, the body starts over producing the male hormone which might results in acne, excess growth in facial hair, insulin resistance & more sever problems like cardiac issues.
Symptoms Of PCOS
By now you must have understood, it’s all about hormone imbalance. Initially all the problems are mild and slowly they get intense. While talking about the symptoms of PCOS, check if you have some of them?
- Excess growth in facial hair
- Excessive weight gain or trouble loosing weight
- Hair fall resulting in hair thinning in the crown area or male pattern hair loss in women
- Irregular or no periods.
- Not able to get pregnant.
I have some of the symptoms, can I have PCOS?
You may or you may not. If the problems are mild this might be just hormonal imbalance, which require less efforts to get corrected. But it is always wiser to get a real diagnosis.
Sure shot way is to get tested at a lab. there are certain tests that your doctor might suggest you.
Initially your doctor will ask you about physical symptoms like menstrual cycle irregularities, weight gain, hair and skin issues etc.
Going further, the doctor might want to check your hormone levels, blood sugar levels, your thyroid functions , cholesterol levels in your blood as well as Vaginal Ultrasound to give a visual of you reproductive system. These tests might be very useful to determine the kind of treatment you need to get to throw PCOS out of your system.
In case of severe PCOS condition, your doctor might want to check if there is a growth of ovarian cysts. For that, you doctor will make a small incision in your abdominal to insert a tiny camera. He might even want to take a sample of the cyst i growth is present. All this may sound scary, but worth the pain and discomfort.
PCOS can be treated via natural as well as by being on prescription from a doctor. It is always good thing to analyse your symptoms and assess the severity of your problem. If you think the symptoms are mild you can follow holistic approach for a better health. But if you think you are facing major health issues, you must take follow your doctor’s advise.
What you should do, if you are diagnosed of PCOS?
50% of the women who have PCOS, are obese and have higher resistance to insulin. Things are interrelated. You need to lower you insulin resistance & maintain a healthy weight which will eventually flush out the bad hormones (excess of androgen). There are certain foods that can help you achieve that.
- Stay away from refined carbohydrates such as starchy & sugary foods.
- Include more fiber in your diet.
- Include leafy green vegetables
- Snack on nuts such as almonds & walnut
- Include seasonal foods.
- Try including anti inflammatory foods/vitamins/minerals in your diet such as tomatoes, spinach, nuts, omega-3 fatty acids supplements.
- Limit your intake of white foods such as white potatoes (sweet potato is fine), white bread, white sugar, white bread etc.
Never go on crash diet to shed extra kilos, rather choose exercising daily. You can choose any kind of exercise routine ranging from jogging, power yoga, to Zumba or Bollyfit. There are plenty of options to help you to achieve a healthy weight without you getting bored. You can combine some of the exercise routines or all of them suiting your requirements. Also make sure to stick to the routine, after you have reached your healthy weight mark. Exercising daily ensures removing toxic substances from our body which also include unwanted hormones. You will notice with a leaner body you are clearing up your skin nicely.
Going On Prescription
Your doctor might put you on some medications to control your hormone imbalance. It might be as simple as birth control (if you are not trying to get pregnant) or something more specific like hormone therapy. He might put you on medication for your other health problems too if you have any. But the importance of following a nice healthy diet & exercising is definitely cannot be overlooked.
My sole intention to write this post is to make bring this health condition in notice of at least a bunch of women who are already suffering from this condition but are not even aware of the term. I am hoping to contribute to women’s health this way. If you are one of those who is wondering why you are not able to lose weight, facing irregular menstrual cycle or not able to conceive despite of trying from a long time, please get checked for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
This post is in association with Blog Marathon #WomenWellness that is running with 12 bloggers with 12 different topics related to Women Health & Wellness. Thank you, Hena of http://scienceandsamosa.com for introducing me. Follow Hena on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more updates.