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Diagnosed with PCOS. How common is it? How can I treat it naturally?

By January 20, 2015 - 4:18pm
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Hi HealthyA

Thanks for your post and I'm sorry to know of your diagnosis. PCOS can be difficult to live with but most can live a great life despite the challenges. Some research has shown that up to one in four women may have polycystic ovaries. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic endocrine disorder in women. Characteristics of PCOS are:

  • High levels of male hormones (androgens)
  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hair growth on face and body
  • Anovulation—when the ovaries make few or no eggs

Ovaries make follicles that hold eggs. With PCOS, the ovaries make the follicles, but the eggs do not mature or leave the ovary. The immature follicles can turn into fluid-filled sacs called cysts . Most women with PCOS have cysts. But women with ovarian cysts do not necessarily have PCOS.

The cause is unknown. Genes may play a role. The problem might be related to insulin resistance with high levels of insulin. These high insulin levels cause too much androgen from the ovaries. This prevents ovulation and leads to enlarged, polycystic ovaries.

Treatment differs according to whether you want to conceive or not. Treatment targets the underlying insulin resistance that accompanies PCOS diagnosis. Here are both natural and pharmaceutical ways to cope:

Treatment includes:

  • Managing symptoms
  • Weight loss if overweight, nutrition consultation
  • Exercise
  • Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and prediabetes management
  • Oral contraceptive
  • Inducing ovulation (if you wish to get pregnant)
  • Preventing complications
  • Anti-androgenic medications for blocking future hirsutism(unwanted hair growth)

Lifestyle Measures

To lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease:

  • Get regular screenings for diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and fat levels.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Hormonal Therapy

Birth control pills regulate periods. Also, by causing the uterine lining to shed regularly, they reduce the risk of overgrowth or cancer. They also control abnormal hair growth and acne. Other hormones (called progestins) may also be used to regulate menstruation. They can be used monthly or intermittently. Fertility drugs may be given instead to stimulate ovulation in women who want to become pregnant.

Has this helped you, HealthyA?




January 21, 2015 - 5:30am
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