Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS
PCOS is a disease that effects up to 10% of pre-menopausal woman. It is a female hormonal disorder and is the forming of multiple abnormal ovarian cysts on the ovaries. Most of the cysts are harmless as they are merely fluid-filled sacs containing immature eggs that have attached to the ovary instead of releasing the egg.
However, some cysts can continue to grow without dissolving or disintegrating on its own and start to haemorrhage which is extremely painful and dangerous.
PCOS can be identified and confirmed by means of an ultra sound or scan of the abdomen of a woman.
Symptoms which can indicate that you could be suffering from PCOS is the following:
- irregular/heavy or absent periods,
- ovarian cysts,
- excessive weight gain, obesity,
- growths from the skin,
- brown skin patches,
- high cholesterol levels,
- exhaustion or lack of mental alertness,
- decreased sex drive,
- excessive facial or body hair,
- male pattern hair loss and excess male hormones.
PCOS is a disease caused by hormonal defects or imbalances. Symptoms may vary from woman to woman, therefore it does not mean you have to suffer from all of the above to have the disease. Some woman only have some of the symptoms in a light form, where some experience more severe symptoms.
It has been established that the cause of PCOS is in insulin resistance. It has also since been published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2000, that up to 40% of woman with PCOS have either impaired glucose tolerance or Type 2 Diabetes by age 40.
This makes this disease rather serious and should be monitored thoroughly. Furthermore, high levels of insulin causes the ovaries to produce large amounts of testosterone which prevents the release of the eggs each month when ovulation should be taking place, thus forming the cysts on the ovaries, and thus resulting in infertility.
There is no known cure for PCOS at present. According to medical studies, the only solution at present is to correctly identify the disease and to treat the symptoms. There are various treatment options for the various degrees of the disease.
A healthy balanced diet and good exercise plan is a good start. It is important that you regularly visit your doctor for blood tests to monitor your insulin levels in your blood and seek alternative treatment options suitable to your condition.