Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects hormones. It causes irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and infertility.
Treatment for PCOS depends on if you wish to become pregnant. People with PCOS may be at higher risk for certain health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
PCOS is a problem with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (ages 15 to 44). Between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of women in this age group have PCOS
What is the main cause of polycystic ovarian syndrome?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. There is evidence that genetics play a role. Several other factors also play a role in causing PCOS:
- Higher levels of male hormones called androgens: High androgen levels prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation), which causes irregular menstrual cycles. Irregular ovulation can also cause small, fluid-filled sacs to develop in the ovaries. High androgen also causes acne and excess hair growth in women.
- Insulin resistance: Increased insulin levels cause the ovaries to make and release male hormones (androgens). The increased male hormone, in turn, suppresses ovulation and contributes to other symptoms of PCOS. Insulin controls the way your body processes glucose (sugar) and uses it for energy. Insulin resistance means your body doesn’t process insulin correctly, leading to high glucose levels in your blood. Not all individuals with insulin resistance have elevated glucose or diabetes, but insulin resistance can lead to diabetes. Being overweight or having obesity can also contribute to insulin resistance. An elevated insulin level, even if your blood glucose is normal, can indicate insulin resistance.
- Low–grade inflammation: People with PCOS tend to have chronic low-grade inflammation. Your healthcare provider can perform blood tests that measure levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cells, which can indicate the level of inflammation in your body.
What are the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome?
The most common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular periods: Abnormal menstruation involves missing periods or not having a period at all. It may also involve heavy bleeding during periods.
- Abnormal hair growth: Excess facial hair and heavy hair growth on the arms, chest, and abdomen (hirsutism). This affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.
- Acne: PCOS can cause acne, especially on the back, chest, and face. This acne may continue past the teenage years and may be difficult to treat.
- Obesity: About 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity, and have trouble losing weight.
- Darkening of the skin: Patches of dark skin, especially in the folds of your neck, armpits, groin (between the legs) and under the breasts. This is known as acanthosis nigricans.
- Cysts: Many women with PCOS have small pockets of fluid in their ovaries.
- Skin tags: Skin tags are little flaps of extra skin. They’re often found in the armpits or on the neck in women with PCOS.
- Thinning hair: People with PCOS may lose patches of hair on their heads or start to go bald.
- Infertility: PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. Decreased frequency or lack of ovulation can result in not being able to conceive.
Can I have PCOS but not have any symptoms?
Yes, it’s possible to have PCOS and not have any symptoms. Many people don’t even realize they have the condition until they have trouble getting pregnant or are gaining weight for unknown reasons. It’s also possible to have mild PCOS, where the symptoms are not severe enough for you to notice.
Does PCOS put me at risk for other health conditions?
PCOS has been shown to put you at a higher risk for several health conditions, including:
- High blood pressure.
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Endometrial hyperplasia. (Growth on the uterus)
- Endometrial cancer. (Uterine cancer)
- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
- Depression and anxiety.
Researchers say the causes of PCOS are complicated, (They don’t know the cause or how to cure it) but insulin resistance and hormone regulation are key factors.
You may be able to manage these factors and ease your symptoms through lifestyle changes and dietary supplements, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.
You should always talk with your doctor before you try any alternative treatment. They can discuss possible dosages, side effects, and interactions.
After you have spoken to your doctor and you are cleared to try an alternate remedy to reduce the effects of PCOS, Shabbazz Organics offers a solution.