Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of Fluid – called follicles – located in one or both ovaries as seen during an ultrasound examination.

Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, Acne & Obesity can all occur in women with PCOS. In adolescents, infrequent or absent menstruation may raise suspicion for PCOS.

Symptoms:

PCOS signs and symptoms often begin soon after a girl first begins having periods (menarche). In some cases, PCOS develops later during the reproductive years, for instance, in response to substantial weight gain. To be diagnosed with the condition doctor looks for at least two of the following:

  1. Irregular Periods: This is the most common characteristic. Examples include menstrual intervals longer than 35 days; fewer than eight menstrual cycles a year; failure to menstruate for four months or longer; and prolonged periods that may be scant or heavy.
  2. Excess androgen: Elevated levels of male hormones (androgens) may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (Hirsutism), adult Acne or severe adolescent Acne, and male-pattern baldness (androgenic Alopecia).
  3. Polycystic Ovaries: Polycystic ovaries become enlarged and contain numerous small fluid-filled sacs which surround the eggs.

Causes: The following factors may play a role:

Excess insulin: Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar (glucose) – the body’s primary energy supply. If someone has insulin resistance, then his ability to use insulin effectively is impaired, and the pancreas has to secrete more insulin to make glucose available to cells. Excess insulin might also affect the ovaries by increasing androgen production, which may interfere with the ovaries’ ability to ovulate.

Low-Grade Inflammation: The body’s white blood cells produce substances to fight infection in a response called inflammation. Research has shown that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation and that this type of low-grade inflammation stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.

Heredity: If the patient’s mother or sister has PCOS, the patient has a greater chance of having it, too.

Complications: Having polycystic ovary syndrome may make the following conditions more likely, especially if Obesity also is a factor:

  1. Type 2 diabetes
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol
  4. Metabolic syndrome – a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  5. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis – a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  6. Infertility
  7. Sleep apnea
  8. Depression and anxiety
  9. Abnormal uterine bleeding
  10. Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer), caused by exposure to continuous high levels of estrogen
  11. Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure

Medications:

Regulate menstrual cycle: Allopathic doctors try to regulate menstrual cycles by recommending combination birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestin. Sometimes progesterone therapy helps regulate the period and offers protection against Endometrial cancer. Some doctors prescribe metformin which improves insulin resistance.

Help patient ovulate: For those who are trying to become pregnant, doctor prescribe Clomid which help ovulate. If the patient fails to become pregnant then the physician prescribes metformin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) medications that are administered by injection.

Reduce excessive hair growth: Doctor use spironolactone which blocks the effects of androgens on the skin. But it can birth defects in the baby. That’s why effective contraception is required so that patients cannot get pregnant. Eflornithine type of medication which is a cream slows hair growth in women.

Homeopathic Treatment: Homeopathic treatment is highly individualized. Homeopathic medicine help to correct hormonal imbalance and cure PCOS. Depending on the overall symptoms and lifestyle situations any medicine can be prescribed. Important medicine used frequently are Apis Mellifica, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Lachesis, Graphitis. Before consulting a homeopath, the patients are requested to stop all others medications for PCOS.

Lifestyle Modification:

Healthy Weight: obesity makes insulin resistance worse. Weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation. Use smaller plates, and resist the urge for a second plate to help with weight loss.

Dietary changes: Consider a low-carbohydrate diet. Choose complex carbohydrates which are high in fiber. The more fiber in a food, the more slowly it’s digested and the more slowly blood sugar levels rise. High-fiber carbs include whole-grain bread, cereals, whole-wheat pasta, barley, brown rice, and beans. Avoid less healthy simple carbs like soda, excess fruit juice, cake, candy, ice cream, pies cookies, and any types of sweetmeats.

Exercise/physical activity: Regular exercise help lower blood sugar levels. Participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help keep weight under control.

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