Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries produce abnormal amounts of a male sex hormone known as androgens. These hormones are usually present in women in small amounts, however, PCOS women living with PCOS often have high levels of this hormone which can cause many different symptoms, as well as disrupt the natural flow of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Medication is often used to treat PCOS, which is not a cure but can help with controlling symptoms and preventing other health issues. If you believe you are suffering from PCOS, your next steps should be contacting us to learn more about how we can help you.
While the exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, some experts believe that genetics, as well as other contributing factors may play a part. Other contributing factors that can increase your risk of having PCOS include obesity, insulin resistance, and if you have a mother or sister who has it. Additionally, high levels of androgens may also play a role in the development of PCOS as women who live with PCOS have higher than normal levels of androgens. The female body produces small amounts of androgens even though these hormones are often referred to as “male hormones” due to the fact that males produce much more of these sex hormones than females. High levels of androgens in females can prevent ovulation during the menstrual cycle, as well as cause acne and extra hair growth.
Another commonly shared factor among women with PCOS is insulin resistance. This is especially true in women who are overweight or are obese, suffer from unhealthy eating habits, are not physically active enough, and have a family history of diabetes. Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone in your body that is essential for the conversion of food into energy, as well as controlling your body’s blood sugar levels. When your body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin, your blood sugar levels can become dangerously, even fatally, elevated.
A common sign of PCOS is an inconsistent or irregular period, very light periods, missed periods, and periods that last longer than normal. You may experience difficulty with becoming pregnant. Ovaries tend to become enlarged and develop cysts. Weight gain may also occur, especially around the abdomen.
External signs of PCOS include excess body hair on the chest, stomach, and back. You may also experience thin hair or male-pattern baldness. Skin can become oily and suffer from acne breakouts, as well as develop small pieces of excess skin on the armpits or neck known as skin tags. The neck and armpits, as well as under the breasts, may also develop dark or thick patches of skin.
For women who are planning t o become pregnant, treatment options may include medication for assistance with ovulation or a change in diet and activity. With physical activity and a healthy diet, symptoms can be reduced and weight can begin to come off. Activity and diet changes may also contribute to your body using insulin more efficiently, as well as lower blood glucose levels and even help with ovulation. Medications can also be prescribed for help with ovulation, however, these may come with certain risks that you should be aware of before beginning.
For those not planning to become pregnant, birth control pills can often help to normalize and control menstrual cycles, as well as lower androgen levels. Medication may also be prescribed to treat hair loss and thinning, as well as reduce androgen levels and lower insulin resistance. A change in diet and activity levels can also be beneficial in the loss of weight and reducing symptoms.
Taking Your Next Step
At True You Health & Wellness, we provide personalized care that keeps you a top priority. We want you to live the life you are meant to live – vibrant, energetic, and healthy! Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies begin to go through internal and external changes that we cannot always control. This is why we want to help you to take back control! Your life should be lived on your terms, and with our help and guidance you can begin living more healthy and in control today! Contact us today! We would love to hear from you.