Polycystic ovary syndrome
The fact that diseases like pcos have become common is no longer news, females as young as 19yrs suffer from this, yet we know very little about it. After talking to a gynaecologist on the series of life threatening diseases affecting younger women she mentioned pcos and encouraged me to write on it in order to create awareness . Often times we are reluctant to go for general medical check up unless it becomes unavoidable (most times at this stage its not good news we usually get from our results). The exact causes of PCOS IS NOT KNOWN but it has a link to hormones and healthy eating ease up hormonal imbalance. Please read and share with all.
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What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. The name of the condition comes from the appearance of the ovaries in most, but not all, women with the disorder — enlarged and containing numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary, PCOS is also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. This syndrome is becoming increasingly common among women of reproductive age. The first sign many women will notice before a diagnosis is made is a longer than normal menstrual cycle that may or may not include ovulation. This happens because instead of normal follicular development in which an egg is released, cysts develop because the egg growth is stunted. When evaluated by ultrasound, ovaries in women with PCOS appear to have a thick, waxy coating and many rows of cysts. These cysts secrete androgens which are male hormones such as testosterone. The increased levels of androgens prevent ovulation and are responsible for the side effects that some, but not all, women experience such as an increase in facial hair, weight gain, acne and an increase in body hair. It can affect a woman's:
Ability to have children
With PCOS, women typically have:
High levels of androgens . These are sometimes called male hormones, though females also make them.
Missed or irregular periods (monthly bleeding)
Many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in their ovaries
EFFECT OF PCOS IN PREGNANT WOMEN
Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia)
What causes PCOS
The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.
A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.
Researchers also think insulin may be linked to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store. Many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have problems using it. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen. High androgen levels can lead to acne,excessive hair growth, weight gain, problems with ovulation
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
Hirsutism — increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
Cysts on the ovaries
Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black
Skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
Eat organic foods and avoid processed foods. People who have PCOS already have a hormonal and/or chemical imbalance, and processed foods contain chemicals, additives and artificial colourings, which make conditions worse.
Moringa leaves and seed help in repair of the ovary.
Replace dairy milk with organic soy milk.
Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, soda, fruit juice and refined carbohydrates, which impact insulin resistance. Eat only complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat or grains, oatmeal, and brown rice.
Avoid cold food and ice cold drinks. Cold food and drinks take longer to go through the digestive system and slow the body’s metabolism. People who have PCOS usually also have a low metabolism. Having warm drinks and foods are better for PCOS sufferers
Avoid physical and mental exhaustion; get plenty of rest and maintain regular sleep patterns. Longer hours of regular sleep can play a major role in maintaining good homeostasis and general well being
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables–like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dark green vegetables, which contain high amounts of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). EFA regulates hormonal balance, which is very important when trying to conceive.
Avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol can lead to a disturbance of hormonal balance.
Stop smoking. Smoking may affect the fertility in tubal pregnancies, cervical cancer, pelvic infection and early menopause.
How do I know if I have PCOS?
There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. Your doctor will take the following steps to find out if you have PCOS or if something else is causing your symptoms.
Medical history. Your doctor will ask about your menstrual periods, weight changes, and other symptoms.
Physical exam. Your doctor will want to measure your blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and waist size. He or she also will check the areas of increased hair growth. You should try to allow the natural hair to grow for a few days before the visit.
Pelvic exam. Your doctor might want to check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen by the increased number of small cysts.
Blood tests. Your doctor may check the androgen hormone and glucose (sugar) levels in your blood.
Vaginal ultrasound (sonogram). Your doctor may perform a test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the pelvic area. It might be used to examine your ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the womb). This lining may become thicker if your periods are not regular.
Surgery. "Ovarian drilling" is a surgery that may increase the chance of ovulation. It’s sometimes used when a woman does not respond to fertility medicines. The doctor makes a very small cut above or below the navel (belly button) and inserts a small tool that acts like a telescope into the abdomen (stomach). This is called laparoscopy . The doctor then punctures the ovary with a small needle carrying an electric current to destroy a small portion of the ovary. This procedure carries a risk of developing scar tissue on the ovary. This surgery can lower male hormone levels and help with ovulation. But, these effects may only last a few months. This treatment doesn't help with loss of scalp hair or increased hair growth on other parts of the body.
Medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones. Medicines called anti-androgens may reduce hair growth and clear acne. Spironolactone (Aldactone), first used to treat high blood pressure, has been shown to reduce the impact of male hormones on hair growth in women. Finasteride