PCOS, also known as polycystic ovarian PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS/PCOD) is a hormone condition that affects women in their reproductive years. PCOS is a well-known health problem that affects teenagers and young women. It occurs in one out of 10 women at the age of childbearing. The reproductive system of women is controlled by the complex interplay of primarily five reproductive hormones namely estrogen, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, progesterone and luteinizing hormone. A deficiency in these hormones causes an imbalance in hormones known as polycystic or ovary syndrome (PCOS) or polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) in women in their reproductive years.
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A polycystic ovarian syndrome is caused by the degeneration of hormones that control reproduction in women who are pregnant. Alongside a mess in the female hormones, the ovaries release excessive amounts of androgen (male hormones). This hormonal imbalance results in menstrual cycles that are irregular or long as well as excessive body hair, the loss of hair, and acne. Polycystic ovaries can fail to grow follicles and release eggs, leading to difficulty in conceiving.
What are the causes of PCOS or PCOD?
There aren’t any specific causes of PCOS However, the major factors that contribute to the condition are:
Excess androgen: The overproduction of androgen in the ovaries can cause hirsutism as well as acne.
In excess production of insulin, Insulin hormone regulates blood sugar levels of our body. If human cells are intolerant to the actions of insulin, blood sugar levels rise. In the process, your body creates an oversupply of insulin in order to regulate this elevated blood sugar level. The excess insulin production is a result of an increase in the amount of testosterone that are male hormones that are and are generally less so in females. The increased production of androgens causes problems when it comes to ovulation.
Genetics: Certain genetic connections might exist in conjunction with PCOS for women.
The presence of low-grade inflammation Women suffering from PCOS suffer from a mild inflammation that can trigger polycystic androgens to create androgens.
What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS or PCOD?
Certain women begin experiencing symptoms at the time of the first period. The symptoms and signs of PCOS can vary, however, symptoms are usually more severe for obese women. A few of the most commonly identified symptoms and signs of PCOS are:
- Darkening of skin
- Hair loss caused by Hirsutism (abnormal development of hair growth on the face and body)
- Menstrual irregularities that are not regulated
- Ovaries with polycystic polycystic, and sometimes both ovaries are involved i.e bilateral polycystic ovaries cysts of the ovary.
- Skin tags
- Hair loss
- Gain in weight
What are the possible complications of PCOS or PCOD?
A few of the potential issues that can arise from PCOS include:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Disorders of the mind like depression and eating disorders
- Endometrial cancer
- Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-related diabetes or hypertension
- Metabolic syndrome
- Premature birth or miscarriage
- Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis
- Sleep Apnoea
What lifestyle changes could benefit women with PCOS?
Certain lifestyle changes that may assist in reducing the adverse effects of PCOS can include:
Maintaining an ideal weight loss: Weight loss may lower levels of insulin and androgen as well as bring back the ovulation cycle.
Controlling diet and restricting intake of sugars and carbohydrates High-carbohydrate or low-fat diets could raise insulin levels.
Regular exercise helps reduce blood sugar levels and manage the weight of your body.