Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common condition affecting around 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. I was personally diagnosed with this condition in 2008, and I have spent the majority of my time working on finding natural ways to combat it without using synthetic medications. Women affected by PCOS have absent irregular periods, and it is one of the most common causes of infertility. If you’re currently struggling with this condition, it’s likely caused by some type of hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately, the cause of PCOS is uncertain (can’t exactly blame mom just yet).
The reason it’s called “Polycystic Ovarian (or Ovary) Syndrome” is because the ovaries develop cysts or fluid sacs that never reach maturity, thus ovulation never takes place (also why infertility affects women with PCOS). A healthy woman’s ovaries generally produce several eggs each month. These form as follicles – tiny fluid filled sacs or cysts. Of these eggs usually just one reaches full maturity. The cyst breaks open and the egg travels down the fallopian tube ready for fertilization. This is the process of ovulation and the hormone Progesterone is produced during this process. This is the major difference between the ovaries of a woman with PCOS and one whose reproductive system is functioning properly.
Women with PCOS also tend to produce higher than normal levels of male hormones called androgen, which is connected with increased levels of insulin in the blood. With PCOS, insulin is not effectively absorbed in converting blood glucose – resulting in higher levels of glucose and insulin in the blood. What does this mean for you? Besides affecting ovulation, these hormone imbalances have other effects on a woman’s body.
Women with PCOS may experience:
- Irregular menstruation or missed periods
- Inability to conceive as a direct result of failure to ovulate
- Excessive growth of facial hair and hair on torso
- Cysts on ovaries and enlarged ovaries
- Weight Gain and inability to lose weight
- Type 2 (Non insulin dependent) diabetes where the body produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively in regulation of blood glucose levels
- Pain and tenderness in the pelvic region
- Excessive acne, dandruff and conditions related to oily skin
- High levels of bad cholesterol often accompanied by low levels of good cholesterol
- Thinning hair similar to male pattern baldness
There is no single, definitive test for PCOS. However, a diagnosis will be based on physical examination and observation of some or all of the symptoms listed above. Ultrasound scans may also be performed to examine the structure of the ovaries and confirm the diagnosis. I would be sure your doctor (specifically an endocrinologist) does some blood work and tests your hormonal levels, including your insulin and testosterone levels. Also be sure to get tested for hypothyroidism (some women mistakenly believe they have PCOS when it’s hypothyroidism) – just ask to have your T3, T4, and TSH levels checked.
There is no cure for PCOS. However, your doctor will attempt to prescribe you birth control pills, insulin-regulating medications, anti-androgens, and fertility medication (if you’re trying to conceive). I didn’t take ANY synthetic prescription pills, and lost over 30 pounds, regulated my menstrual cycle, and essentially balanced my hormones and reversed most of my symptoms.
If you’re looking for a natural solution to overcome PCOS, check out the natural supplements I take to reverse my PCOS symptoms at pcos.com.
Insulite Health, a Boulder, Colorado USA based company, is committed to reversing Insulin Resistance – a potentially dangerous imbalance of blood glucose and insulin. Scientific research has revealed that this disorder can be a primary cause of many devastating health symptoms. Insulin Resistance can also underlie the increased risk factors for PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) – a major source of serious diseases as well as cause of excess weight gain, obesity and heartbreaking female infertility.
©Insulite Health, Inc., pcos.com empowers women with PCOS to transform their lives through a process of healing with their PCOS 5-Element System – the worlds only complete solution for helping women heal from the symptoms of PCOS and hormone imbalance.
Still wondering if the symptoms you are suffering with could be PCOS? Click the link below to take the PCOS Quiz and get your PCOS score!
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