Dr. Avnee Sarin
Polycystic ovarian disease or polycystic ovarian syndrome is an endocrine disorder occurring among females nowadays. 1 out of 5 women or young girls of reproductive age between 15 to 44 is suffering from this condition. The condition has even become a leading cause for infertility. There occurs cyst formation in the ovaries, higher male hormonal level than normal leading to an imbalance of the reproductive hormones ie estrogen and progesterone, hence causing skipping or irregular periods, absent ovulation.
Various causes for PCOD / PCOS may be excessive production of insulin hormone which controls the blood sugar levels in the human body. When human cells become resistant to the action of insulin, the blood sugar level increases. As a result, the body produces an excess of insulin to control this increased blood sugar level. An excessive insulin production, in turn, increases the production of androgens which are the male hormones, otherwise very less in females. Increased androgen production causes difficulty with ovulation.
– Moreover, obesity is considered as the major cause of insulin resistance leading to increase of type 2 diabetes.
– women with PCOS have increased levels of inflammation in their body. Being overweight can also contribute to inflammation which further leads to higher androgen levels.
Females with PCOD shows sign of irregular periods with heavy bleeding patterns, fatigue, acne, thinning of hairs, abnormal hair growth on face, back, belly, increased body weight which further causes excessive pressure on the bladder and leading to stress incontinence, nocturia, weak bladder muscles etc, darkening of the skin, headaches and sleep apnea, depression, anxiety.
The PCOS can even cause endometrial cancer as the uterine line is not shedding every month leading to the increased risk.
Females showing up with any of the signs and symptoms should get themselves diagnosed with the condition.
PCOS as such has no treatment, however symptomatically it can be controlled and maintained. Keeping the body weight controlled and losing just 5 to 10% of body weight helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin and reduces heart and diabetes risk. Consuming low carbohydrate diet, or low glycemic index diet in which most carbohydrates are consumed from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help in maintaining weight, and menstrual cycle.
Apart from that exercising moderately 3-4 times weekly for 30 to 40 minutes will further help maintaining a healthy body. Doing regular pelvic floor muscles Kegel’s exercises strengthen the bladder muscles and even prevent secondary complications like UTI occurring due to incontinence.
So keep a regular check and take good care of your health by being aware early.
Dr. Avnee Sarin