Have you heard of PCOS? Chances are, you not only have, but also have female family members and/or friends who have been diagnosed with it. Because Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most widely-diagnosed and discussed lifestyle conditions of the modern world.
What is it? Simply put, PCOS causes a woman’s ovaries to produce more than normal amounts of androgens, which are a kind of hormone that is similar to testosterone. This causes increased hair growth, acne, and irregular periods. The kinds of symptoms and effects that PCOS brings really differs from one woman to the next. You can get PCOS because of genetic factors, or hormonal imbalances that can be brought about by a variety of factors. The most important thing to know about PCOS is that, no matter the intensity and the impact which are hard to generalise, every body system is affected by it, as also are weight and blood sugar levels.
I am interested in talking today about the insulin-related, and weight-related aspects of PCOS. Insulin resistance - which, as you know by now, is the condition in which blood sugar is not regulated properly – is very common in women with PCOS. This, of course, puts you at risk for Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and cardiac problems. This also could cause obesity.
Obesity in patients with PCOS creates a very vicious cycle because weight gain causes the condition to get worse. If you gain weight, your menstrual cycle goes awry, and if this continues for a prolonged period of time, you can either face complications in getting and staying pregnant, or be infertile.
Most women with PCOS are prescribed the same medicines given to diabetic patients. but this is not an ideal long-term treatment plan. Treating PCOS needs a holistic approach, which will also involve changing what you eat, exercising often, and lifestyle changes to stay more calm and focused.
If PCOS persists for long, and the patient is now obese, bariatric surgery is a good option to consider.
In 2009, the Androgen Excess and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Society of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine said, “A meta-analysis of the effects of bariatric surgery in more than 22,000 procedures found an average weight loss of more than 50% was associated with complete resolution or improvement of DM2, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea in more than 60% of patients.”
I would recommend women with PCOS and very rampant weight gain to consider the option by visiting a good doctor. (Our clinic is completely equipped to help with all information.) If a surgery can help you deal with weight gain, infertility and hirsutism, a conversation cannot be a bad place to start, can it?