PCOS: A woman’s nightmare
PCOS stands for PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome. It sounds scary enough to flip the page already. But it is rather a very common syndrome. About 7 out of 10 women have this condition, diagnosed and undiagnosed. To break it down, this is a hormonal problem which affects almost 27% of women when their bodies become capable of childbearing. Women with PCOS have one to many cysts in their ovaries, face irregular periods with consequences like infertility, excessive hair growth, weight gain and even depression. Even 20 years ago, the prevalence of PCOS was not as severe as it is now and there are some factors working behind it. Although doctors still don’t know the ultimate cause of PCOS, they are holding excessive intake of processed food and beverages responsible because it causes obesity, leading to insulin resistance that triggers PCOS. Other factors include genes and higher levels of inflammation in the body.
The common symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms of PCOS may vary from person to person but the common symptoms include irregular periods, heavy bleeding, excessive growth of hair in face, chest and back, acne, skin darkening and frequent headaches. Out of these symptoms, the primary and most evident symptom would be irregular periods and heavy bleeding. These symptoms are caused by the lack of ovulation because of the cysts in the ovaries and an excess of male hormones in the body.
How PCOS affects your body
PCOS has been linked with infertility, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnoea, endometrial cancer and depression. The most common risk among these is infertility. Pregnancy essentially requires ovulation. In the case of PCOS, ovulation is not regular and hence it becomes difficult to conceive. When it comes to metabolic syndrome, 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Both obesity and PCOS increases the risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. These factors combined are called the metabolic syndrome and they increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke. The imbalance in hormones and physical complications cause anxiety, mood swings and eventually depression.
Ways of dealing with PCOS
Unfortunately, PCOS cannot be treated medicinally. If the weight issues and lifestyle is moderated carefully in a routinely manner, its effects can be tackled. Doctors suggest that a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet that does not include CRAP (Carbonated drinks, Refined sugar, Artificial colours and Processed products) food is imperative. These foods contain empty calories and eventually contribute to the degradation of your health. Regular exercise, moderated sleep cycle and healthy eating alone can improve your condition. These are generalized suggestions, consulting a doctor for a proper diagnosis and ensuring the right use of medications is a must once you observe the symptoms.