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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (P.C.O.D) a curable womens disease
|By : Dr. T.K. Alexander , Ernakulam, India 27.8.2010 14 Comments Phone: 09447042501 Fax: 0484-2367273 Mail Now|
|H.R.C. Specialty Clinic, Near Malabar Gold, M.G.Road, Kochi - 682011|
P.C.O.S; P.C.O.D, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms. PCOS occurs in 10 % of women and is one of the main cause of infertility.
The symptoms begin in adolescence, or a women may not know she has PCOS until late when infertility occurs. She may suffer from Irregular periods or even, not at all. The inability of the ovaries to produce egg (infertility). Excess facial and abdomen hair, thinning of scalp hair, Acne (increased androgen), Darkened patches around the neck and under the breasts or arm (acanthosis nigricans). Signs of insulin resistance or over secretion. Overweight. A constellation of these various disorders linked together constitute the term " Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome" (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries and, in some cases the adrenal glands, produce more androgens (a type of hormone) than normal. High levels of these hormones interfere with the development and release of eggs as part of ovulation. As a result, fluid-filled sacs or cysts can develop on the ovaries.
Because women with PCOS do not release eggs during ovulation, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.
How does PCOS affect fertility?
A woman's ovaries have follicles, which are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that hold the eggs. When an egg is mature, the follicle breaks open to release the egg so it can travel to the uterus for fertilization. In women with PCOS, immature follicles bunch together to form large cysts or lumps. The eggs mature within the bunched follicles, but the follicles don't break open to release them. As a result, women with PCOS often have menstrual irregularities, such as amenorrhea (they don’t get menstrual periods) or oligomenorrhea (they only have periods now and then). Because the eggs are not released, most women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant. Although it is hard for women with PCOS to get pregnant, some do get pregnant, naturally or using assistive reproductive technology. Women with PCOS are at higher risk for miscarriage if they do become pregnant.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
In addition to infertility, women with PCOS may also have:
* Pelvic pain
* Hirsutism, or excess hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, thumbs, or toes
* Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
* Acne, oily skin or dandruff
* Patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin
Also, women who are obese are more likely to have PCOS.
Women with PCOS are also at higher risk for associated conditions, such as:
* Metabolic syndrome—sometimes called a precursor to diabetes, this syndrome indicates that the body has trouble regulating its insulin
* Cardiovascular disease—including heart disease and high blood pressure
There are medications that can help control the symptoms, such as birth control pills to regulate menstruation, reduce androgen levels and clear acne. Other medications can reduce cosmetic problems, such as hair growth, and control blood pressure and cholesterol. But by using all of them do not cure P.C.O.S.
More than half the women who have P.C.O.S are overweight or obese. It has been found that "Insulin resistance" is the primary cause of weight gain in such women. When a woman is insulin resistant, even though the amount of insulin released into the blood stream after a high carbohydrate meal is sufficient and may even be in excess, (a condition called Hyperinsulinemia), the body is resistant to the insulin and is unable to utilize the glucose. The excess blood sugar gets converted to fat and overweight results. Overweight in turn leads to further insulin resistance and worsens the condition of PCOS.
It is important to have PCOS diagnosed and treated early to help prevent associated problems. Three pillars of management of PCOS are exercise, diet and Organopathic herbal drugs constitutional medicines. With the help of these modalities, PCOS can be controlled well. Diet is to be followed throughout the life of PCOS. No PCOS patient can be treated successfully unless she changes and follows the life style and diet.
The primary objective in treatment for P.C.O.S
is to focus on weight loss. Since insulin resistance is a main factor in over weight P.C.O.S woman, we recommended a diet similar to one recommended for people with Type 2
Diabetes i.e High fiber, low glycemic Index food like whole rice or wheat
Regular Exercise will increase the muscle mass and basal metabolic rate. Because both overweight and underweight
conditions has shown to suppress ovulation, both conditions throw off a woman’s natural hormone level, Insulin levels, in turn affecting sex hormone-binding globulin, which can affect the amount of free androgen in a woman’s body. Too much can suppress ovulation.
Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise can aid weight loss and help reduce blood sugar levels and regulate insulin levels more effectively. Weight loss can help lessen many of the health conditions associated with PCOS and can make symptoms be less severe or even disappear.
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