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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (P.C.O.D) a curable womens disease

 
  By : , 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:
* Diabetes
* 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.

Treatment

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 grains.

Avoid all bakery items as they are made from Maida (Maida is devoid of fiber). Drink a glass of whole milk daily and ice cream yogurt. Eat smaller meals more frequently this also prevent drastic food craving. 

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.

Principles of Diet in PCOS

The aim nutrition in PCOS is to give a balanced diet. Keeping BMI below 24, glycosylated Hb below 7  helps in preventing long term complications of PCOS. Large meals appear to cause the release of large amount of insulin. Small meals eaten frequently appear to be better for keeping in check.

Foods low on the glycemic index (GI) will release glucose gradually in to the blood stream whereas foods high on the glycemic index will provoke an immediate response in the blood sugar levels. The GI relates to the way the body's sugar levels respond to certain foods. Foods are given a rating from 0-100 on the glycemic index with glucose in the highest position. High GI foods will increase the body's sugar level rapidly. GI levels : Glucose 100, Potatoes 70, Polished white rice 72, Unpolished rice 65 

Fiber content of food helps in slow absorption, reduces blood sugar, cholesterol and help in weight reduction. Fiber intake should be 30= 45 gm/day. Whole cereals, ragi, whole dal, grams jowar, etc are common source of dietary fiber.  Maida, suji, polished white rice, are devoid of fiber and absorbs rapidly.

Omega 3 reduces the chances of blood to form blood clots. It reduces LDL and increases HDL. It decreases production of triglycerides in liver. Pure ghee, fish are also having it.

Regular exercise increases HDL.

Body gets good nutrient antioxidants from Turmeric, Amla (Gooseberry), Clove, capsicum and red chilies contain powerful antioxidant.

Together with the change in life style such as doing exercise, change of food style and using Organopathic Herbal drugs and constructional medicines, anyone can escape from Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome. 


Dr: T. K. Alexander. Mobile : 91 9447042501






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