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PCOS

PCOS
PCOS

WHAT IS PCOS?


Polycystic ovarian syndrome has emerged as a major issue affecting more than 10% of the female population between age of 12 to 45 years. It is called as a syndrome as it is a cluster of symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance in the female.

PCOD/PCOS is a combination of symptoms produced by imbalance in the hormones (fall in female hormones and hike in male hormones) in the female. The imbalance of hormone causes irregularity in periods and sometimes even amenorrhoea (absence of menses). Further there is no release of egg (due to increase in levels of male hormone/ androgens) and cysts are formed on the periphery of the ovaries. Due to high male hormones there in thinning of hair of scalp and hairiness on other body parts.

In PCOS insulin resistance may also be seen which does not let insulin act in the body and cause increase in levels of glucose which may further stimulate the body to produce more insulin to combat high levels of glucose in the body. These high levels of insulin would cause ovaries to produce more androgens/ male hormone (testosterone). This would further exaggerate the symptoms in the female.


Patient usually presents with the issue with her menses/ periods or inability to conceive as the menstrual cycles are irregular and anovulatory which means there is no egg released by the ovaries for fertilization causing infertility.

Normally ovaries produce female sex hormones which help in release of egg and maintain normal functions. But ovaries also produce small amounts of male hormones also known as androgens which go out of balance in PCOD. This imbalance would suppress ovulation, would produce acne and increase hair growth on face and body. This imbalance stop maturation of eggs and take form of cysts on the periphery of ovaries thus called as polycystic ovaries.

The main four features of PCOS are:

  • no ovulation
  • irregular periods
  • acne 
  • hirsutism.   

 

If the condition is not treated insulin resistant diabetes can occur with high cholesterol and weight gain.

RISK FACTORS

Family history of PCOS would increase the chances of having it as PCOD runs in family.

 

SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES


CAUSES

Exact cause is not known but the imbalance in the male female hormones produce all the symptoms by suppressing ovulation and forming cysts on the periphery of the ovaries.

SYMPTOMS

  • Acne
  • Due to androgens extra facial and body hair.
  • Androgens also cause thinning of hair of scalp.
  • Gain of weight which is rigid to get rid of.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Mood swings, depression, low feeling, irritability, sadness, bouts of anger etc.
  • Difficulty in conceiving due to anovulatory cycles

 

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT


INVESTIGATIONS:

  • Blood sugar- fasting and PP, insulin
  • Thyroid profile
  • Ultrasonography of abdomen
  • Serum testosterone, luteinising hormone, FSH, estrogen.
  • Tests should be performed on the 3rd or 5th day of the periods

TREATMENT


Treatment of PCOS include efforts to

  • regularise menses
  • produce ovulation to restore fertility
  • maintain glucose levels in case insulin resistance is there
  • bring hormone balance to reduce acne
  • hirsutism and help in weight loss.

 

MANAGEMENT


  • Regular physical exercise is essential to get rid of rigid weight gain of PCOS. Being physically active would also help to fight with insulin resistance thus would help in management of symptoms of PCOS.
  • Meditation and yoga would help the mind and body to relax as PCOS may cause stress. Thus meditation and yoga would help in keeping the physical and mental stress low.
  • To fight with the insulin resistance high fibre diet should be taken as it is going to slow down the digestion and thus sugar levels would not rise suddenly. Food items like broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, lettuce, arugula leaves, bell peppers, beans, berries, zucchini, almonds, sweet potato, pulses etc are rich in fibres and are good for the patient of PCOS.
  • Another dietary change that one should do is to take light food which is filling and don’t give much calories such as tofu, chicken, fish etc
  • Food items that have anti inflammatory properties (tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, olive oil etc) would also help the patient of PCOS.
  • Refined carbohydrates should be avoided as they are going to exaggerate the symptoms by aggravating the insulin resistance. Food items like white bread, muffins, potatoes, white flour etc should be avoided.
  • Refined sugar should be avoided.
  • Eat large breakfast and cut down your dinner to small amount.
  • Low carbohydrate diet is advisable as it would help in losing weight and would manage the androgen levels also.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep the intake of dairy products low.

HOMEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT OF PCOS


Homeopathic management of PCOS would include proper case taking in terms of full symptoms including the menstrual history, mental symptoms and physical symptoms to choose best similar medicine for the patient.
The homeopathic medicine would help in bringing the hormones to normal levels thus helping in regularising menses, release of egg, get rid of infertility and all other symptoms of PCOD.

There are many medicines like sepia, pulsatilla, tuberculinum, sulphur, calcarea carb, graphites etc which can be given but only after proper case taking and analysis of the case.

 

DO'S AND DON'TS FOR PCOS


DO'S

  • Do regular physical exercise.
  • Eat healthy and nutritious diet.
  • Maintain a menstrual calendar.
  • Do meditation and yoga.
  • Drink plenty of water.

DON'TS

  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t take alcohol.
  • Don’t eat unhealthy food.
  • Don’t follow unhealthy lifestyle.
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