Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common hormonal disorder among women. It is characterized by irregular periods, difficulty conceiving, increased hairiness, acne and hair loss. If left untreated, can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can help control symptoms and prevent long-term problems.
What problems can be expected of women diagnosed with PCOS?
- Weight gain and obesity - about half of women with PCOS will eventually gain weight. Therefore it is extremely important to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
- Problems with the regulation of blood sugar, which may include:
- hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin production)
- insulin resistance (weak reaction in the body tissues to insulin)
- glucose intolerance (diabetes predstadij)
- diabetes independent of insulin (so-called. diabetes mellitus type 2)
The first possible sign is the absence of menstruation for a period of several months or a long menstrual cycle.
In women with polycystic ovarian follicles do not mature enough to lead to the release of an egg, or lead to ovulation. But it can happen and to look healthy ovaries even thou PCOS is present. Often because of the male hormone testosterone appears excessive hairiness (hirsutism), and the male hair - hair patterns on the chest, abdomen, chin and toes. Usually women who suffer from PCOS suffer from being overweight, but this is not the norm. Often, there is the high blood pressure and high LDL levels and decreased levels of HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides. There are also problems such as oily skin, acne and seborrhea (dandruff).
A problem that can not be seen, and the most common cause of polycystic ovary syndrome, the so-called insulin resistance or bad effects of insulin that women produced in elevated quantities.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. There are no studies to find the genetic code that mostly as polycystic ovary syndrome are inherited. The genetic component of PCOS is still unknown with certainty but it is believed that the interaction of multiple genes in the background.
Hormones are chemical messengers to trigger different processes, including growth and production of energy. For reasons that are not clear, in PCOS the hormones get out of balance. The change of one hormone causes the change of another, which changes both.
Sex hormones out of balance - the ovaries usually create a small amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This can cause the stopping of the ovulation, acne and hair growth on the face and body.
The body may have trouble using insulin, called insulin resistance - when the body in the right way does not use insulin, increases blood sugar levels. Over time, it increases the chances of developing diabetes.
Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You have only a few symptoms or a multitude of them.
The most common symptoms are:
Weight gain and trouble losing weight
Increased hairiness on the face and body - women often put on weight and leads to increased hair on your chest, stomach and back.
Thinning of hair on the scalp
Irregular periods - some women do not have them while others expressed a lot of bleeding
Problems with fertility - many women with fertility problems (infertility)
The symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) tend to start gradually. Hormonal changes cause that the PCOS often starts in the early teens, after the first period. Symptoms can be particularly noticeable after weight gain.
Symptoms may include:
1. Menstrual problems - periods without menstruation or heavy, irregular bleeding.
2. Loss of hair on the scalp and increased hairiness on the face, chest, back, abdomen or fingers
3. Acne and oily skin
4. Problems with fertility, such as the disappearance of ovulation or miscarriages
5. Insulin resistance and too much insulin (hyperinsulinemia) which can lead to obesity
6. Depression and mood swings
7. Breathing problems during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea)
Hormonal imbalance can cause problems with fertility including:
3. Gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
4. High blood pressure during pregnancy or childbirth
5. Endometrial hyperplasia - this can happen if you do not have regular menstrual cycles
6. Cancer of the uterus (the endometrium) - the risk during the reproductive years is three times higher in women with PCOS than those who have ovulation each month
Problems with blood sugar
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body's cells get the sugar it needs for energy. Sometimes these cells do not fully respond to insulin. This is called insulin resistance and can lead to diabetes.
Heart problems and stroke
High levels of insulin from PCOS can lead to heart problems and blood vessels.
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
Coronary artery disease and heart attack
High blood pressure
The main risk factor for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the family history. Family history of diabetes may increase the risk for PCOS because of the strong relationship between diabetes and PCOS.
Please consult your doctor and ask for help if:
1. You have difficult vaginal bleeding
2. More vaginal bleeding or irregular bleeding
3. Regular menstrual cycle, but unsuccessfully trying to conceive for more than 12 months
4. Yymptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst and frequent urination (especially at night), unexplained increase in appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
5. Depressive and constant mood swings
A sure diagnosis requires something more than the appearance of pimples and excess weight. An analysis of hormone levels in the blood, and for a complete diagnosis comprehensive physical examination, laboratory tests for cholesterol, glucose and insulin are required.
Ultrasound can show cysts in the ovaries, but many women with PCOS do not have them, meaning the ultrasound examination is not enough.
1. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
2. Testosterone, androgen - androgens at high levels can block ovulation and cause acne, excess hair on the face and body, and hair loss
3. Prolactin, which may cause the absence of the menstrual cycle or infertility.
4. Cholesterol and Triglycerides
5. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to check the overactive or inactive thyroid.
6. Adrenal gland hormones, such as DHEA-S and 17-hydroxyprogesterone - adrenal problems can cause symptoms similar to PCOS.
7. Glucose Tolerance and insulin levels, which can show insulin resistance.
Diabetes - If you have PCOS, experts recommend that you go test the glucose in the blood
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, weight control and not smoking are equally important factors when it comes to the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You can also take medication to balance the hormones or herbal remedies, such as mistletoe tincture.
The treatment depends on the symptoms and on how you plan to become pregnant.
Natural Treatment - tincture and tea for polycystic ovaries
Tincture of Mistletoe - with tea is a mandatory
Tea blend of herbs - These are leaf or root nettle, sage, yarrow, angelica.
If you are overweight, weight loss may be just what you need. Even a few pounds less can help balancing thw hormones and cause menstrual cycle and ovulation
Eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-fat dairy products.
Regular exercise will help you to control or lose weight and make you feel better.
If weight loss does not cause ovulation, the doctor can prescribe medications such as metformin and clomiphene.
If you do not plan on become pregnant, you can also use hormone therapy to control the ovary hormones.
Hormone therapy can also help with increased hairiness and acne. Birth control pills, patches or vaginal rings are prescribed for hormone therapy.
But it does not help with heart problems, blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of diabetes. This is why exercise and a healthy diet are still the key parts of your treatment.
Regular check ups
Regular examinations are important because complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, uterine cancer, heart disease and diabetes might show. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can not be prevented. However, early diagnosis and treatment prevents long-term complications, such as infertility, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Weight control and weight loss
Healthy weight - if you lose excess weight, you reduce your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol. Weight loss of only 5% to 7% more than 6 months can reduce the androgen levels and restore ovulation and fertility in more than 75% of women with PCOS.
Losing weight can be difficult, but you can do it. The easiest way to start is to reduce calories and start with certain physical activity.
Do not smoke
If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels than those who do not smoke. Smoking also increases the risk of heart disease.
Skin and hair care
Acne - Treatment can include non-prescription or prescription drugs. Some women notice improvement after using the pills, estrogen-progestin hormone.
Surgical treatment is sometimes useful for women with infertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Surgery is recommended only if it did not work any other treatment. It is performed laparoscopically, where an electrical instrument cuts the polycystic ovaries in many places. This leads to ovulation, but unfortunately, a short-lived effect, approximately one year. Women with PCOS have a 80-87% chance of becoming pregnant after this surgery. This operation, as well as other methods of treating PCOS are less effective in obese patients. Complications of the surgery may be the creation of adhesions in the abdomen, damage to the ovary, bladder and bowel injury and infection.
It is not possible to completely cure polycystic ovary syndrome, but the situation should be kept under control. The treatment is individual, and adapted to the needs of each woman individually.