What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is an endocrine disorder that affects woman of child bearing age. The symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome can vary greatly from woman to woman. However, its hallmark symptoms is cluster of cysts on the ovaries. Symptoms of Polycystic ovarian syndrome includes but are not limited to the following:
- Menstrual irregularity
- Weight gain- especially in the abdomen area
- Facial hair
- Hormonal imbalance
- Hair loss
- Predisposition to heart disease and Diabetes type II
How do you get diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
It is estimated that 1 in every 10 women of child bearing age have polycystic ovarian syndrome. If you suspect you may have polycystic ovarian syndrome you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Diagnosis of Polycystic ovarian syndrome can be done in 3 ways
- Pelvic Exam- Your physician might conduct a pelvic exam. During this exam, your doctor will be looking for any masses in your pelvis. Cysts are not always large enough to be palpated so this is not the most accurate testing for polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Blood Tests- Your physician may decide to do hormonal blood testing. Woman with Polycystic ovarian syndrome typically has higher androgen (male hormones). This is a factor in irregular ovulation.
- Ultrasound- an ultrasound is an imaging test that uses high frequency sound waves to create images of a particular area in the body. An ultrasound test can assist the physician in seeing any cysts, even ones small in size, on your uterus. Cysts on the uterus are the hallmark symptom of Polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Is there any cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
While there is no known cure for polycystic ovarian syndrome, there are medications and lifestyle changes that may help you to manage your Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Birth control pills are commonly used to manage polycystic ovarian syndrome. Birth control pills containing both estrogen and progesterone work best.
The Ketogenic Diet has recently gained popularity in its ability to not only help woman lose weight, but also treat the symptoms of Polycystic ovarian Syndrome and infertility. As a Polycystic Ovarian syndrome warrior, I can personally attest for the Ketogenic diet and its ability to help alleviate some of the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The ketogenic diet limits carb consumption and encourages the body to use its own stored fat as an energy source for the body. It has been proven to decrease insulin sensitivity and reverse type II diabetes.