Health & Fitness

Ladies beware ! It’s better knowing than ignoring – PCOS

Ladies, buckle up and ask yourself these questions, because your honest answer will help you save yourself !

Are you suffering through the nasty acne problem? Baldness? Or excessive hair on the chest, belly or back? Or gaining weight which is easy to gain but is becoming really hard to lose? Or maybe it has been 2-3 months since you have had your last period or are having very heavy bleeding?

Then you might be suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a very common hormonal imbalance problem nowadays. Millions of women are suffering the same around the globe. It is roughly calculated that around 1 in every 10 women suffer through this syndrome. Earlier, PCOS was found in women who were 30 years and over or were way past their puberty but nowadays, girls as young as 11 are also in distress.

What is PCOS?

Due to hormonal imbalance in the body, eggs in your ovaries sometimes don’t get released during ovulation and rather develop into cysts which are small sacks filled with liquid. These cysts stay in the ovaries and sometimes even gets enlarged. And since there is an imbalance in one hormone, it leads to a chain reaction and starts affecting other hormones as well. The body then starts producing androgen or testosterone (male hormone) in higher quantities resulting into excessive hair growth. Also, the body stops using Insulin, due to which blood sugar levels shoot up giving you diabetes. This is known as the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Reason

Why it happens or the cause behind this is still not known. They say it runs in your family, it’s genetic. You can get it from your mother’s side and even your father’s !

Sometimes depression or a tragic loss can also be the reason. It might trigger PCOS in your body.

Women having Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes are also prone to PCOS. Also, women having low grade white blood cell inflammation are too at risk.

And if you are suffering through the symptoms which are mentioned above, then you should head to your doctor straight away.

Diagnosing the issue

The doctor will have to do an analysis on you to ascertain whether you have PCOS. For that, he/she will first discuss about your past health, your symptoms, about the irregularity of your periods and also the history of your family’s health.

Plus a blood test is done to check the blood sugar, insulin levels and androgen (which is usually found in very low levels in the body, but due to PCOS, it gets elevated). Post this, an Ultrasound or a TVS is performed, to spot the cysts in your ovaries.

And if the diagnosis comes positive, that you do have PCOS, then you should start the treatment immediately without any delay.

Why an early detection and treatment is preferred?
 
As PCOS can lead to infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, heart attack, and stroke (due to high levels of insulin). It can also result into sleep apnea, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cholesterol imbalances.
 
A majority of women also fall prey to depression, stress and anxiety due to the uncontrollable weight gain, acne, excessive hair growth, baldness plus the hardships of conceiving a baby, etc.
 
The remedy
 
There are various treatments for curing PCOS, or at least maintaining the imbalance in hormones, which is provoked by PCOS.
 
Birth control pills along with progesterone are prescribed by the doctors, to bring back the balance in the hormonal world.
 
Oral medication called Metformin are also prescribed by the doctors to manage the high insulin levels to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
 
Plus, you have to follow a healthy lifestyle. You have to eat right, drink right, and even sleep right.
 

Start by following a balanced diet. Don’t eat heavy meals. Eat light and in every 2-3 hours. That doesn’t mean that you have to stay hungry,  that’s the last thing you should do. Never stay empty stomach. Rather prefer consuming vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains and try to avoid fatty foods like meat, cheese, and specially anything that’s fried. 

Also, exercising is a must. It can be any form of exercising be it gyming, running, zumba, or yoga. In fact, yoga has certain asanas which help in curing of PCOS.

At last, don’t feel sad or depressed that you have PCOS, or that your appearance and life have changed over the period of time, rather embrace your body and live gracefully with dignity. There are many support groups online, and support meetings are also being organized to battle depression.

Always remember that you are not alone. We are 1 out of every 10 women out there !

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