In spite of being a common health problem, not many people who menstruate openly talk about suffering from the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). According to Dr. Manashree Sankhe, Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, the hormonal and metabolic disorder is globally prevalent and affects roughly one in every twelve women.
So what exactly is PCOS? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a group of symptoms caused due to an imbalance of hormones in women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have multiple cysts in their ovaries, which are caused by an overproduction of hormones called androgens. “PCOS affects the entire well-being of a person’s body beyond the ovaries which is why timely diagnoses are crucial,” states Dr. Manashree. The hormonal disorder can prompt symptoms like irregular periods, hair loss, excess facial hair, acne, and weight gain, all of which may be confusing to treat.
Having polycystic ovary syndrome presents many challenges, but there are a lot of things you can do to keep yourself healthy and avoid the risk of complications. We got Dr. Manashree to help us understand the things one shouldn’t do if they have PCOS. Keep scrolling to find out.
PCOS is frequently underdiagnosed and therefore, untreated. Common symptoms of the health problem are menstrual irregularity, excessive facial growth, acne, obesity, scalp hair loss, etc. “Keep an eye out for the symptoms because if left untreated and allowed to progress, it can lead to type two diabetes, infertility, obesity, heart diseases, and depression,” warns Dr. Manashree.
Exercise is a key part of being healthy for every person. And when you have PCOS, it’s especially important to help lower your risk of heart disease and obesity. “Insulin resistance is a common finding in PCOS. The health problem is substantially worsened by obesity as abdominal fat can stimulate overproduction of testosterone hormone which is responsible for worsened symptoms,” explains Dr. Manashree.
Smoking, if you have PCOS, can worsen the already high risk for metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that occur together and increases a person’s risk of heart diseases, stroke, and type two diabetes) in women. The nicotine content can cause further inflammation in the body.
PCOS is linked to insulin resistance. This alters the way your body is able to process and deal with sugar. If left unchecked, insulin resistance can lead to diabetes and significantly worsen complications. “This isn’t to say that you have to avoid all sugars or switch to artificial sweeteners, but focus on eating natural and whole foods and try to eliminate as many processed foods as possible from your diet,” advises Dr. Manashree.
Some medications can cause severe complications and need to be monitored, which is why it’s essential to keep track of your appointments. “Regular medication for PCOS will help normalise the hormonal disparity. Your healthcare provider can help you monitor for complications and keep you healthy. The scheduled visits are important to keep track of your health and make sure that you stay symptom-free,” imparts Dr. Manashree.
We hope that these tips by Dr. Manashree help you make some much-needed lifestyle changes.
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