Poly cystic ovarian syndrome

Poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affect how a women’s ovaries work. There are typically 3 features that would lead to a women being diagnosed with PCOS:

  • Undeveloped follicles that appear as clumps in the ovaries that cause hormonal imbalances.
  • Failure to ovulate
  • Higher levels of testosterone  (male sex hormone)

These dysfunctions in a women’s ovaries cause symptoms such as:

  • Infertility
  • Few or no periods
  • Acne
  • Hair growth on face, breasts and inner thighs
  • Mood swings

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, however one of the main risk factors is being overweight. this causes a number of hormonal problems that can predispose to having PCOS. Being overweight and eat a poor diet leads to blood sugar problems, this in turn leads to problems regulating insulin. Insulin stimulate the ovaries to release excess testosterone that causes acne and abnormal hair growth. This can lead to a host of other hormonal problems that exacerbate the condition.

Your GP should be the first port of call if you are experiencing the symptoms of PCOS and a blood test along with an ultrasound scan can help you establish a diagnosis.

Conventional treatment for PCOS is the use of the contraceptive pill to regulate the ovarian cycle and the use of metformin – a diabetes drug to control blood sugar. After you have seen your GP and are on the right medication you should think about making dietary changes to balance your hormones and lose weight. London nutritionist Steve Hines has helped many women diagnosed with PCOS manage their symptoms.

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