Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women who are in their reproductive age. Women who suffer from PCOS usually develop higher than normal amount of male hormones.
The cause of PCOS is unknown but it is believed that insulin resistance plays a key role.
During resistance cells “repel” the hormone insulin causing the body to produce more of it.
As insulin level rises the ovary starts to produce more androgen’s .Higher-than-normal levels of androgen or male hormones can cause ovarian cysts and other symptoms.
Symptoms of PCOS
Symptoms typically peak at between 15-25 years.
More than half of the women with PCOS are believed to have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes before they turn 40.
- Irregular or no menstrual cycle
- Heavy or prolonged bleeding
- Excessively painful periods
- Inability to get pregnant
- Cysts on the ovaries
- Excess hair on face or body
- Darker patches of skin in neck folds, armpits, folds in waistline or groin
Not everyone with PCOS will have all of these signs, as it can present itself in a variety of ways in among people.
Causes and Connection to Diabetes
No one knows the exact cause of PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) are both obesity-related conditions which share epidemiological and pathophysiological factors.
PCOS is related to body weight, as many women with PCOS are overweight or obese. But if you are overweight, weight loss of just 5 percent can improve its symptoms.
Women with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk for PCOS, suggesting that insulin may play an important role.
A possible link between PCOS and type 1 diabetes also could be the large swings of insulin injections which put extra stress on the ovaries. Studies suggest raised insulin has a direct effect on the ovaries.
How is PCOS Treated?
PCOS has no cure at the moment but is treatable with healthy eating habits, physical activity, and taking medications like birth control pills. To help reduce symptoms your doctor may prescribe metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes.
A weight loss of 10 percent of total body weight may restore the menstrual cycle to normal.
Since every condition is different, the treatment may vary according to symptom. It is advisable to consult your doctor or physician to help guide you better.
Make sure to invest in a glucometer if you feel you are developing diabetic symptoms so that you can check and monitor your blood sugar levels from time to time.