PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is another female issue that can result from an imbalance of the female hormones and glucose metabolism. Many patients having PCOS have difficulty getting pregnant, loosing weight and can develop serious medical issues like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease and uterine cancer.
Patients with PCOS typically store more fat in the thighs and in the abdomen and burn calories at a slower pace than women who do not have this medical condition. Menstrual irregularities and androgen excess is very common in those patients.
Women who have Polycystic Ovarian syndrome can be readily diagnosed when they present with the classic features of excess body hair or facial hair, irregular menstrual cycles and polycystic ovaries on trans-vaginal or pelvic ultrasound.
Polycystic Ovarian syndrome can affect 5 to 10% of women in the world and can have many risk factors as mentioned above for cardiovascular disease, obesity or overweight, glucose intolerance or pre Diabetes, abnormal lipids, fatty liver disease and obstructive sleep apnea.
Signs and Symptoms of PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can have many symptoms however the most common are:
- Excessive hair growth
- Alopecia or loss of hair
- Abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides
- Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
- Oily Skin
- Recurrent Miscarriage
- Elevated insulin levels
- Elevated A1c ( Marker for Diabetes and Pre Diabetes )
- Higher than normal Testosterone levels
The diagnosis of PCOS should be suspected in patients have the symptom or markers mentioned above. Any women in the reproductive age who presents with irregular menstrual cycles or amenorrhea, or symptoms of excess Testosterone levels like acne, hair loss in a male pattern, irregular cycles or no menstrual cycles, obesity or overweight should be evaluated for PCOS. A complete physical exam and general health evaluation should be completed.
Tests to diagnose PCOS
- Testosterone levels
- Insulin levels
- LH/FSH ratio ( female hormones)
- Estrogen and Progesterone
- Prolactin levels
- Blood Sugars
- Pelvic Ultrasound
- Estrogen Metabolism Test
- Glycemic management
- Saliva testing
Treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Treating PCOS is not easy once its diagnosed as it involves changing dietary habits, weight loss, hormonal and non hormonal medication and supplementation. There is not a magic pill to treat PCOS but a multitude of steps that you can take to help you go in the right direction and improve your overall health.
Common therapies used to treat PCOS are the following:
- Anti-androgenic Medication
- Lowering glucose and insulin medication
- Birth Control pills
- Weight control
- Healthy eating
- Fertility medication
Book an appointment with us and let us help you if you think you have PCOS or if you already were diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in the past.
Doctor Joel Rivera is a menopause specialist that focuses on Hormonal imbalances, Polycystic Ovarian syndrome also called PCOS.