Researchers at UC Davis are taking steps to providing women suffering from PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, newer and better treatments. Infertility specialist Antoni J. Duleba and endocrinologist Sidika Kasim-Karakas recognize that current treatment is aimed at helping individual symptoms but there needs to be an overall treatment that tackles the root of the disease. Additionally, they each recognize that there need to be improvements to current treatment plans.
Some of the most commonly treated symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods, infertility, excessive body or facial hair, and ovarian cysts. Irregular periods are commonly treated with birth control pills, infertility treatments are given to increase chances of pregnancy, and excessive body hair is treated with medications to balance hormones. Surgery is needed to remove problematic cysts and damaged ovaries. Although all of these treatments are helpful, none of them address the underlying cause of PCOS– none of them are considered a cure. Duleba and Kasim-Karakas are currently working hard to provide new treatments, both medical and dietary.
Kasim-Karkas’ latest research is based on dietary treatments. One of her studies is to determine if things like fish oil, walnuts, almonds, or flaxseeds will improve PCOS symptoms. In Duleba’s first research study, he concluded that antioxidants were helpful to ladies suffering from PCOS. In his current study, Duleba will include the use of statins (a group of drugs that reduce inflammation and cholesterol) to determine if cardiovascular risk can be reduced.