Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition that affects approximately 10 million women around the world. Although it stems from a hormonal imbalance symptoms can be difficult to pin point, especially for general practitioners and family doctors who may not be knowledgeable on the topic. For example, thinning hair (on the head), sleep problems, weight gain, acne, headaches, and mood changes are all symptoms of PCOS, but they could be easily overlooked as nutrition or lifestyle issues. It’s important we become more aware of this chronic condition so we can help these women get treatment. Addressing the symptoms is important but will not fix the underlying hormonal issues of PCOS. So, let’s talk about what’s going on a hormonal level.
Androgens: Androgens are made by the ovaries and sometimes by the adrenal glands. The female body makes androgens, but women with PCOS have higher levels of adrogens in their body. These androgens are responsible for many of the side effects ladies with PCOS have like excess facial hair and loss of scalp hair.
Insulin: Insulin allows the body to absorb blood sugar into the cells to be converted into energy. With PCOS, the body doesn’t respond to insulin properly. As a result, women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of glucose in the blood which leads to higher levels of insulin. Higher levels of insulin in the body may lead to more serious health issues.
Progesterone: The female body makes progesterone, but women with PCOS tend to have less progesterone in their body. This can lead to irregular periods.
By correcting the hormonal imbalance behind PCOS, we can help women feel relief from their symptoms and allow their bodies to begin to heal.
Thank you to the PCOS Awareness Association for the materials for this blog post. Visit their website at: http://www.pcosaa.org.