Brought to you jointly by The Foundation for Prevention and Dr. Irving A. Cohen
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PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome - PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS) is a disorder affecting many women, often starting during their teens.
Its very name is one reason that may be under-diagnosed. Although multiple large cysts on a woman's ovaries are considered common in this disorder, they are all only a small part of this complex inflammatory syndrome. It is more sensible to think of this problem as part of the continuum of type 2 diabetes, along with pre-diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. The problem begins with a high dietary intake (usually of carbohydrates, especially sugar). That intake causes a woman's body to create extra insulin to maintain a normal sugar level. Over time, that extra insulin causes insulin resistance. The result is inflammation which can affect her ovaries. This can cause both multiple cysts and a hormone imbalance.
Both men and women need a combination of male and female hormones, but in a different balance that is appropriate for their sex. If a woman has too much of the male hormone testosterone, she may develop unwanted facial hair, excessive acne, and perhaps a husky voice. Her cycle may become irregular, painful, or even stop completely. She may find herself infertile.
If your PCOS has been diagnosed, there may still be confusion about how it should be treated. Some treatment is aimed at symptoms, such as acne treatment, facial hair removal, ovarian surgery, and hormonal treatment with birth control pills or fertility drugs. These all help with the specific problems caused by PCOS, but not the underlying cause. Metformin, a diabetes drug is sometimes prescribed for PCOS. Metformin attacks the insulin resistance, but it still does not get to the root of the problem. None of those treatments can do that, except for dietary change.
Although weight-loss is almost always a standard recommendation, it is often done the wrong way. It is actually the dietary change itself that begins the process of reversing your insulin resistance and its resulting ovarian inflammation. In other words, it is not your exact weight that caused the problem, but the way you were eating. If you choose the right diet, change begins when you start to diet, not once you reach some arbitrary weight goal.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, or believe you may have this problem, talk to your physician. Three tests that we strongly recommend you ask your healthcare provider to do are the hemoglobin A1c, the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test and the fasting insulin test. Click here to learn more about these tests at www.PreDiabetes.Solutions.
PCOS, pre-diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes are all related conditions on the same continuum! Dealing with this now can prevent you from progressing to these later stages. You can do this using the same dietary changes that reverse Type 2 Diabetes and pre-diabetes. You will be creating a healthier future both for yourself, as well as any future children. You can get started by clicking here to learn learn about our books and course.
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** This website can not and is not intended to provide individual medical advice.
Always consult a qualified medical practitioner for individual direction and medical advice.
If you are currently using any form of diabetic medication, significant dietary change may necessitate modification or discontinuation of your medication schedule. Work with a qualified medical practitioner before making any changes. **