What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOD) is one of the most common endocrine and metabolic disorders in women of child-bearing age. It is commonly overlooked and unfortunately misunderstood. Approximately 15-20% of women (1in 7 women) will have the condition.

PCOS includes  an  imbalance of many female hormones and other hormones as well as part of a complex of a multi-system illness which has genetic and environmental components.

Women will often present to doctors with scanty to no periods with difficulty falling pregnant. Women with PCOS will have minimal ovulation (oligo-ovulation)) to no ovulation (anovulation).Their is poor maturation of the growing egg and it is not released, preventing conception. Women will have high male hormone effects (hyperandrogenism) presenting as acne and unwanted hair growth, and thinning or loss or head hair. Weight gain and depression and anxiety may also occur.

Diagnosis of PCOS is based on the

Rotterdam Criteria at least two out of

three signs and symptoms:

Oligo/Anovulation

(minimal to no ovulation)

Hyperandrogenism

(high male hormone signs)- not caused by other endocrine diseases

Ultrasound Proven

polycystic ovaries

It may be difficult to fall pregnant with PCOS, and there is a higher chance of miscarriages. One of the hormones which play an important role in PCOS is insulin. High levels of insulin as a result of insulin (receptor) resistance can be one of the reasons that people with PCOS often have weight gain. Sustained  high insulin can result in  Type 2 Diabetes with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease.

Many gene polymorphisms are thought to be responsible for PCOS. Brain derived hormone receptors (gonadotrophin releasing hormone receptors[GnRHR], follicle stimulating hormone receptors[FSHR]), metabolic genes (like FTO, PPARg, MTHFR), Insulin receptor genes (IR/IRS) polymorphisms of Vitamin D receptor and immunological genes like interleukin 1(IL-1 genes).(Chen 2018: Potential genetic polymorphisms predicting polycystic ovary syndrome).

Researches have also now found a link between PCOS and autoimmune conditions. Why the body makes antibodies to attack its own tissues is not well understood. However antibodies have been detected against thyroid, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, the ovaries, DNA. Thyroid dysfunction and pancreatic dysfunction can result in obesity and Type 2 diabetes along with associated inflammation and oxidation. In PCOS oestrogen is raised and is linked to auto-immunity and increases inflammatory cytokines (IL-1,IL-4,IL-6). Higher oestrogen may also be linked to a higher risk of endometrial cancer.(Mobeen2016: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may be an Auto-immune Disorder) ( click her for link)

Evidence support of the presence of chronic low-grade inflammation in women with this syndrome is also emerging. There is raised blood markers like raised white blood cell count (WCC),raised C Reactive Protein  (CRP) interleukin 18 [IL-18 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1).  Inflammation in PCOS may also be related to obesity and cardiovascular disease risk. Their is also a link with low grade infectious agents like Chlamydia and Helicobacter and increased gum disease  (Duleba 2013 : Is PCOS an inflammatory process?) (click here for link)

The exact collection of symptoms will vary from person to person, and many women can go for years without knowing they have the condition. They have have irregular periods, and some acne or may gain some weight. Since this is such a complex condition with so many features, if you feel your cycle is not right, you are having difficulty losing weight, you have issue s with acne or unwanted hair growth and have mood changes, then visit a health care practitioner to discuss your issues.  You may need specialist care through a gynaecologist or endocrinologist. Drug therapy can help resolve some of PCOS symptoms, but some people are intolerant or the treatment is unsuccessful.

PCOS SUPPORT is an insightful blend of vitamin mineral and

herbal products to balance your hormones and metabolism.

Men may not have ovaries, but that doesn’t mean they can’t develop some of the features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) like high androgens, high oestrogens, obesity, insulin resistance, type2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk.

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