Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (pronounced as: pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm) is defined as a problem that causes the hormones of a woman to go out of balance. This disease cause a plethora of problems with your periods and it can also make becoming pregnant a nightmare you never knew you had signed up for. Additionally, PCOS also can cause changes in your physical appearance if and it is not treated immediately could lead to more dire problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
While Polycystic Ovary Syndrome disease may seem as if it comes over night, the total opposite is true. Many women who have PCOS initially see signs of the disease when small cysts begin to grow on their ovaries. These cysts are not immediately harmful; however, it is these cysts that ultimately lead to the imbalance of a woman’s hormones.
Many doctors often suggest that the earlier you receive your diagnosis for PCOS, the better. Receiving an early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms of PCOS and also help stop long term problems before they will occur.
How my diet affect PCOS?
Believe it or not, a PCOS diet plays a pivotal role in not only disease management but also for weight loss in order to make sure you continue to regulate your insulin. In many cases dealing with PCOS, women have been found to be resistant to insulin which leads to their pancreases producing more insulin.
Many doctors across the country who have studied PCOS for a significant amount of time, have often suggested that for those suffering from PCOS it’s best to follow a low GI diet of wholegrain and unprocessed foods. Additionally, doctors have also been known to prescribe Metformin which is a drug commonly used for women with PCOS who need help tackling their resistance to insulin.
How is PCOS can be diagnosed?
If you don’t actively go to the doctor for your yearly physical then your PCOS diagnosis may not be discovered until years into your disease. If you are an individual who actively goes to the doctor for check ups then your chances of receiving an early diagnosis sooner.
While there is not a specific test used to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome, your doctor can easily identify potential symptoms to determine if you in fact have the disease.
During this long and strenuous process your doctor will begin to collect information about your medical history including your most recent period and also any other symptoms you have including weight gain. During this early stage of the process your doctor may also want to perform certain tests and exams to make sure that you are not at risk for any other disease that may possibly resemble the same symptoms of PCOS.
A few of these test include but are not limited to:
Pelvic Exam: A pelvic exam will be used for your doctor to gain a visual of your reproductive organs in order to see if he can identify any signs of growths or any other abnormalities in your body. While a pelvic exam is not always the most comfortable it is helpful in the early stages of diagnosis.
Blood Tests: No one likes to have their blood drawn but having your blood drawn has the potential to measure any abnormalities in your menstrual cycle and or any excess androgen that mimics PCOS. Additionally many blood test when attempting to diagnosis PCOS may also include testing cholesterol and triglyceride levels along with a glucose tolerance test which is a test most common in pregnant women to determine if they have diabetes while pregnant.
Ultrasound: While ultrasounds to most people signify pregnancy, but it is actually an exam used to show how your ovaries and the thickness of the lining of your uterus looks. The test isn’t painful at all and includes you lying on a bed or on an examination table while a transducer is placed inside of your vagina.
Foods to be Included in Diet
Those who have been diagnosed with PCOS must conform to a relatively strict diet this includes but is not limited to:
- Fresh fruits or frozen/canned fruit without added sugar, or unsweetened applesauce
- Non–starchy fresh vegetables or frozen/canned vegetables
- Whole grains such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread
- High fiber cereals
- Water or seltzer, flavored with fruit
- High fiber baked goods made from whole wheat flour and oats
- Crackers and snacks with fiber
Can I Die From PCOS?
There have not been any known cases of deaths specifically of PCOS; however, if the disease is not treated properly it can put you at risk for more severe issues such as infertility, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal bleeding from the uterus, and cancer.
Can I Be Cured From PCOS?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS, yet. There are any many ways that an individual can decrease or eliminate PCOS symptoms which include different medicines that are designed to treat the symptoms of PCOS without eliminating the disease. Their are also fertility treatments that are available for women who suffer from one of PCOS’s most heartbreaking symptom, infertility.
If I have PCOS Can I Still Smoke?
Absolutely not. PCOS can increase your risk for heart disease without PCOS and when you throw PCOS into the occasion you are putting yourself at a much higher risk for developing those conditions. If you have any behaviors that increase your risk of disease, do yourself a favor and eliminate them from your life.
Is It Okay If I Skip My Doctors Appointments?
Your doctor will be your best friend when you are diagnosed with PCOS. Your doctor can help you in monitoring for complications to make sure you remain healthy. Attending regular appointments are also important if you are undergoing infertility treatment.
What Should I Do If I Think I Am At Risk For PCOS?
Schedule an appointment immediately with your primary physician provider to begin having yourself tested and treated for the disease.