Women have two ovaries as part of their reproductive and endocrine systems. Ovaries have the following two main functions:
Production of estrogen dominates in the first half of the menstrual cycle—before ovulation—and progesterone production dominates during the second half of the menstrual cycle— when the corpus luteum has formed. Both hormones are important in the preparation of the womb lining (uterus) for pregnancy. Estrogen is responsible for your female characteristics, promoting soft skin, a high-pitched voice, full breasts, and wide hips. Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, as well as the adrenal glands, and fat cells.
Progesterone is responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle, is important in maintaining a healthy pregnancy, and counterbalances the effects of estrogen in the body. Progesterone acts as the antagonist of estrogen. For example, estrogen might be responsible for the production of breast cysts while progesterone protects against breast cysts and progesterone is considered a natural diuretic, while estrogen promotes water and salt retention.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition of hormonal imbalance in which a woman’s ovaries grow small noncancerous fluid filled cysts. This condition causes increase production of male sex hormones (androgens), which might cause menstrual cycle irregularity and insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone synthesized by the pancreas that helps to transport glucose into the cells and converts it into energy.
Symptoms of PCOS range from mild to severe and vary from person to person. Most women develop these symptoms with the onset of menstruation.
Common symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are:
Due to the insulin resistance that accompanies PCOS, many women with this condition might also develop other health problems such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The definite cause of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is still unknown. There are several contributing factors including genetic and heredity. Statistic show that women with PCOS are more likely to have a family member-usually a sister or a mother – who have also been diagnosed with PCOS.
Another cause of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) might be excess insulin levels in the body with relative insulin resistance. Increased insulin levels in the blood might cause increased production of male androgens such as testosterone, in the ovaries.
Lifestyle factors such as decreased physical activity, a diet high in simple sugars and processed foods and being overweight might also cause insulin resistance and predispose women to develop PCOS.
If you suspect you may be suffering from PCOS, we would need to perform a comprehensive assessment and diagnostic tests to confirm your condition. To diagnose PCOS we need to perform following tests:
We might also perform a pelvic ultrasound to check for cysts on your ovaries and assess the thickness of the lining of your uterus.
There is no cure or permanent treatment for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), so treatment for this condition is focused on decreasing the symptoms and preventing complications of more serious diseases.
In our practice, we utilize an individualized approach to help you to alleviate your symptoms and heal yourself. Based on your symptoms and test results, your individualized treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) protocol might include:
Mild symptoms of PCOS may be successfully relieved by simple changes in your lifestyle; especially if you are overweight or obese. Eating healthy and engaging in different exercise activities might help you to manage and treat some of the symptoms of PCOS.
First, it is very important to eat a balanced meal to avoid constant fluctuating levels of glucose and insulin in your bloodstream. If you continuously consume a high carbohydrate diet, cells try to protect themselves from glucose overload and stop responding to insulin which is as “insulin resistance.” The existing excess glucose levels in the bloodstream cause proteins in the body to malfunction, which may lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system, damaged blood vessels, and damaged connective tissues in the joints.
Other tips to a balanced diet include: