Diagnosing PCOS

PCOS can be a devastating diagnosis. Not understanding what it is and how to manage it makes that much more challenging. Many women are diagnosed with PCOS yearly. According to Marla E. Lujan, Donna R. Chizen, Roger A. Pierson from the department of, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Canadian women may be affected with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Although PCOS is heralded as one of the most common endocrine disorders occurring in women, its diagnosis, management, and associated long-term health risks remain unclear. the combination of androgen excess and anovulation has been considered the hallmark of PCOS. Lifestyle modifications such as exercise, weight management and healthy eating (fruits, vegetables, adequate carbohydrate, and protein) and taking natural supplements such as Gynositol, has shown to aid in the management of PCOS. Zinc has also shown to help with PCOS symptoms. It aids in managing hirsutism, hair loss, improves ovulation, blood sugar levels, and anxiety, helps with inflammation and to clear skin, regulates thyroid function in women who suffer from hypothyroidism.  


Androgens a commonly male hormone also found in small amounts in women are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells. In adult women, androgens are necessary for estrogen synthesis and have been shown to play a key role in the prevention of bone loss, as well as sexual desire. However, women with PCOS have excess amounts of androgens (hyperandrogenism) which causes acne, hirsutism (excess hair growth) and thinning of hair on the head (balding), irregular or absent periods, infertility, and blood sugar disorders. Along with hormonal irregularities comes emotional stress and uncertainty especially if a woman wants to conceive this can cause anxiety and lead to depression.  Some ways to alleviate these symptoms are through medications, behavior changes and or social therapy groups. It is very important to speak with someone about your feelings of despair and seek immediate help. Proper nutritional intake and exercise can help with some of these symptoms.

 

The diagnosis of PCOS is considered if a female presents with at least two of the three symptoms; high androgen levels, irregular menstrual cycles, and cysts in the ovaries. A thorough assessment is done to asses changes in weight, body hair growth, acne, and menstruation. Other tests include a pelvic examination to check for any growth in the uterus, a blood test for check cholesterol and insulin levels and ultrasound to examine for any ovarian, follicular and uterine abnormalities. 

 

The take-home message here is that PCOS is a very prevalent disease that can lead to infertility, depression, and anxiety. As soon as you suspect any changes seek immediate medical help. There are also natural remedies such as Gynositol to help with PCOS associated infertility and to reduce other symptoms. 

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