PCOD/PCOS is characterized by multiple small cysts in the ovaries. It makes the ovary enlarged and lead to excessive production of androgen and estrogen hormones causing various bodily issues.
What is the difference between PCOD and PCOS?
PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) or PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) has taken the world of women by storm. It is a major ailment concerning a huge chunk of young females.
PCOD strikes mostly at an early age, therefore, a substantial number of young adults go through this problem.This is a common endocrine disorder of unknown etiology, affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age.The average age group suffering from PCOD varies between 18 and 45 years. It is important for the youth to understand this disease at its onset, along with the causes and implications in the future.
Causes of PCOD
The cause of PCOD is still unknown. However, the association of PCOD with low-grade inflammation, excess insulin, production of male hormones (Hyperparathyroidism) in high quantity and genetics can be found. Also, early age of menarche, unhealthy lifestyle and pollution are some of the contributing factors of PCOD.
Normally, the ovaries make female sex men hormones and a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgen). These help regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle.
Poly cystic ovary syndrome is related to an imbalance in these sex hormones. In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgen. This causes patients to stop ovulating, get pimples and grow extra facial and body hair.
Follicles are sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs. Normally, one or more eggs are released during each menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation.
In poly cystic ovary syndrome, the eggs in these follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary, hence the name poly cystic ovaries.
PCOS seems to run in families, so the chance of having it is higher if other women in the family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes
Symptoms of PCOD/PCOS
Irregular periods, occurring every 2 to 3 months.
Heavy bleeding (Menorrhagia)
Unusual body and facial hair growth (hirsutism)
Stubborn acne that refuses to heal with the usual treatments. This is due to excess peripheral androgen.
Uncontrolled weight gain around the waist area especially
Pigmentation or darkening of the skin around the neck region (Acanthosis nigricans)
Weight gain and trouble losing weight
Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker, darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
Thinning hair on the scalp
Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods others have very heavy bleeding
Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility)
What lifestyle modifications could be beneficial for women with PCOS/PCOD?
Some lifestyle modifications that can help in reducing the effects of PCOS/PCOD
Maintenance of a healthy weight: Weight loss can lower insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation.
Diet management and limitation in consumption of carbohydrates: High-carbohydrate and low-fat diets may increase insulin levels.
Exercise regularly: Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels and control body weight.
Many women have PCOD / PCOS
But they don’t know it.
PCOD affects a woman’s ovaries, the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone -hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle.
The ovaries also produce a small amount of male hormones called androgen.
Group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation. Its three main features are:
Cysts in the ovaries
High levels of male hormones
Irregular or skipped periods
What happen to your body when you have PCOD?
Metabolic Syndrome: more than eighty percent of women with PCOD are overweight; this coupled with PCOD leads to higher blood sugar and blood pressure, lower HDL and higher LDL
All these factors together are called metabolic syndrome.
The chances of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and stroke are higher due to these.
Sleep apnea (More common in women who are overweight, causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupt sleep)
Endometrial cancer (Due to thickened uterine lining)
Depression (Many women end up experiencing depression and anxiety due to unwanted hair growth and other symptoms)
There is no cure for poly cystic ovarian disease.It can only be controlled by lifestyle management.It can be controlled (but not completely cured) by a multidisciplinary approach involving the gynecologist, dietitian, dermatologist, endocrinologist, infertility expert.
Change Your Life Style. Your doctor may recommend weight loss through a low-calorie diet combined with moderate exercise activities. Even a modest reduction in your weight —
for example, losing 5 percent of your body weight — might improve your condition. Losing weight may also increase the effectiveness of medications your doctor recommends for PCOS, and can help with infertility.
Combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin decrease androgen production and regulate estrogen. Regulating your hormones can lower your risk of endometrial cancer and correct abnormal bleeding, excess hair growth and acne. Instead of pills, you might use a skin patch or vaginal ring that contains a combination of estrogen and progestin.
Progestin therapy. Taking progestin for 10 to 14 days every one to two months can regulate your periods and protect against endometrial cancer. Progestin therapy doesn’t improve androgen levels and won’t prevent pregnancy. The progestin-only mini pill or progestin-containing intrauterine device is a better choice if you also wish to avoid pregnancy.
Home remedies and Life Style
Maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss can reduce insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation. Ask your doctor about a weight-control program, and meet regularly with a dietitian for help in reaching weight-loss goals.
Limit carbohydrates. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets might increase insulin levels. Ask your doctor about a low-carbohydrate diet if you have PCOS. Choose complex carbohydrates, which raise your blood sugar levels more slowly.
Be active. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. If you have PCOS, increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control and avoid developing diabetes.
Watch this video. What is PCOD/ PCOS?