Polycystic ovary syndrome – what do you need to know about it?

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PCOS – or polycystic ovary syndrome – is, simply put, a disorder of hormone secretion. What is actually worth knowing about it? And how to act when we are diagnosed?

Have you been struggling for some time at the gym or at home trying to lose excess weight, but still no results? In addition, the condition of your skin has significantly deteriorated, it is oily and has a tendency to acne? These may be one of the symptoms which indicate polycystic ovary syndrome.

What exactly is polycystic ovarian syndrome?

PCOS ( polycystic ovary syndrome) is one of the most common endocrine disorders faced by younger and younger women. This ailment is diagnosed by specialists (gynecologists, endocrinologists) in women of reproductive age (in the Polish statistical practice of the Central Statistical Office, reproductive age is considered to be between 15 and 49 years of age). The cause of PCOS are hormonal disorders, which have a bad influence on the work of ovaries. As a result, follicles form on the ovaries, in which the egg cell matures, but ovulation does not occur because it does not enter the fallopian tube. This in turn leads to the empty follicles dying and forming cysts.

What symptoms should concern us? And what are the causes of polycystic ovarian syndrome?

As we mentioned earlier: problems with losing weight or gaining it despite leading a healthy lifestyle, irregular menstrual cycles (too much bleeding or very little), excessive body hair (so-called male pattern hair), skin seborrhoea (recurring acne) or problems with getting pregnant are some of the most common symptoms which may indicate polycystic ovary syndrome.

Detailed causes of polycystic ovaries are still not fully understood, but hormonal disorders are considered the main one. For example, a significant progesterone deficiency may be to blame for irregular menstruation. And imbalanced proportions of luteinizing hormone (LH), especially its too high level, causes the number of small follicles to increase in the ovaries, so that ovulation does not occur. According to studies and observations by gynecologists, PCOS can cause infertility in about 40% of women of reproductive age

How is polycystic ovary syndrome treated?

PCOS is quite a difficult condition to treat. Therefore, the doctor must take a detailed history with the patient and do a number of hormonal tests to choose the right treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome. The specialist usually recommends that the treatment should start with losing excess weight, because fat tissue contributes to the production of excess hormones. If the patient smokes, the doctor will also advise her to quit, because nicotine unfortunately stimulates the body to produce more androgens (and too much of them causes a number of PCOS symptoms).

When treating polycystic ovary syndrome, what we eat every day also plays a very important role. Many doctors even consider diet to be the basis in the fight against this condition. First of all, a rational and healthy diet will help to lose unnecessary weight, but it will also compensate for various abnormalities in the fat and carbohydrate metabolism of the body. So what should be the diet for PCOS? First of all you should avoid processed foods. It should contain a lot of fiber, which regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Rich in fiber are fruits, whole grain cereal products, vegetables, all legumes. Vegetable oils should be included in the menu, especially those cold-pressed, they must not be heated. Do not fry, but steam, stew or bake in foil. It is also very important to supplement the level of magnesium through diet. And its valuable sources are nuts, almonds or spinach.

Read also: How do hormones affect the female body and brain?

Main photo: Polina Zimmerman/ pexels.com

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