Are you experiencing acne breakouts? Have you checked with your dermatologist? You should as you may be suffering from PCOS.
Ever heard of polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS? It is a health condition that affects women. With PCOS, the hormones are out of balance causing irregular menstruation periods and difficulty in getting pregnant. If you have it you may experience unwanted changes in your appearance. Over time it can lead to serious health problems including diabetes and heart disease.
Most women who suffer from PCOS grow a number of small cysts on their ovaries hence the name polycystic ovarian syndrome. These cysts are not harmful but they do cause hormone imbalances. Early diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent issues in the long run.
PCOS: Getting to Know More About Hormones
So let’s get to know more about hormones. Hormones are our body’s messengers. They trigger a number of various processes such as energy production and growth. Often one hormone’s job is to signal the release of another hormone. Up to this date the imbalance of hormones in PCOS is not well understood yet. What is known is that a change in one hormone causes a change in another which changes another hormone.
Here are a few examples how things happen with PCOS
- Sex hormones get out of balance. In normal circumstances, the ovaries produce a tiny amount of androgens or the male sex hormones. However with polycystic ovarian syndrome, the ovaries start producing a higher amount. This can cause you to stop ovulating, experience acne breakouts, and grow extra hair on the face and the body.
- PCOS can also cause insulin resistance. This means that the body doesn’t utilize insulin well which causes the blood sugar levels to rise. Over time, this ups your risk of diabetes.
So what causes polycystic ovarian syndrome? Up to this date, the cause (or causes) of PCOS is not yet determined. However, genetics may play a major role. It seems that PCOS run in families so if other women in your family have it or they experience irregular menstruation periods or if they have diabetes, your chances of having it is greater. Both your mother’s side and father’s side can pass down this condition.
Symptoms of PCOS
So what are its symptoms? The symptoms at first tend to be mild. You may experience only a few of the common symptoms or a whole lot of them. Here is a list of the most common symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome:
- Weight gain plus difficulty losing weight
- Extra hair growth on the face and body. Oftentimes women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back areas.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- Irregular menstrual periods. In most cases, women with PCOS have fewer than 9 periods in a year. However some women don’t get periods at all while some get heavy bleeding.
- Fertility problems. Most women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant.
It pays to visit your dermatologist regularly, at least once a year to detect PCOS early on and treat it immediately.
Do you suffer from PCOS? What are the symptoms that you’re experiencing? Let us know by dropping in a comment. Feel free to share your tips and advice for managing the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome.