PCOS(Poly cystic ovarian syndrome) is the most common hormonal abnormality seen in women and also considered as the leading cause of infertility in their reproductive age. 50-60% of women with PCOS  are overweight or obese. Obesity  is strongly associated and is a common finding in PCOS ,aggravating many of its reproductive and metabolic features. The relationship between PCOS and obesity is complex, not well understood. The diagnostic criteria for PCOS is based on presence of 2 out of 3 features (Rotterdam criteria):

  1. Anovulation
  2. Polycystic ovary morphology
  3. Hyperandrogenism- clinical or biochemical

Does obesity cause PCOS?

Interesting part is that Obesity causes PCOS and vice versa.

Characteristics and features of PCOS:

Women with PCOS may have both reproductive and metabolic disturbances. In first part it causes increased androgen production, menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, and infertility. In second part , metabolic disturbances include defects in insulin action and β-cell function of pancreas causing glucose intolerance and eventual development of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus. Other than Type-2 diabetes, PCOS is also associated to in causing dyslipidemia, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer.  

PCOS and its Management:

Treatment of PCOS must focus both on  treating hyperandrogenism and anovulation and on reducing metabolic complications.

Treatment includes medical management and lifestyle intervention. Usage of Metformin based combination medications will help in balancing the metabolic issues like increasing sensitivity of tissues to insulin and also helps in regularizing menstrual cycles along with losing weight.

Losing weight is an Important strategy in treatment of PCOS:

The best approach to PCOS treatment is through lifestyle modification. So physical activity and taking low calorie diet plays an important role in restoring ovulation and decreasing infertility.

  1. Low caloric diet:Eat a high-fiber, low-sugar diet. Take more of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid processed and fatty foods to keep blood glucose under control. Instead of taking 3 large meals take 4 to 6 small meals throughout the day
  2. Physical Activity: Along with the above diets, following a good exercise and making it upto 45 minutes per day helps in reducing weight and keeping insulin and other hormone levels under control & also increases insulin sensitivity and improves psychological issues that are present due to PCOS.

-Dr.Bhavani Sagar Surampally

 

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