Don’t take your polycystic ovarian disease lightly
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common condition affecting 5 per cent to 10 per cent of women in the age group 12–45 years. It is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with menstrual periods and make it difficult for her to conceive. The principal features include no ovulation, irregular periods and acne. If not treated, it can cause insulin resistant diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol leading to heart disease. It is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries).
Causes of PCOD or PCOS
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, doctors believe that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition..
High levels of androgens - Androgens are sometimes called male hormones, although all women make small amounts of androgens. Androgens control the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than estrogens. Estrogens are also called female hormones. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
High levels of insulin - Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body's cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance especially those who are overweight or obese, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes (usually type 2 diabetes). Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms may be attributed to other causes or go unnoticed, PCOS may go undiagnosed for some time Symptoms of PCOS may begin shortly after puberty, but can also develop during the later teen years and early adulthood. PCOS is marked by a decrease in female sex hormone, this condition may cause women to develop certain male characteristics, such as:
- Excess hair on the face, chest, stomach, thumbs, or toes.
- Decrease in breast size.
- Deeper voice.
- Thin hair.
- Weight gain.
- Pelvic pain.
- Darkening of skin.
- Skin tags.
- Irregular menstrual cycle.