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PCOS Awareness Month: How Does Body Weight Play A Significant Role In PCOS?

Dr Mukta Kapila shares how PCOS patients must learn stress management skills to manage this condition actively despite the stress.

PCOS Awareness Month 2022: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that comprises multiple signs and symptoms of ovarian dysfunction and its subsequent effects like infrequent and scanty periods, acne and unwanted hair, weight gain and conception issues. It is a widespread problem in the reproductive age. The exact cause is unknown, but the most likely explanation is a family history of polycystic ovary syndrome and inactivity leading to Insulin resistance and obesity. A fundamental reason is a mental stress. Stress is implicated in the cause and worsening of symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome. Stress can lead to a higher level of cortisol which does not work in our favour. Prolonged elevation of cortisol levels hinders the immune system, worsens insulin resistance, and increases androgen hormones.

Dr Mukta Kapila, Director & HOD, Obstetrics & Minimal Invasive Gynae, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram shares that despite the stress, PCOS patients must learn stress management skills to manage this condition actively.

How Do You Test For Insulin Resistance?

  1. Do fasting insulin levels in the blood and 2 hours of insulin levels with a glucose challenge test.
  2. Most cases with polycystic ovaries are obese, but a small but significant number are lean.
  3. Regardless of the obesity, these patients have elevated insulin levels.
  4. There is hirsutism, delayed and irregular periods, darkening of skin creases and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. That is, at least 12 follicles in each ovary with a diameter of 2 to 9 mm.
  5. Individuals suffer as more androgen exists. It can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and various other problems. The anti-oxidant defence system is weakened in both groups.

Obesity And Polycystic Ovaries

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  • Obesity is a leading cause of polycystic ovaries. Obesity leads to insulin resistance which in turn leads to this condition. Women with this disease find it difficult to lose weight, and one gets into a vicious cycle. Insulin helps convert sugars and starches from food into energy, and insulin resistance makes the body have high insulin and sugar in the bloodstream.
  • Weight gain can be detrimental to your health, and patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome are more likely to have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and infertility.

    Losing weight cuts down hormonal imbalance. Even shedding 10% of the body weight can bring your periods back to normal. In addition, weight loss leads to insulin sensitivity and improvement in her symptoms.

PCOS And Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to taking the medication which will help you, lifestyle modification in terms of exercise and a balanced diet with high fibre content are advisable.

  1. Avoid processed foods; if you are a smoker, you should quit.
  2. Exercise is a very vital part of life. Physical activity in any form is enjoyable and can be sustained. It can be a gymnasium, any form like dance, jogging, whatever one enjoys.
  3. Stress management is another essential part.
  4. Meditation and other relaxation techniques should be taught.
  5. Learn to manage time, and in a day of 24 hours, you will have a lot of time for yourself.
  6. Problems should be solved and if not able, then forget them.
  7. Don't do crash diets, as this is very temporary. It is all about changing the attitude. Eat fresh, home-cooked food and exercise every day.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, learn to live like a bird, i.e. eat small frequent meals. Going against nature leads to many problems. It is a self-created problem, and the best is self-healing. Take medication from your doctor until you don't fall back on track, and let your body heal.

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