Have you ever heard of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? If you’re a woman who has had trouble getting pregnant, you might have.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting 6% to 12% (as many as 5 million) of US women of reproductive age. However, this lifelong health condition continues far beyond the child-bearing years.
Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant; their bodies can make insulin but can’t use it effectively, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes. They also have higher levels of androgens, which can stop eggs from being released (ovulation) and cause irregular periods, acne, thinning scalp hair, and excess hair growth on the face and body.
Women with PCOS can develop serious health problems, especially if they are overweight, including:
- Diabetes — more than half of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by age 40
- Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes when pregnant) — which puts the pregnancy and baby at risk and can lead to type 2 diabetes later in life for both mother and child
- Heart Disease — women with PCOS are at higher risk, and risk increases with age
- High Blood Pressure — which can damage the heart, brain, and kidneys
- High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol — increasing the risk for heart disease
- Sleep Apnea — a disorder that causes breathing to stop during sleep and raises the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- Stroke — plaque (cholesterol and white blood cells) clogging blood vessels can lead to blood clots that, in turn, can cause a stroke
PCOS is also linked to depression and anxiety, though the connection is not fully understood.
What Causes PCOS?
The exact causes aren’t known now, but androgen levels that are higher than normal play an important part. Excess weight and family history—which are in turn related to insulin resistance—can also contribute.
Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
Women with insulin resistance often have little, if any, symptoms. When they do, it may indicate that the condition has progressed to Diabetes. If you experience these symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Symptoms may include:
- Cravings for sweets and salty foods
- Darkening of skin in the groin, armpits, or behind the neck
- Frequent or increased urination
- Increased hunger or thirst
- Tingling sensation in the hands of feet
Does being overweight cause PCOS? Does PCOS make you overweight? The relationship is complicated and not well understood. Being overweight is associated with PCOS, but many women of average weight have PCOS, and many overweight women don’t.
Women whose mother or sister has PCOS or type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop PCOS and Insulin Resistance
Lifestyle can have a significant impact on insulin resistance, especially if a woman is overweight because of an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. Insulin resistance also runs in families. Losing weight will often help improve symptoms no matter what caused the insulin resistance.
Do You Have PCOS?
Sometimes, symptoms are apparent, and sometimes, they’re less noticeable. You may visit a dermatologist (skin doctor) for acne, hair growth, or darkening of the skin in body creases and folds such as the back of the neck (acanthosis nigricans), a gynecologist for irregular monthly periods, and your family doctor for weight gain, not realizing these symptoms are all part of PCOS. Some women will have just one sign; others will have them all. Women of every race and ethnicity can have PCOS.
It’s common for women to find out they have PCOS when they have trouble getting pregnant, but it often begins soon after the first menstrual period, as young as 11 or 12. It can also develop in the 20s or 30s.
To determine if you have PCOS, your doctor will check that you have at least 2 of these 3 symptoms:
- Irregular periods or no periods, caused by lack of ovulation
- Higher than normal levels of male hormones may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne, or thinning scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
Just having ovarian cysts isn’t enough for a diagnosis.
See your healthcare provider if you have irregular monthly periods, trouble getting pregnant, or have excess acne or hair growth. If you’re told you have PCOS, ask about getting tested for type two diabetes and how to manage the condition if you have it. Making healthy changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthy whole foods, and increasing physical activity can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, help you better managed diabetes, and prevent or delay other health problems.
To learn more about PCOS, call Doctor’s Nutrition today at 1-800-824-0194. Be sure to ask about our MYO-Vitex! Staying calm, cool, collected, and ready for everyday challenges is critical for today’s woman. Whether you’re a woman in her 30s, who wants to start a family or a woman who wants hormonal support after menopause, Myo-Vitex was designed especially for you.
Helps Maintain Menstrual Regularity
Chasteberry in Myo-Vitex supports a regular menstrual cycle and may support fertility. In addition, it can help keep your mood happy and calm, especially during challenging times of the month. It helps to decrease mild mood changes, cramps, and edema associated with the menstrual cycle. Chasteberry accomplishes this by influencing levels of hormones involved in the menstrual cycle, such as progesterone, prolactin, and estrogen.
Excess testosterone can lead to features such as facial hair in women. Inositol can help counteract excess testosterone levels. Chasteberry in Myo-Vitex helps to maintain lower levels of testosterone by increasing the activity of aromatase, an enzyme that breaks down testosterone and changes it into estrogen.
Support Ovarian and Metabolic Health
Maintaining healthy insulin metabolism is critical in supporting ovarian health and keeping your body sleek and slim. Ingredients like inositol, chromium, and alpha-lipoic acid powerfully help regulate insulin and blood sugar activity and promote a healthy body weight. Meanwhile, CoQ10 and ALA rejuvenate egg quality by nourishing mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells.
Improved Vitality at Any Age
This unique formula from Doctor’s Nutrition optimizes blood sugar, promotes hormone balance, and supports mitochondrial health. That makes it a valuable tool in supporting health before, during, and after menopause. Better hormonal balance helps reduce mild and occasional irritability. It supports energy levels and promotes a good night’s rest.
- Myo-Vitex is recommended for:
• Menstrual cycle support
• Cyclical breast tenderness
• Emotional challenges during PMS or menopause
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• Mild physical discomfort with PMS
• Ovarian health
. Promotes healthy blood sugar and insulin