September is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) awareness month. A time to raise awareness about issues related to polycystic ovary syndrome. I wanted to highlight this health condition because more women are contacting me to help them lose weight, reduce sugar cravings, and reduce other PCOS related symptoms. Here’s a brief overview of PCOS.
What is PCOS?
- It’s a health condition affecting 10 million people worldwide. The cause isn’t known but it is considered a hormonal problem. Genetics and environmental factors contribute to the development of PCOS. It is the leading cause of female infertility but did you know men can also be diagnosed with PCOS? Just because men don’t have ovaries doesn’t exclude them from displaying symptoms.
What are PCOS symptoms?
- Irregular periods or missed periods as a result of not ovulating
- Weight gain that is difficult to manage
- High levels of androgens (hormones)
- Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism) on the face, arms, back, chest, thumbs, toes, and stomach
- Thinning hair on the head.
- Infertility but not for everyone women with PCOS
- Acne, skin tags, and darkened patches on the skin
- Mood changes, depression, anxiety
- Pelvic pain
- Sleep problems
There isn’t a cure for PCOS yet but there are different ways to decrease or eliminate symptoms to feel better.
- Exercise (check with your medical doctor before you start an exercise regimen)
- Nutrition with an emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, legumes, vegetables, green tea, and the DASH Diet or find a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.
- Prescribed medications
The goal is to help reduce the risk of developing serious health complications that can impact women with PCOS much sooner than women without PCOS. The biggest health concerns are diabetes, heart disease, and stroke because PCOS is linked to having high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and high cholesterol. For more information about PCOS check out the PCOS Awareness Association https://www.pcosaa.org