What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS is a condition which an estimated 1 in 5 women in the UK suffer from.
There are three medical features which will tell your GP if you are likely to have PCOS, and you only need two of these to be diagnosed. These features are;
- Cysts on your ovaries
- Irregular menstruation
- Having high levels of male hormones in your body
What Are The Symptoms?
•Irregular or no periods
•Difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
•Excessive body hair growth
•Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
•Oily skin or acne
Is There A Cure?
At present, there is no cure for PCOS, but with careful diet, lifestyle and medical management most women are able to control their symptoms and have children if they wish.
So How Does Diet Fit In?
PCOS, especially in those who are overweight, causes an increased production of a hormone called insulin which increases the levels of another hormone called testosterone. Testosterone is a male hormone and in women can cause acne, hair loss, irregular periods and make it difficult to conceive.
This increase in insulin also means that it is more difficult to lose weight. Being overweight leads to other conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We already know there is a strong correlation between those with PCOS and these types of illnesses.
Dietary changes should be made with the aims of;
- Reducing the amount of insulin produced
- Achieving a healthy weight
This can be done through changing the types of carbohydrates which are eaten and taking on some healthy lifestyle habits.
Further Information On This Condition