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    All About PCOS

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    gonnatry4#2
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    Join date : 2009-12-05
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    All About PCOS

    Post by gonnatry4#2 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:12 pm

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    What Causes Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

    PCOS, which is short for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a relatively common disorder that can greatly interfere with a woman’s fertility. The causes of PCOS are known entirely, but there are some things that research has been able to determine that do contribute to the risk of PCOS.

    The symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome tend to appear gradually. These symptoms of PCOS can include:
    - irregular or missing periods
    - irregular ovulation, or anovulation
    - vaginal bleeding
    - loss of hair on the head, and growth of hair in other places
    - oily skin and acne
    - Infertility
    - Repeated miscarriages
    - Hyperinsulinemia, or too much insulin
    - Weight gain in the upper body
    - Sleep apnea or other sleeping problems
    - Chronic pelvic pain
    - High blood pressure.

    As with many other health concerns, genetics may be an important factor in PCOS. Some research suggests that the female children of a woman with PCOS have somewhere around a 50% chance of developing PCOS themselves. Frequently, a woman who has PCOS will have a mother or a sister who also has PCOS.

    Other studies suggest an important link between PCOS and a variety of hormonal changes. These can include: - Androgens. Androgens are hormones that can cause a variety of problems, such as hair appearing in odd places and acne, and it can also interfere with the process of ovulation. - Ovarian hormones. The hormones that trigger ovulation are an important part of a woman’s cycle. If these hormones are not at the correct levels, the ovaries will not relapse an egg each month and ovulation will not occur. - Insulin and blood sugar. Roughly 50% of the women who suffer from PCOS will have difficulty with the way that there body uses insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes their blood sugar levels to grow to dangerous levels. IN some instances, this can even lead to diabetes.

    PCOS cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Possible treatment options include birth control pills, diabetes medications such as Metformin (also called Glucophage), fertility medications, medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones, and even surgery.


    Symptoms Of PCOS

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known as PCOS, can be an extremely difficult condition to have. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility. PCOS is caused when a hormonal imbalance causes problems with ovulation. The symptoms of PCOS tend to appear gradually. Not all women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome will have the same symptoms, and not all women who have the same symptoms will have them to the same degree.

    The earliest symptoms of PCOS can be varied. For some women, the first symptoms of PCOS are that they are having very few or even no periods. This typically is measured by having less than 9 periods in a twelve month timeframe. Some women with PCOS will have no period whatsoever. Some will have regular periods, but may not ovulate every month, or at all. Another early symptom of PCOS can be heavy and irregular vaginal bleeding. Around one third of all women with PCOS will have some vaginal bleeding. Another early symptom can be the loss of hair on the head, and growth of hair in other places. More than two thirds of the women who have PCOS experience hair loss or hair growth in unwanted places. For some women with PCOS, oily skin and acne can be symptoms as well.

    Later symptoms of PCOS that will typically develop gradually over time can include:
    - Infertility. This occurs when PCOS interferes with ovulation.
    - Repeated miscarriages. The high insulin levels associated with PCOS can sometimes be responsible for miscarriages.
    - Hyperinsulinemia, or too much insulin. This can lead to many of the other symptoms. Signs of too much insulin can include weight gain in the upper body, skin tags, and patches of dark skin on the neck, in the genital area, or under the arm.
    - Weight gain in the upper body. This weight gain would typically be concentrated in the belly, as opposed to the hips.
    - Sleep apnea or other sleeping problems.
    - Chronic pelvic pain.
    - High blood pressure.

    If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider immediately. There may be treatments for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome that you can discuss.


    PCOS And Weight Gain

    PCOS, which is short for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, can cause a variety of symptoms. The earliest symptoms of PCOS can be varied. For some women, the first symptoms of PCOS are that they are having very few or even no periods. This typically is measured by having less than 9 periods in a twelve month timeframe. Some women with PCOS will have no period whatsoever. Some will have regular periods, but may not ovulate every month, or at all. Another early symptom of PCOS can be heavy and irregular vaginal bleeding. Around one third of all women with PCOS will have some vaginal bleeding. Another early symptom can be the loss of hair on the head, and growth of hair in other places.
    More than two thirds of the women who have PCOS experience hair loss or hair growth in unwanted places. For some women with PCOS, oily skin and acne can be symptoms as well.

    Later symptoms of PCOS that will typically develop gradually over time can include:
    - Infertility. This occurs when PCOS interferes with ovulation.
    - Repeated miscarriages. The high insulin levels associated with PCOS can sometimes be responsible for miscarriages.
    - Hyperinsulinemia, or too much insulin. This can lead to many of the other symptoms. Signs of too much insulin can include weight gain in the upper body, skin tags, and patches of dark skin on the neck, in the genital area, or under the arm.
    - Weight gain in the upper body. This weight gain would typically be concentrated in the belly, as opposed to the hips.
    - Sleep apnea or other sleeping problems.
    - Chronic pelvic pain.
    - High blood pressure.

    One of the most common and most pronounced symptoms of PCOS can be weight gain, particularly upper body weight gain. Many times, women who have PCOS become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance tends to develop slowly and over time, and greatly affects a woman’s metabolism. This insulin resistance makes it much easier for a woman to gain weight, and also makes taking weight off more difficult. In addition, the production of androgens, or male hormones, is a common side effect of PCOS. The production of androgens not only produces symptoms such as abnormal hair growth or hair loss, it can also be responsible for weight gain.

    There is no known cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). However, there are certain treatments that are often used to address the symptoms of PCOS, such as weight gain. Some health care providers will recommend diabetic medications, such as Metformin, to help the patient with PCOS. Also known as Glucophage, this medication impacts the way that insulin regulates glucose, and it also helps to cause a decrease in the production of testosterone. By working both on insulin resistance as well as the production of androgens, Metformin can assist a woman with getting a handle on her weight gain.


    PCOS And Hair Growth/Loss

    PCOS can be an extremely frustrating and troubling condition for a woman to have. In addition to being one of the leading causes of infertility, PCOS can have several other problematic symptoms, such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, and weight gain in the upper body. In addition to these symptoms, PCOS can cause a variety of difficulties with a woman’s hair.

    When a woman has PCOS, her body tends to produce androgens. Androgens are a type of hormone that can cause a variety of problems, such as acne. Androgens can also interfere with ovulation, causing fertility problems. One of the androgens, testosterone, can cause unwanted hair growth when there is too much of it in the blood. Testosterone coverts into dihydrotestosterone, sometimes known as DHT. Body hair is affected by dihydrotestosterone more than the hair of the head. If a woman has a large amount of dihydrotestosterone in her system, the body hairs that are normally very fine will become coarse, and tend to grow toward the navel and on the face.

    If dihydrotestosterone and other androgens are at very high levels, the head on the hair can actually react differently than body hair. It is much more sensitive to these hormones, and will fall out rather than growing. This can lead to male-pattern balding in women.
    An excessive amount of androgens such as dihydrotestosterone can also lead to the deepening of a woman’s voice, and even enlargement of the clitoris.

    For some women with PCOS, the increased levels of androgens are not necessarily from their ovarian cysts; rather, many women with PCOS also have trouble with their thyroid gland, which can contribute to not only hair growth and loss, but many of the other symptoms of PCOS, including weight gain.

    Hair loss and unwanted hair growth can be a severe problem. Many women are greatly impacted in their self esteem, and this unwanted hair or lack of hair can cause them a great deal of social anxiety. There are some medications and procedures that may help with the unwanted hair or hair loss. If you have PCOS and are having problems with your hair, contact your health care provider to discuss what options are available to you.


    Relationship Of Insulin And PCOS

    Around six percent of women in the United States are affected by PCOS, also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Women with PCOS experience a variety of symptoms, including irregular menstruation, facial and body hair, hair loss, weight gain in the upper body, acne, and cysts on the ovaries.

    There is an intricate relationship between insulin and PCOS. Women who have PCOS often become insulin resistant. Some studies even suggest that insulin resistance is a cause, rather than a result, of PCOS. Around a third of women who have PCOS will also have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body does not correctly process insulin. As a result, levels of sugar increase in the blood. This can lead to diabetes and a variety of other problems. This increased amount of insulin is thought to lead to an increased production of androgens, or male hormones. These hormones are often responsible for many of the symptoms of PCOS, including facial and body hair, hair loss, and weight gain.
    There are a variety of factors that can make you more prone to insulin resistance. These include:

    - Age. If you are over 40, you are at higher risk.
    - Family history. This includes a history of Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
    - Weight. Being overweight puts you at increased risk.
    If you have PCOS, you should talk with your health care provider about insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can be diagnosed with a simple test that will check your body’s tolerance for glucose. If your insulin resistance is not treated, it can create a variety of problems, including diabetes, kidney damage, vision loss, nerve damage, and heart problems.
    Problems with insulin can often be treated with medications, such as Metformin, that control glucose production in the body, and thereby reduces your body’s needs for insulin. Also known as Glucophage, this medication impacts the way that insulin regulates glucose, and it also helps to cause a decrease in the production of testosterone. This can help ovulation to return, and can also help to slow down the irregular hair growth. Weight reduction may also help with your insulin resistance, as will other medications, known as insulin-sensitizing agents. Treating insulin problems may be, in many cases, the best way to treat PCOS.


    Treatments for PCOS

    There is no known cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). However, there are certain treatments that are often used to address the symptoms of PCOS. They sympoms of PCOS can include irregular or missing periods, irregular ovulation, or anovulation, vaginal bleeding, loss of hair on the head, and growth of hair in other places, oily skin and acne, Infertility , Repeated miscarriages, Hyperinsulinemia, or too much insulin, Weight gain in the upper body, Sleep apnea or other sleeping problems, Chronic pelvic pain, and high blood pressure.

    Some health care providers will recommend diabetic medications, such as Metformin, to help the patient with PCOS. Also known as Glucophage, this medication impacts the way that insulin regulates glucose, and it also helps to cause a decrease in the production of testosterone. This can help ovulation to return, and can also help to slow down the irregular hair growth.

    Another possible treatment for PCOS, for the woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant , is birth control pills. The pill can help keep the menstrual cycle regular, and it can also reduce the levels of male hormones. Birth control pills may also help to clear acne.

    Birth control pills are not always a good option, however. Many women who have PCOS only discover that they have it because they are trying to conceive. In these cases, Clomid or other fertility medications may be used to help the woman’s ovulatory cycle stabilize. These medications may help control other side effects, as well.

    There are medications available that will also help with the extra male hormones present in the woman’s systems. Spironolactone is a medication that is typically used for blood pressure, but is also known to help reduce hair growth. Some research suggests that Propecia, a medication used by men to combat hair loss, can also help with unwanted hair.

    There are surgical options for the woman with PCOS as well. A process known as “ovarian drilling” is sometimes used to help start ovulation. This laparoscopic procedure is fairly non-invasive, but does carry certain risks and is not a permanent solution.


    How Long Does It Take For Metformin To Work?

    Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a medication that is used to regulate the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Metformin accomplishes its task through three methods. First, it causes the liver to produce less glucose. Second, metformin helps your stomach to absorb less glucose from the food that you eat. Finally, metformin improves the efficiency of the insulin that the body produces, which reduces the amount of glucose that is in your blood. Metformin is often prescribed for people with Type II diabetes.

    How long it takes Metformin to work depends on the reason that a woman is taking metformin. If a woman is taking metformin to regulate her blood sugar, metformin typically will work within a few days or a few weeks at the most.

    For the woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) metformin can help to reduce the amount of insulin in the body. Once the insulin levels are under control, many women will then experience improved ovulation. If metformin is going to work for a woman who has experienced fertility problems because of her polycystic ovarian syndrome, it will typically help within three to six months. Unlike most fertility treatments, metformin does not cause a risk of having a multiple or twin pregnancy . If metformin alone does not help a woman with PCOS who is trying to conceive, a fertility doctor may prescribe Clomid, as well.

    If metformin is prescribed for a woman with PCOS to help restore a regular, normal menstrual cycle, metformin can work within 4 to 8 weeks. In addition, the stabilized levels of insulin may affect the other hormones in a woman’s body, and reduce other symptoms of PCOS.
    Some women, either with diabetes or PCOS, use metformin as a tool for weight loss. If this is the case, weight loss can occur somewhere between 1 and 5 weeks after beginning a regimen of metformin. Some studies suggest that metformin may also be useful in weight loss for women who are not diabetic or have PCOS, but more research is needed on this point.


    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome And Homeopathy

    Many women who have PCOS have had limited success with the traditional medical treatments available. Sometimes, traditional medicines and treatments are not enough. In some cases, such treatments are too invasive, or the medications are too difficult on a womans system, that she hopes to be able to treat her condition through other means, such as homeopathy.

    Homeopathic treatment is based on some foundational principles. One of the core ideas is that a substance that produces a symptom when given in large doses will help to remove those symptoms if it is given in small or micro-doses. Homeopathy assumes a holistic approach, in which all of the symptoms are considered. Advocates of homeopathy suggest that the treatments are effective, safe, natural, not addictive, and have no side effects.

    There are not any specific homeopathic remedies that are designed for the treatment of PCOS. However, there are homeopathic treatments that may help a woman with PCOS. The most common form of homeopathic treatments for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome include homeopathic treatments that address the general well-being of the person.

    One of the homeopathic treatments for PCOS is Nat. Mur. Nat. Mur is proscribed for a variety of symptoms, such as eczema, vertigo, oral thrush, and premenstrual tension. Another treatment is Lycopodium.
    Lycopodium is used for vomiting, indigestion, bloating, constipation, anxiety, and insomnia. Sepia is also sometimes used. Sepia is generally used for a variety of female difficulties that center around the uterus, vagina, or ovaries. One of the more versatile homeopathic treatments, Lachesis, is also used for PCOS. Lachesis is used for blood poisoning, circulation, difficulties with menstruation, menopause, tonsillitis, and uterine problems.

    An expert homeopath may be able to help you determine additional treatments for PCOS. As always, homeopathic remedies should be used under the care of a health care provider, and may be most effective when combined with traditional medical approaches, as well as specific lifestyle and behavioral remedies, such as diet and exercise.


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