PCOS- The Hidden Epidemic
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is the most common anovulatory disorder of reproductive women worldwide. As many as 5 million women in the U.S. may be affected and there are estimates are that it affects 1 in 15 women worldwide. Unfortunately over 50% of women with this disease do not know that they have it. This is concerning because this disorder increases the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility and cancer! In fact infertility is the most common symptom of this disorder. Unfortunately most women that have this disorder are often overlooked and commonly misdiagnosed. For women that do carry the diagnosis they can often find it frustrating to find options to both educate them on the etiology of their disease but also holistic options for treatment.
Common symptoms of PCOS are irregular or absent cycles, difficulty with losing weight even when eating right and exercising, excess hair, and ovarian cysts. You do not have to have all of the symptoms to be diagnosed with the disease and just because you have some of the symptoms does not always mean that you have this condition. Women diagnosed with this condition are at extreme risk for development of early diabetes therefore it is recommended that this population undergo regular screening for diabetes. While at the lab getting this test it may be a good idea also to make sure that your cholesterol screening is also up to date secondary to the increased risk of that condition with this disease.
It is important to know that PCOS is a very manageable condition both with the use of medication and also with the influence of lifestyle changes. Because PCOS causes insulin resistance if you were to approach this disease in a root cause approach lifestyle choices would be best and most optimal with medication for use as backup. There are providers out there that are very experienced with this condition and there are things that can be done to both control and manage the condition although most patients never fully get rid of it. Therefore the true key to having success with this condition is to develop a lifestyle program that helps to support it.