Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common health problem caused due to an imbalance of female reproductive hormones. It affects 1 in 10 females of reproductive age.
Stress, sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors, poor eating habits, improper sleep takes a toll, and leads to various disruptions and imbalances. Nourishing the body with important nutrients, being physically active are the key goals in preventing and resolving hormonal imbalances.
A lot of studies have been conducted to check the impact of Medical Nutrition Therapy on PCOS. A study conducted by Safila et al concluded that females in the age group of 15-40 years faced severe hormonal imbalances due to irregular eating patterns, stress, depression, and excessive use of antibiotics1.
Intensive lifestyle modification which includes diet and exercise is considered the first line of treatment in the management of infertility and metabolic complications in women with PCOS. There is a significant increase in the conversion of impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes in these individuals 2,3.
A healthcare practitioner may advise a series of following tests to diagnose PCOS
- Testosterone: This is one of the initial and crucial tests to determine whether an individual is producing excessive androgens. The level is usually high in PCOS.
- Sex hormone-binding globulin(SHBG)- this may be lower in PCOS.
- Anti-Mullerian hormone(AMH)-An increased level is often seen with PCOS.
Some of the secondary tests done to diagnose PCOS :
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone(FSH)
- Luteinizing Hormone(LH)- will be elevated
- Estrogens- may be normal or elevated
- DHEAS- may be elevated
- Androstenedione - may be elevated
For individuals with PCOS the size of ovaries could be 1.5 to 3 times larger than normal and have more than 20 follicles per ovary, making the appearance of a cyst-like that of a pearl necklace. A pelvic ultrasound helps to visualize these changes in more than 90% of women with PCOS, but they are also found in up to 25% of women without PCOS symptoms4.
Safila Naveed, Sidra Ghayas, Asra Hameed; Hormonal imbalance and its causes in young females, Journal of Innovations in Pharmaceuticals and Biological Sciences, Vol 2 (1),12-16, 2015
Carrie C. Dennett, Judy Simon, The Role of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Reproductive and Metabolic Health: Overview and Approaches for Treatment, Diabetes Spectrum 2015 May; 28(2):116-120
Kelsey E. S. Salley, Edmond P. Wickham, Kai I. Cheang, Paulina A.Essah, Nicole W. Karjane, John E. Nestler, POSITION STATEMENT:Glucose Intolerance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-A PositionStatement of the Androgen Excess Society, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 92, Issue 12, 1 December 2007, Pages 4546-4556.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
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