Is PCOS a serious problem?
Is PCOS a serious health condition?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition impacting around 20% of women of reproductive age.
PCOS is characterised with
- Excess follicles on the ovaries
- High levels of androgens on blood tests or symptoms
- Irregular periods, or not ovulating
To be diagnosed women need two of the above.
Women can commonly experience acne, hair growth and hair loss, difficulty losing weight, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. However, there are some more chronic conditions associated with PCOS
More serious conditions associated with PCOS
Women with PCOS are more likely to develop certain serious health problems. These include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with the heart and blood vessels, and uterine cancer.
1. PCOS and Type II Diabetes
Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant; their bodies can make insulin but can’t use it effectively, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes. More than half of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by age 40. However, you can reduce the risk, by eating correctly and incorporating exercise you can reduce the risk. There is a huge amount of information about the correct diet for PCOS, what foods you need to include and what you need to avoid. Put simply, to ensure your meals are balanced, any time you eat a carbohydrate (a grain fruit or vegetable) you balance it with some protein (animal proteins, eggs, lentils, tofu, tempeh) and or some healthy oils (olive oil, avocado, nuts). Working with a women’s health Naturopath will help you on the right path to managing your PCOS.
2. PCOS and high blood pressure
Many of the symptoms associated with PCOS have been shown to also be associated with increases in blood pressure, such as increases in body mass index and the presence of metabolic syndrome, with its accompanying insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
3.PCOS and Uterine cancer
Women with a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have abnormal hormone levels, such as higher androgen (male hormones) and estrogen levels and lower levels of progesterone. The increase in estrogen relative to progesterone can increase a woman’s chance of getting endometrial cancer. It is suggested, that chronic estrogen stimulation of the endometrium may be the underlying pathophysiology.
How can you reduce the risk of PCOS?
While the above can sound overwhelming especially with a recent PCOS diagnosis. It is not all doom and gloom. While there is an increased risk, these are manageable and preventable conditions.
- maintain a healthy weight
- exercise 20min a day 3 times a week
- reduce refined and processed food
- ensure a diet rich in fibre
- ensure meals are a balance of carbs, fats and proteins
How Sydney PCOS Naturopath Lindsay can help
You aren’t alone! There is a barrage of information online and it can feel overwhelming, confusing and conflicting at times. However, it doesn’t need to be this way.
The key is to remember that every woman is different, what may have worked for one woman with PCOS may not work for another. The key to understanding your PCOS and getting better is to understand the driving factors behind your PCOS. Hi, I am Lindsay, a Sydney Naturopath and I am here to help. If you are unsure, reach out, I help many women understand their condition and manage their symptoms through diet, lifestyle and nutritional modifications. Get in touch today.