Understanding PCOS

Varun Sharma
Varun Sharma

 | 1 minute to read
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I firmly believe that if you understand the whys and hows of something then you analyse well and deal with them appropriately.

PCOS is widespread and we may all have heard of it at one point or the other. Read further to know all about it. In order to understand PCOS we need to first understand Ovarian cycle. Ill just shortly describe it in few points so that we can relate PCOS cases with it: 1) Normally an Ovarian cycle is of 28 days. Ovaries produce eggs, these eggs then develop in structures called as follicles. 2) Pituitary gland produces 2 major hormones for this cycle and releases them in bloodstream. FSH(Follicle stimulating hormone) and LH(Leutenizing hormone). 3) You can think of follicles as a liquid membrane. This is made up of granulose cells which have receptors on its surface(theca cells) and secretes estrogen, progesterone and inhibin which signals back to pituitary gland. 4) In the first 14 days i.e. Follicular phase pituitary gland secretes FSH which helps in Follicular maturity from Primorbial to mature follicle.(think of a small to mature egg) 5) Once estrogen in blood reaches a certain level the pituitary gland sends a surge of LH to ovaries causing Dominant Follicle to be ovulated out of ovary and rest of follicles and eggs to die off by atresia. If the egg is not fertilised both egg and uterine lining shed during menstrual period. What happens in PCOS with Insulin resistance 1) IF you have PCOS chances are high that your pituitary gland produces high amount of LH which disrupts the normal cycle. Hence follicles do not mature and ovulation does not occur which leads to infertility. Some immature follicles do not dissolve or die(by atresia) and remain in the ovary, forming CYSTS. 2) Along with this if there are high levels of insulin in your blood that make the situation more scary. How? Insulin along with LH can lead to excess production of male hormone testosterone. Now you say that how can TESTOSTERONE be bad? Its bad because 80% of this should be atleast bound to cells and rest 20% can be free. Insulin resistance decreases SHBG(sex hormone binding globulin) which increases free testosterone levels in blood. This causes hair fall, hair growth on face and acne. Medications given by doctors: If you have PCOS doctors must have recommended you one of these: 1) Hormonal Birth control: regulates menstrual cycle, and Reduces testosterone production in ovaries. 2) Anti-adrogen drugs: reduces abnormal hair growth and acne 3) metaformin: lowers your insulin levels and regulates your menstrual cycle. 4)Fertility medications: to stimulate ovulation. How to avoid/battle with PCOS? 1) Diet : Follow a structured diet low in carbohydrates and bring blood sugar and insulin at normal levels. When I say low in carbohydrates I don’t mean following a keto diet is the only solution. Any diet with low carbodhydrates and low Glycemic load is good to go. 2) Exercise: Exercise, specially resistance training has been widely discussed now as the best thing to do to lose that extra fat you have. Work those muscles to improve your insulin sensitivity and reduce those sugar levels to balance testosterone/estrogen ratios. 3) Inflammation: Any kind of higher inflammation decreases cellular sensitivity and increases resistance. Make sure you check all inflammations of any kind (auto or pathogenic). 4) Stress and Cortisol: Chemical stress,emotional stress, physical pain, all of these can increase your cortisol levels which further contribute in insulin resistance and hormonal disbalance. So keep this in check. You can get this tested and after identifying causes and work on this. Hormones want you to be happy and stress free. Pay a little more attention to their health in order to live a life without hormonal disruption.
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Varun Sharma

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