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Poly cystic ovarian disease is a health problem with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (ages 15 to 44).
PCOD is also known as the “polycystic ovarian syndrome” (PCOS). PCOD affects a woman’s ovaries the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce a small amount of male hormones called androgens.
In PCOD many small fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries. The word “polycystic” means “many cysts.”
These sacs are actually follicles, each one containing an immature egg. The eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation.
The lack of ovulation alters levels of estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH. Estrogen and progesterone levels are lower than usual, while androgen levels are higher than usual.
Extra male hormones disrupt the menstrual cycle, so women with PCOD get fewer periods than usual.
One in every 10 women has polycystic ovarian disease a disorder that is the leading cause of female infertility and risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Yet half of all women with PCOD are undiagnosed.
The hormones like Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH) control ovulation. FSH stimulates the ovary to produce a follicles sac that contains an egg and then LH triggers the ovary to release a mature egg.
Causes of PCOD
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal hormone levels.
PCOD due to Resistance to Insulin
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control the amount of sugar in the blood.
Insulin resistance means the body’s tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin. The body therefore has to produce extra insulin to compensate.
High levels of insulin cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone, which interferes with the development of the follicles (the sacs in the ovaries where eggs develop) and prevents normal ovulation.
PCOD due to Hormone Imbalance
Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes including growth and energy production. Often, the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.
Many women with PCOS are found to have an imbalance in certain hormones, including:
1. Raised levels of testosterone A hormone often thought of as a male hormone, although all women usually produce small amounts of it. 2. Raised levels of luteinising hormone (LH) This stimulates ovulation, but may have an abnormal effect on the ovaries if levels are too high. 3. Low levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) A protein in the blood, which binds to testosterone and reduces the effect of testosterone. 4. Raised levels of prolactin Hormone that stimulates the breast glands to produce milk in pregnancy.
The exact reason why these hormonal changes occur isn’t known. It’s been suggested that the problem may start in the ovary itself, in other glands that produce these hormones, or in the part of the brain that controls their production. The changes may also be caused by the resistance to insulin.
PCOD due to Genetic factor PCOS sometimes runs in families. If any relatives, such as your mother, sister or aunt, have PCOD, then the risk of you developing it is often increased.
Risk factors of PCOD ?
Obesity is a very important risk factor for PCOD, and it can cause serious menstrual disturbances and hormonal imbalance.
A sedentary lifestyle involves less amount of exercise, becoming a common risk factor for obesity.
Family history of PCOS
Age: PCOS is more likely to develop between 15-30 years of age.
High blood pressure
Principal features of PCOD?
Development of cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries.
Irregular menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called “hirsutism.”Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.
Infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts
Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
Does PCOS raise my risk for other health problems?
Diabetes. More than half of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes (glucose intolerance)before the age of 40.
High blood pressure. Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure compared with women of the same age without PCOS. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Learn more about disease and stroke.
Unhealthy cholesterol. Women with PCOS often have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. High cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Sleep apnea. This is when momentary and repeated stops in breathing interrupt sleep. Many women with PCOS are overweight or obese, which can cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea raises your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are common among women with PCOS.
Endometrial cancer. Problems with ovulation, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes (all common in women with PCOS) increase the risk of developing cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
Role of Homeopathy in case of PCOD
Homeopathy is safe option for PCOD patients. Homeopathy helps in improving and regularizing the menstrual cycle, minimizing and preventing formation of cyst and corrects the hormonal imbalance.
Homeopathy medicines act at root level of the disease bring deviation of hormonal system back to normalcy.
What foods should I add to my diet?
High fiber vegetables High fiber foods can help combat insulin resistance by showing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar on the blood. This may be beneficial to women with PCOD. Some high fiber food are: 1. Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts 2. Greens, including red leaf lettuce and arugula 3. Green and red peppers 4. Beans and lentils 5. Almonds
Anti inflammatory foods and spices such as turmeric and tomatoes.
Lean protein Lean protein sources like tofu, chicken, and fish don’t provide fiber but are very filling and a healthy dietary option for women with PCOD.
Foods that help reduce inflammation may also be beneficial. They include: 1. Tomatoes 2. Spinach 3. Almonds 4. Walnuts 5. Olive oil6. Fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries 6. Fatty fish high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines
Which foods should I limit or avoid?
Foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and muffins.
Sugary snacks and drinks.
Inflammatory foods, such as processed and red meats
Foods high in refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates cause inflammation, exacerbate insulin resistance, and should be avoided. These include highly processed foods, such as: 1. white bread 2. muffins 3. breakfast pastries 4. sugary desserts 5. white potatoes 6. anything made with white flour
Other lifestyle changes to consider
PCOD, like many disorders, responds positively to proactive lifestyle choices. This includes exercise and daily physical movement. Both can help to reduce insulin resistance, especially when coupled with a limited intake of unhealthy carbohydrates. Many experts agree that at least 150 minutes per week of exercise is ideal.
Daily activity, low sugar intake, and a low-inflammation diet may also lead to weight loss. Women may experience improved ovulation with weight loss, so women who are obese or overweight and want to get pregnant may find physician-approved exercise especially important.
The symptoms associated with PCOS can cause stress.
Stress reduction techniques, which help calm the mind and let you connect with your body, can help. These include yoga and meditation. Speaking with a therapist or other medical professional may also be beneficial.
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