What is PCOS?

Written By Dr.Preeti Raj Founder and Chief Nutritionist of Wootu Nutrition

When clients come to my clinic for weight loss the first thing I do is to look for clinical signs
like dark velvety patches around neck, skin tags, oily skin, acne, pot belly. I ask them to
come back with ultrasound if they have one or two symptoms mentioned above. 99% of the
client with all these signs will come back to me with their ultrasound showing strings of
pearls attached to their ovary. When they come back they ask me “How do you even know
that I have PCOS just by a glance”, I smile and from then on I empathise, educate and guide
them to follow a good life style to manage this lassie syndrome.
I realized that it is very important to create awareness among teens and adult women to help
them understand this crazy syndrome that makes them lazy. As a nutritionist, having seen
hundreds of dames with poly cystic ovarian syndrome, I am qualified to take you through this
quintessential topic.

What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome abbreviated as PCOS affects one in ten women of child bearing
age in the world. The term PCOS may sound like a deadly disease but in reality it is a
collection of symptoms like irregular menstrual cycle, cyst in the ovary that interrupts
ovulation and cause infertility in significant numbers of women.
Indeed women without any cyst but with high level of androgen, who are not overweight, can
also be termed as PCOS. It is not like common cold that you can get rid of in a week’s time
but like diabetes that need a lifelong life style management.
If you catch up early you can prevent serious health consequences. If you don’t you might
have problems in getting pregnant or develop diabetes, cardio vascular disease and
endometrial cancer.

Hormones and PCOS

  •  The Hormones FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinising hormone)
    secreted from brain are the mentors to ovaries, they teach them how to behave
    themselves. These two important hormones are not consistently secreted in women
    with pcos.
  • The Adrenal gland produce abnormal levels of testosterone
  • Our body cells do not open the gate for insulin to enter and hence the insulin is
    orphaned and strayed in the blood, this in turn helps in producing more testosterone.
  • To summarise one hormone is out of control and hence other hormones could not communicate with each other and all becomes out of control.
  • A vicious cycle of high insulin, insulin resistance and weight gain occurs

What Causes PCOS?
Medical Experts believe that PCOS is hereditary. Some experts think excess insulin
production and its resistance may increase the androgen ( Male hormones) in the ovaries.
There is also evidence that BPA a toxin in plastics, food containers could be a factor. Any
inflammation may also trigger androgen production. When I talk about inflammation the first
thing that comes to my mind is the microbiome.
Now get to know what microbiome is. It refers to the microorganism – Oh no don’t
Panic now! A friendly microorganism which acts as our army against pathogens. These
friendly ones which you grow inside your body since you were in the uterus play a pivotal
role in our body defence mechanism. An imbalance in the gut microbiome is a key factor in
the development of PCOD. A low diversity of the gut microbiome is correlated with
inflammation according to a Danish study. Having a fewer number of good bacteria is the gut
can cause obesity related insulin resistance and androgen production. Imbalance in the gut
bacteria increases irritation to the intestinal tract leading to leaky gut syndrome- opening of
the hell’s gate so that all the evil ones like the bad microorganism, undigested food particles
and toxin enter the blood from intestine that causes inflammation.
There is so much you can do to help yourself. A healthy tailor made diet from qualified
nutritionist and a weight training and cardio combined work out plan from a certified fitness
specialist will help long way in managing PCOD. Do not forget mediation and mindfulness to
keep yourself calm, composed and happy to boost your immune system, reduce blood
pressure, blood glucose and inflammation. Ask your gynaecologist if you need any
medications, if suggested follow it promptly. Remember that medication without diet and
exercise will not suffice to keep PCOS under control
My next post will have specific dietary tips to combat PCOS

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