Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
PCOS is a common condition that affects how a woman's ovaries work.
It has 3 main features:
- irregular periods – your ovaries fail to release eggs (ovulation)
- excess testosterone - having high levels of "male hormones" in your body, which can result in acne and excess facial or body hair
- polycystic ovaries – your ovaries become enlarged and contain fluid-filled sacs that surround the eggs
If you have any 2 of these 3 features, you may be diagnosed with PCOS.
It's thought to be very common, affecting about 1 in every 5 women in the UK, but not everyone gets the symptoms such as weight gain, thinning hair and oily skin.
PCOS is also associated with an increased risk of developing other health problems such as type2 diabetes
What causes PCOS?
The primary cause is having persistently high levels of insulin, the hormone that controls sugar levels in the body. This raised insulin leads to the increased levels of testosterone. While PCOS is associated with being overweight, it not caused by it.
Treatment for PCOS.. can it be reversed?
If you have PCOS (whether or not you're overweight) reducing your insulin levels and avoiding spikes is key. This is where our ProLongevity service can help, because by avoiding sugar spikes you’ll keep your insulin low and slow! This also explains why a standard treatment for PCOS is metformin which we usually think of as being a treatment for type2 diabetes. Just as all roads lead to Rome, so all aspects of metabolic syndrome lead to raised insulin!
(Interesting to note that raised insulin is also the primary cause of unsightly skintags see here: https://www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/skintags as well as Acanthosis Nigrans (more here: https://www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/acanthosis-nigracans )