Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)
Polycystic ovarian disease(PCOD), also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome is a common condition in women of reproductive age and is characterized by imbalances in the sex hormones. Women with PCOD develop cysts on their ovaries and produce excess amount of androgens(hyperandrogenism). This may result in problems such as irregular periods and infertility. According to a recent study, around 1 in 5 women are affected with PCOD in India.
Signs and symptoms of PCOD
The exact cause of polycystic ovarian syndrome is not known but it has been observed to run in families. Symptoms of PCOD tend to be mild in the beginning. Some of the symptoms of the polycystic ovarian disease include:
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Difficulty to conceive
- Heavy bleeding during menstruation
- Excessive facial and body hair growth
- Hair thinning
- Darkening of the skin
Diagnosis of PCOD
The doctor will take a detailed medical history which includes information regarding menstrual periods and weight changes. Physical examination is conducted to check the vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, pulse rate, height, and weight), excess hair growth, acne and body mass index. The physician would also perform a pelvic exam to check if you have enlarged ovaries. If the physician suspect that you have PCOD, he would refer you for the following tests:
Blood tests: Your blood sample would be evaluated for checking the hormonal levels and to rule out other conditions that may have symptoms similar to PCOD.
- Check hormone levels: Blood levels of hormones show high fluctuations in women with PCOD. Hormonal levels in patients with PCOD are as follows:
- Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) may be low
- Lutenizing hormone (LH) is elevated
- Testosterone is usually elevated
- Estrogen level may be normal or elevated
- Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is usually increased
- Sex hormone binding globulin (SBGH) may be reduced
- Tests to detect other conditions may exhibit signs and symptoms of PCOD
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the pregnancy hormone and its levels is used to check for pregnancy. The values of hCG is negative unless pregnant.
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): Levels of TSH would indicate whether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
- Prolactin: Elevated levels of prolactin may also cause menstrual irregularities and infertility.
- Tests to check for complications associated with PCOD:
- Lipid Profile: Triglyceride levels may be dangerously elevated in patients with PCOD. This increases the risk of stroke and heart diseases in patients with PCOD.
- Blood Glucose and Insulin levels: In patients with PCOD, the body gets resistant to insulin and thus the risk of diabetes increases. Elevated levels of blood sugar and insulin indicates diabetes due to insulin resistance.
Ultrasound: Abdominal ultrasound or vaginal ultrasound helps to detect the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries and its enlargement. In patients with PCOS, ovaries may be around 1.5-3 times larger than the normal.
Owing to the irregularities of the menstrual cycle in patients with PCOD, the inner lining of the uterus builds up over a long period of time. This may ultimately result in uterine (endometrial) cancer. If a patient with PCOS has menstrual irregularities for over a year, a transvaginal ultrasound should be done to rule out uterine cancer.
Management of PCOS
Home remedies to cure polycystic ovarian disease:
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is one of the naturally available sources to provide relief from PCOD. It helps in inhibits the growth of the ovarian cysts, and prevents further formation of cysts. It also promotes regular periods and maintains normal hormonal levels.
- Fenugreek and fennel seeds: Fenugreek and fennel are heavily loaded with medicinal properties which are useful in treating many health problems. Fennel seeds help in reducing formation of cysts in the ovaries. Fenugreek seeds play an important role in normalizing hormone levels.
- Fish oil capsule: Fish oil consists of omega-3-fatty acids. It helps to cure PCOD and reduces hormonal imbalance in the body.
Medical treatment for polycystic ovarian disease:
Treatment for polycystic ovarian disease is mostly symptomatic. The drugs prescribed for PCOS may help in regulating menstrual cycle, promoting ovulation or reduce excess hair growth.
Lifestyle measures for prevention of PCOD
- Eat balanced diet: Consume a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables. This provides proper nutrition, satisfies your hunger and decreases craving for food.
- Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly, helps to keep you fit. You can choose any form of exercise. Walking regularly is also a good physical activity.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Maintaining healthy weight lowers the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
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- Polycystic ovary syndrome(Diagnosis). http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/diagnosis-treatment/diagnosis/dxc-20342160. Accessed on 28-9-2017
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome: symptoms, causes and treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/polycystic-ovary-disease#introduction1. Accessed on 28-9-2017
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/pcos/start/2. Accessed on 28-9-2017
- Home remedies to cure PCOD in 14days. http://www.tamilnetonline.com/powerful-home-remedies-cure-pcos/. Accessed on 3-10-2017