What is PCOS?
PCOS is an acronym for polycystic ovary syndrome, characterized by an excess of male hormones, abnormal menstrual cycles, and cysts in the ovaries. PCOS can interrupt your metabolism and reproductive health and cause many symptoms. This is the most common cause of infertility.
While the causes of PCOS are unidentified, genetics are thought to play a role, possibly alongside other health-related and lifestyle risk factors.
PCOS clinical signs can overlap with those of other conditions.
However, five common symptoms can point directly to PCOS as the true cause.
1. Fertility Problems
PCOS is one of the most common reasons for female infertility. This may be the most difficult part of the disease for women who want to have a baby now or in the future. PCOS, in particular, can disrupt ovulation, resulting in irregular or absent periods and difficulty becoming pregnant.
Speak with your doctor if you've been missing or having irregular periods. Just keep in mind that other factors can impede conception, like as:
Problems with the reproductive organs' structural integrity
- Thyroid disorder
- Menopause occurs too soon.
- Infertility due to age
- Early ovarian insufficiency
- Low body mass index
2. Difficulty or Weight Gain and Weight Loss
When you have PCOS, losing weight can be difficult. It may also be simple to gain weight, particularly around the belly. Insulin resistance is most likely to blame once again.
Another function of insulin is to promote fat storage. However, some people with PCOS gain weight even when they eat a healthy diet, avoid binges, and exercise regularly. Other insulin resistance symptoms include:
- Extreme thirst
- Urine frequency
- Patches of dark, dry skin in the armpits, groin, or back of the neck
Hirsutism is a female condition characterized by increased dark or coarse hair development and increased development of dark or coarse hair in a male-like pattern — face, chest, and back. With hirsutism, extra hair often gives rise to an overabundance of hormone levels (androgens), predominantly testosterone.
It is linked to androgen hormones. It may occur if these hormones' concentration rises or your body becomes more sensitive to them. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause (PCOS).
4. Cravings for Sweets
Craving sweets all the time is a common symptom of PCOS, and it is most likely caused by insulin resistance.
Women with PCOS have high insulin levels in their blood. All that insulin can interfere with the function of other appetite-regulating hormones, leading to increased hunger. Sugar and refined carbohydrates, in particular, can cause sugar-rush-and-crash cycles that cause even more cravings.
Cravings from PCOS can lead to unhealthy behaviors. People with PCOS, for example, are predisposed to binge eating. Obesity increases the likelihood of food cravings, making weight loss more difficult.
5. Mood Changes
You're probably aware that female hormones can cause mood swings, particularly during the menstrual cycle. It may be difficult to distinguish them from PCOS mood swings. However, PCOS frequently disrupts your cycle by preventing ovulation, so if you're missing periods and experiencing mood swings, PCOS could be the cause.
This hormone imbalance can disrupt a woman's menstrual cycle and impair her ability to conceive. Because PCOS can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, you should be aware of the following five PCOS symptoms: mood swings, sweet cravings, weight gain (or complexity losing weight), unnatural hair growth on the face, and fertility issues.
A warning sign, of course, is not a confirmation. Many of these symptoms, however, can be related to something else. Nevertheless, if your periods are infrequent and you suffer from two or more of these symptoms, you need to see your gynecologist to be tested for PCOS.
Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant.
At SocialBoat, we offer you custom diet plans and guided workouts to help you achieve your goals in a 360-degree approach. Our gamified experience ensures that you don’t find workouts boring and we reward you for being consistent with your efforts.