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Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD): Symptoms, causes & prevention
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Team Gabit
2 months ago | 5 mins

Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD): Symptoms, causes & prevention


Discover insights on PCOD essentials. Learn about its causes, risks, symptoms and treatment options. Gain practical advice for proactive management to improve overall well-being.

There is no denying the fact that men and women have been made physiologically different. This is the reason they have differences in athleticism, fat levels and most importantly, hormones that control the body. This innate diversity, while being a marker for the beauty of human biology, is the foundation for some of the health issues that women experience. One of the issues that has been recently seen worldwide is Polycystic Ovary Disease, commonly known as PCOD.

PCOD is associated with several symptoms but a decline in reproductive health is one of the most common PCOD symptoms. However, it has consequences that go beyond the borders and realms of fertility. To decode this phenomenon, we must begin by understanding PCOD causes. As we unravel that, join us on a journey to further discuss diagnosis, PCOD symptoms and treatment options to keep this monstrous disease away from you. 

pcod causes and symptoms

What is Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD)?

PCOD is a hormonal condition that affects people with ovaries. Individuals with this condition have ovaries which release partially mature or immature eggs in the body. As a consequence of this, an imbalance of reproductive hormones occurs in the body. This hormonal imbalance can lead to various undesirable physiological changes in the body.

What causes PCOD?

The exact causes of PCOD are yet unknown. Research till now has shown that it can be caused by one of these many reasons:

  • Genetic predisposition: One is more vulnerable to developing PCOD if it runs in the family. This can be through one generation and sometimes even more.
  • Insulin resistance: When cells in your body don’t react to insulin, (a hormone that affects blood sugar levels) it can lead to increased insulin production. Eventually, it can result in an imbalance in the androgen levels in your body and become a cause for PCOD.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Someone with already prevalent hormonal issues like higher testosterone levels might be at risk of developing PCOD.
  • Lifestyle and obesity: A sedentary lifestyle accompanied by obesity might result in a case of PCOD. 
pcod causes and symptoms

What are the risks for PCOD?

PCOD is associated with a number of health factors that include:

  • Type 2 diabetes: Insulin resistance caused due to diabetes can keep you at a higher risk for developing PCOD.
  • Infertility: Ovulation dysfunction and hormonal imbalances can cause difficulties in conceiving.
  • Sleep apnea: People with PCOD are at an increased risk of developing sleep apnea possibly due to obesity and insulin resistance.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Fatty liver is tied to factors like insulin sensitivity and obesity, both prevalent in PCOD.
pcod causes and symptoms

What are the common signs and symptoms of PCOD problem?

Some common PCOD problem symptoms are:

  • Cystic ovaries: PCOD, as the name suggests, causes cysts to develop on the ovaries. An ultrasound done by your gynaecologist can detect this.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles: PCOD might cause a delay in your periods. In some months, there is also a possibility of completely missing your periods.
  • Increased androgen levels: Hormonal dysfunction is a very common sign of PCOD. This indicates an increase in male hormones such as testosterone and androgen. Further, it leads to other issues like oily skin and acne.
  • Weight gain: Studies have shown that PCOD can cause weight gain or difficulty losing weight due to insulin resistance in the body.
  • Hair thinning: Female pattern baldness or hair thinning is very frequently seen in patients with PCOD.
pcod causes and symptoms

How is PCOD diagnosed

A combination of methods can be applied to get a diagnosis for PCOD. Some of these include:

  • Checking for physical symptoms: PCOD causes physical changes in your body such as acne, hirsutism, hair thinning, changes in menstrual cycles, mood swings and weight gain. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it could be due to another underlying condition or PCOD. However, to get an accurate analysis, other methods mentioned below can be more accurate.
  • Pathological tests: Blood tests are conducted to check hormone levels in the body. These include androgens, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and insulin.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound of the pelvis is conducted to detect any cysts on the ovaries.
pcod causes and symptoms

How is PCOD treated?

PCOD treatment is usually individualised to target individual symptoms and may include medication, lifestyle modifications, and other therapies. It's crucial to remember that the strategy for treating PCOD might change based on the requirements and objectives of each patient. Here are a few typical approaches:

  • Changes in lifestyle: By eating a balanced diet and doing regular exercise, one can improve insulin sensitivity and gain control of their menstrual cycle. Significant improvements in symptoms may occur from even a small amount of weight loss.
  • Medical treatment: Oral contraceptives can aid in treating PCOD symptoms like acne and excessive hair growth by lowering androgen levels. Anti-androgen drugs are also effective in treating symptoms.
  • Fertility treatments: PCOD causes trouble conceiving. Fertility treatment such as ‘clomiphene citrate’ may help induce ovulation.
pcod causes and symptoms

How PCOD affects your body

PCOD can negatively affect your body and ultimately the quality of your life in a multitude of ways. This disease can:

  • Can cause difficulty in conceiving
  • Increase the risk of developing diabetes
  • Increase the risk of endometrial cancer due to an overgrowth of the uterus lining
  • Increase the risk of cardiovascular disease due to obesity or insulin resistance
  • Some individuals with PCOD might also face thyroid issues
  • Hormonal disruptions may impact your mood and impact mental health
pcod causes and symptoms

Tips to treat PCOD

Follow these steps by making lifestyle changes in your routine to get PCOD problem solution:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Managing your weight can also help you regulate hormone levels. It can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce androgen levels and also regulate menstrual cycles.
  • Exercising regularly: Exercises such as cardio and strength training can help you manage weight and decrease insulin sensitivity.
  • Hydration: Regular hydration has the power to nourish your body and improve overall well-being.
  • Managing stress: Mindfulness, meditation and deep breathing exercises help to reduce cortisol levels and regulate hormones in the body.
  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake: Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol can impact the hormones in your body in a negative way. It is advisable to restrict the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.

Conclusion

Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) encounter a variety of health issues. Although the exact causes are unknown, PCOD increases the risk of diabetes and infertility. Early symptom detection is critical to prevent further complications. You can do so through physical examinations, blood tests, and ultrasounds. Medication, fertility treatments, and lifestyle modifications are all beneficial in treating this condition. Equipped with this knowledge, one can now actively manage the intricacies of PCOD to enhance their general health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD)?

PCOD is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries negatively. The ovaries develop cysts and cause various hormonal disorders in the body, leading to hirsutism and acne.

Does PCOD increase the risk of other health conditions?

PCOD has the potential to increase the risk of other health conditions due to its commonly related symptoms. These include diabetes, sleep apnea, fertility disorders, endometrial cancer and thyroid issues.

Are there natural remedies for managing PCOD symptoms?

You can reduce the symptoms by taking PCOD prevention steps like altering your diet, managing stress and exercising regularly. You may also take herbal supplements like cinnamon tea to manage symptoms.

How is PCOD diagnosed?

PCOD can be diagnosed through looking for physical symptoms such as acne, hair thinning and weight gain. For professional diagnosis, you might consider getting a blood test to check hormonal levels or getting an ultrasound done.

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