Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is an endocrine system condition. If you have PCOS, you are not alone. Statistics shows that 1 in 10 women have polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with PCOS often have irregular periods, abnormal hair growth, acne and trouble getting pregnant. The excess androgens and insulin resistance caused by the syndrome send a lot of fat directly to women's bellies, causing abdominal weight gain. Having PCOS is also linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, making the metabolism slow down. Although we still do not have a cure for the condition, fortunately, there are several ways to cope with the symptoms.
Find an expert doctor
If you suspect that you have PCOS, ask your primary care doctor for a recommendation or referral to an endocrinologist experienced in treating PCOS. The symptoms of the syndrome vary from one woman to another; that is why it is essential to find a professional. A doctor experienced with treating PCOS will be most equipped to do this. You also can search Corespirit.com for a doctor in your area who specializes in PCOS.
Get diagnosed correctly
There are many ways to treat the symptoms of PCOS, including medicines, drugs and lifestyle changes. Your doctor will need to test your androgen and blood glucose levels for signs of insulin resistance. Other hormones that may be tested include estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and thyroid hormones. You may need to have an ultrasound of your ovaries done, which might show that there is a number of small cysts—hence the name of the disorder. After carefully considering your symptoms and lab tests, your doctor will tailor a unique treatment plan for you.
Stay in touch with your doctor
What works well for you now may change later, in terms of the PCOS treatment. It's critical to have regular visits with your endocrinologist to discuss your symptoms and any changes to them. This strategy will help catch developing issues—such as diabetes and heart disease—while they are easier to manage. Those visits can also reassure you that you're doing all you can to combat the risks of PCOS.
Primp with purpose
It may be hard to control the hormone imbalance and raised levels of androgens in your body. Taking small steps to feel better about your appearance might help. Book an appointment with a dermatologist for help with acne. Visit the salon for regular hair removal treatments. Wear clothes that fit and feel good. What you're going through with PCOS is not easy—and you deserve to treat yourself to some self-care.
Think of your increased heart attack risk! Smoking raises your blood pressure and heart rate, increases testosterone, cortisol, and other adrenal hormones, causes insulin resistance, and mismanages your ovarian function. In other words, it makes every aspect of PCOS worse. Just don't do it.
Monitor your blood sugar
Even if you're not diagnosed with diabetes, you'll want to take advantage of a blood sugar monitor—it's a great way to keep track of how your diet influences your insulin response. It is recommended to lean toward higher-protein meals and snacks—when women with PCOS used higher protein/lower-carb diets to lose weight, they reduced their blood sugar, lowered levels of free androgens, and maintained a healthy HDL.
If you need help finding the right mix of foods for PCOS, visit a dietitian or ask your PCOS doctor for a recommendation.
The Department of Health and Human Services claims that even a 10% drop in weight can help you make your cycle more regular, as well as improve your body's insulin sensitivity. Exercise, like a healthy diet, can help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels and help you decrease PCOS symptoms. One study of women with PCOS found that exercising just thirty minutes on a stationary bike three times a week led to an average loss of 4.5% of their body weight and notably improved their insulin resistance without even dieting.
Connect with other women who have PCOS
In a room of 20 women, 1 to 2 of them most likely have PCOS. That means you're not alone. Connect with other women about their PCOS journey. They may offer new ideas for you on how to cope with the symptoms. Anyway, it always feels good to talk to someone who understands.
Feeling depressed? Seek help early on
Sometimes the PCOS symptoms may make you feel hopeless and less like yourself. If you are feeling depressed, you can talk with your PCOS doctor or find a therapist. They may recommend counseling or depression medication, or a combination of the two.
Don't give up on your fertility
If you have PCOS, you may have a harder time getting pregnant. Up to 2% of women with infertility have PCOS. Nevertheless, many of them succeed in conceiving and have children. There are a few options available to help you get pregnant with PCOS. Weight loss often leads to successful conception. You can talk with your doctor about fertility medications and fertility procedures, such as in vitro fertilization.
Following these tips will help you succeed in battling against PCOS and living your life to the full!