Are you experiencing excessive hair growth on your face, abdomen or chest? Have you suddenly developed adult acne? Experiencing weight gain or unable to lose weight? These symptoms may not just be cosmetic nuances, they could be symptoms of PCOS, a common yet serious endocrine disorder affecting women. PCOS affects 5 to 10% of all women, with less than 50% diagnosed or treated, and is the most common cause of infertility today.
Studies performed have determined that patients diagnosed with PCOS were three times more likely to develop autoimmune thyroid disease and are at greater risk for developing coronary heart disease. Another condition which seems to be associated with PCOS is insulin resistance, leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes by the age of 40, in women diagnosed with this disease.
We Can Help You!
Doctors here at Holtorf Medical Group are specially trained to diagnose and treat PCOS. For more information on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, consult with your doctor or please call (877) 508-1177 to speak with a patient representative.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a medical condition which occurs when a woman’s sex hormone levels (Progesterone and Estrogen) are out of balance. These imbalances create cysts to form on the ovaries, causing irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, cardiac disease, and physical changes such as increased hair growth.
What Causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is not yet completely understood, but seems to be linked to insulin and leptin resistance. An increase of insulin produced by the body leads to an increase in estrogen levels making the woman estrogen dominant. A vicious cycle is then created because a symptom of PCOS is an increase in the production of testosterone which exacerbates the symptoms.
Women who are more at risk include:
- A family history of disease
- Insulin resistance (causing hormonal imbalances)
What are the Symptoms of PCOS?
Symptoms may be mild at first and are indicated by the development of:
- Obesity or Weight Gain
- Increased hair growth on face and body
- Irregular periods
- Mood changes
- Thinning hair on scalp
- Lack of mental alertness
- Oily skin
- Skin tags
- Elevated blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Possible pelvic or lower abdominal pain
- Sleep apnea
How is PCOS Diagnosed?
After evaluating your symptoms and performing a physical exam, your doctor may order blood tests to check for hormone imbalance. Additional blood tests such as a fasting cholesterol/triglyceride levels or a glucose tolerance test will check for signs of insulin resistance. A physical exam, including a pelvic exam, can be done to manually inspect your reproductive organs for any signs of a mass or growths.
Transvaginal Ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries can show the thickness of the uterine lining and the appearance of the ovaries. Any abnormalities can be seen visibly with this method of diagnosis.
Is Treatment Right for Me?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is used in treating the hormonal imbalances created by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. During treatment, your hormones levels will be checked and monitored regularly.
Diet can also help in treatment of PCOS by focusing on foods with a low glycemic index, such as lean meats, whole grains and non starchy vegetables. This will control the excess insulin production that happens with insulin resistance. Exercise will also improve the body’s ability to to process insulin properly and convert glucose into energy more effectively.
Consult with your doctor to see if treatment is right for you or please call (877) 508-1177 to speak to a patient representative.