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Unmasking the PCOS monster

Unmasking the PCOS monster

Dr. Supriya Tiwari, a crusader against PCOS, writes about the long-term effects and complications caused by the endocrine disorder that impacts one in ten women.

 

PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders that women all over the world are dealing with today. It’s not only important but necessary that you educate yourself about it, irrespective of whether or not you are suffering from it or know someone who is. With this article, I intend to educate you about what you don’t already know or generally get to read about PCOS. The non-fancy or the non-cosmetic aspect of it, something that is not just related to infertility, acne or pigmentation.

PCOS is the reason behind a number of physical and psychological issues faced by women with mood swings, facial hair and acne being the most common. And a lot has already been discussed and talked about these issues. But what most articles fail to highlight in detail is that PCOS can cause serious long-term complications as well. These can range from diabetes to heart diseases and even cancer. Can you imagine that 1 in every 8-10 women struggling with PCOS lands up having these diseases? Hence, it is extremely important that we prepare ourselves to deal with the health burden that PCOS brings with it.

Here are a few things that one should know about PCOS in order to gain a broader perspective:

- Although PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, not every woman suffering from PCOS will have cysts around her ovaries. Many of them may have normal ovaries and will still be dealing with hormonal imbalance as a part of the whole syndrome.

- Most women dealing with PCOS have experienced a dull mood at least once in their lifetime, and about 25% of them have been treated for depression. So, an important thing to remember is that mood disturbance is quite a real thing for those struggling with PCOS and it’s not just PMS-ing.

- Women suffering from PCOS are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Most women suffering from PCOS have some form of insulin resistance, which in simple terms, means that the blood sugar levels in their bodies are not neutralized and are constantly on the higher side.

- Women dealing with PCOS are constantly under high estrogenic exposure because of the absence of normal ovulation, which tricks their brains to think there is a lack of estrogen. This leads to an unopposed production of the same. Because of this reason, women with PCOS are more prone to endometrial/uterine cancers.

- Obesity and PCOS go hand in hand. Obese women are at a higher risk of developing PCOS and once you develop PCOS, weight gain is inevitable. It’s a vicious cycle. However, this doesn’t mean lean women don’t get PCOS or vice versa. This strong association between obesity and PCOS is also responsible for the development of heart diseases later in life.

- PCOS is reversible. Because of the lack of medicinal cures, many people tend to think of PCOS as irreversible or permanent. But in reality, with appropriate lifestyle modifications, most of the PCOS symptoms can be reversed.

- PCOS and infertility are two different things. Infertility is one of the many complications that may result from PCOS but not in 100% of the cases. Only about 40% of all the patients of PCOS experience difficulty in conceiving.

    PCOS isn't a monster that you can't deal with. But if you let it take over your life, it can cause a tremendous amount of health burden that you aren't prepared to tackle. Spread awareness, educate yourself and those around you, so women can enjoy a better health and a better future.

    If you are looking for more information related to PCOS, do visit my website fightpcosinitiative.in.

    - Dr. Supriya Tiwari

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