Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disease in women, affecting 5-10% of those of child bearing age. Common symptoms include: menstrual irregularities, hirsutism, acne, painful periods and alopecia.
The cause of PCOS is unknown. But most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS.
A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.
Researchers also think insulin may be linked to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store. Many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have problems using it. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen.
Aside from weight loss improving risk factors, recent research has found that following a low GI diet can be extremely effective in managing this syndrome.
Consulting a qualified nutritional therapist is one of the most important things you can do if you have been recently diagnosed.