PCOD : Causes,  Symptoms, Facts & Cure

With enormously changing and fast pacing lifestyle, we are encountering many lifestyle related diseases. Now PCOD in particular is, at large a lifestyle related disease or syndrome. If you are a Woman living in Urban lifestyle, chances are severe that you must have heard this term PCOD. Wonder whats that ?


What is PCOD ?

PCOD refers to “Polycystic Ovarian disease”. It is also referred as “PCOS” (Polycystic Ovarian syndrome).

It is a medical problem in which level of sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – of women go haywire which induces growth of small ovarian cysts. Disruption of menstrual cycle, fertility issues, cardiac problems and unwarranted changes in appearance are some of the implications of PCOD. These cysts are mostly benign in nature but they cause imbalance of hormone level which results into pregnancy-related issues.


What causes PCOD ?

PCOS problems are caused by hormone changes or hormonal imbalance. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another.

While there are numerous factors which can cause PCOD , but here are a few major reasons –

Raised levels of Testosterone – 

Androgen or “male hormones,” although all women make small amounts of androgen. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle. Excess androgen produced by the theca cells of the ovaries, due either to hyperinsulinemia or increased luteinizing hormone (LH) levels.

Raised levels of Luteinising Hormone (LH) – 

 Due to increased production from the anterior pituitary.This stimulates ovulation but may have an abnormal effect on the ovaries if levels are too high.

low levels of Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) –

A protein in the blood, which binds to testosterone and reduces the effect of testosterone.

Raised levels of Prolactin – 

Hormone that stimulates the breast glands to produce milk during pregnancy.

High levels of Insulin (a hormone that helps convert sugars and starches into energy) –

If you have insulin resistance, your ability to use insulin effectively is impaired, and also your pancreas has to secrete more insulin to make glucose available to cells (so, hyperinsulinaemia) Excess insulin might also affect the ovaries by increasing androgen production, which may interfere with the ovaries’ ability to ovulate.

A significant hereditary component, if your mother or sister has PCOS, you’re more likely to have it.

If you’re overweight, your chances of developing it are greater. As weight gain increases insulin resistance. Fatty tissues are hormonally active and they produce oestrogen which disrupts ovulation.


What are the Symptom ?

Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:

  • Acne.
  • Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
  • Extra hair on the face and body.
  • Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
  • Thinning hair on the scalp.
  • Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.Fertility problems.
  • Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).Depression.

      Things you should know 

      • It is important to know, that PCOS is a syndrome. Syndrome is group of symptoms which consistently occur together, or a condition characterised by a set of associated symptoms. Associated symptom of PCODPCOS, may vary from one woman to other.
      • There are no predefined or certain symptoms. For example for one woman, the symptoms may be excessive hair fall, while the other woman, having the same issue, might not have hair fall problems but weight gain issues.
      •  PCOS Is More Common than You Think. You are not the one fighting a battle alone. Statistics suggests one in five women is diagnosed with PCOS. Major lifestyle tantrums to blame !
      • Untreated PCOS Can Lead To Diabetes Type 2.

          How to cure PCOD ?

          There is no cure yet, but there are many ways you can decrease or eliminate PCOS symptoms and feel better. Your doctor may offer different medicines that can treat symptoms such as irregular periods, acne, excess hair, and elevated blood sugar. Fertility treatments are available to help women get pregnant.

          If you have gained weight while you found a positive PCOS after diagnosis, Losing as little as 5% excess weight can help you ovulate more regularly and lessen other PCOS symptoms.

          “The ideal way to do this is through nutrition and exercise.”

          You may feel that it is difficult to lose excess weight and keep it off, but it is important to continue the effort. Your efforts help reduce the risk for developing serious health complications that can impact women with PCOS much sooner than women without PCOS.

          The biggest health concerns are diabetes, heart disease, and stroke because PCOS is linked to having high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, and high cholesterol.