Lifestyle

PCOS

INTRODUCTION

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones that are usually present in women in small amounts. The name polycystic ovary syndrome describes the numerous small cysts (fluid- filled sacs) that form in the ovaries. However, some women with this disorder do not have cysts, while some women without the disorder do develop cysts.

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a relatively common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age group. It is found in around 70% of women who have ovulation difficulties leading to subfertility.

Ovulation occurs when a mature egg is released from an ovary. This happens so it can be fertilized by a male sperm. If the egg is not fertilized, it is sent out of the body during your period.

In some cases, a woman doesn’t make enough of the hormones needed to ovulate. When ovulation doesn’t happen, the ovaries can develop many small cysts. These cysts make hormones called androgens. Women with PCOS often have high levels of androgens. This can cause more problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle. And it can cause many of the symptoms of PCOS.

Causes –

The main cause of PCOD is not yet recognized but it is believed that it is because of the

increase of androgen i.e male hormones in the body that prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally. The exact cause of PCOS is not clear. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This means the body can’t use insulin well. Insulin levels build up in the body and may cause higher androgen levels. Obesity can also increase insulin levels and make PCOS symptoms worse.

PCOS may also run in families. It’s common for sisters or a mother and daughter to have PCOS.

SYMPTOMS –

The symptoms of PCOS may include:

  • Missed periods, irregular periods, or very light periods
  • Ovaries that are large or have many cysts
  • Excess body hair, including the chest, stomach, and back (hirsutism)
  • Weight gain, especially around the belly (abdomen)
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Infertility
  • Small pieces of excess skin on the neck or armpits (skin tags)
  • Dark or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, in the armpits, and under the breasts

TYPES-

  1. Insulin resistant
  2. Adrenal
  3. Inflammatory
  4. Hypothyroidism
  5. Pill induced

Is PCOS serious?

Women with PCOS are more likely to develop certain serious health problems. These include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with the heart and blood vessels, and uterine cancer. Women with PCOS often have problems with their ability to get pregnant (fertility).

What PCOS looks like?

Your doctor may diagnose PCOS if you have at least two of these symptoms: Irregular periods. Higher levels of androgen (male hormones) shown in blood tests or through symptoms like acne, male-pattern balding, or extra hair growth on your face, chin, or body.

How is PCOS treated?

Treatment for PCOS depends on a number of factors. These may include your age, how severe your symptoms are, and your overall health. The type of treatment may also depend on whether you want to become pregnant in the future.

TREATMENT

If you do plan to become pregnant, your treatment may include:

  • A change in diet and activity. A healthy diet and more physical activity can help you lose weight and reduce your symptoms. They can also help your body use insulin more efficiently, lower blood glucose levels, and may help you ovulate.
  • Medications to cause ovulation. Medications can help the ovaries to release eggs normally. These medications also have certain risks. They can increase the chance for a multiple birth (twins or more). And they can cause ovarian hyperstimulation. This is when the ovaries release too many hormones. It can cause symptoms such as abdominal bloating and pelvic pain.

If you do not plan to become pregnant, your treatment may include:

  • Birth control pills. These help to control menstrual cycles, lower androgen levels, and reduce acne.
  • Diabetes medication. This is often used to lower insulin resistance in PCOS. It may also help reduce androgen levels, slow hair growth, and help you ovulate more regularly.
  • A change in diet and activity. A healthy diet and more physical activity can help you lose weight and reduce your symptoms. They can also help your body use insulin more efficiently, lower blood glucose levels, and may help you ovulate.
  • Medications to treat other symptoms. Some medications can help reduce hair growth or acne.

What are the complications of PCOS?

Women with PCOS are more likely to develop certain serious health problems. These include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with the heart and blood vessels, and uterine cancer. Women with PCOS often have problems with their ability to get pregnant (fertility).

Ayurveda on PCOS

In Ayurveda, the body is seen as a living organism, in which the three doshas– vatta, pitta, and kapha must be balanced. PCOS is fundamentally a kapha disorder.

Ayurvedic therapies for PCOS

A 2012 studyTrusted Source indicated that a 12-week yoga program helped reduce anxiety symptoms in adolescent girls with PCOS.

An Ayurvedic practitioner may recommend yoga poses, also called asanas, such as:

  • Reclining Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
  • Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana)
  • Mill Churning Pose (Chakki Chalanasana)
  • Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

Your practitioner may also recommend meditation and breathing exercises, known as pranayamas, to help relieve stress.

Ayurvedic treatment for PCOS subfertility

Subfertility is when you’re trying to get pregnant but experience a delay in conceiving. It can be a symptom of PCOS.

Some clinical research has focused on the Ayurvedic treatment of subfertility.

A 2017 studyTrusted Source of 15 people with PCOS, for example, looked at Vamana Karma (therapeutic vomiting), along with the administration of Yoga-Ikshwaaku seed powder followed by Shatapushpadi Ghanavati (a compounded formulation). Researchers determined that this process may be effective in increasing the chances of conception for PCOS patients.

According to a 2010 studyTrusted Source of 40 people experiencing subfertility, PCOS- caused subfertility can be resolved with a 6-month program of:

  • Shodhana (detoxification and purification procedures)
  • Shamana (palliative treatments to reduce discomfort and relieve symptoms)
  • Tarpana (offering made to divine entities)

CONCLUSION

Ayurvedic treatment for PCOS typically focuses on:

  • herbs, such as ashwagandha and turmeric
  • therapies, such as yoga and breathing exercises
  • lifestyle, such as increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing consumption of saturated fats, salt, and refined sugar
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About author
Deep Thacker is an BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery) Undergraduate in Rajiv Gandhi University of Health sciences. Deep has published many articles on health and aims to provide the public with the information they need to know for their health decisions.
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