Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – also known as PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disease). There is a lot more to obesity than just being overweight and unhappy!

PCOS patients were once dismissed as “fat” women with no self control.

This is a major cause of infertility. This condition is also known as Polycystic Ovaries Sclerocystic Ovarian Disease, Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, Chronic Anovulatory Syndrome and Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD).

Obesity has a profound effect on the clinical manifestation of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder affecting 20-25% of white European women and up to 50% of women in the UK from South Asia. About 50% of women with PCOS are overweight, and this increase in body weight has a major influence on the symptoms of PCOS and fertility.

Researchers in India have also found that obese women are having a hard time conceiving. According to an article in The Times of India, this is because 90% of them, 35% of whom are within their childbearing years, suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects a woman’s insulin production resulting in irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.

According to Dr Gita Ganguly Mukherjee, former Head of Department – Gynaecology at R G Kar Hospital, Kolkata, there are two main reasons for the increase of PCOS diagnoses in Indian women: the adoption of unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Whereas older generations of Indian women eat traditional, lower calorie foods with less sugar. Many young Indian girls today eat a steady diet of junk food. When these bad habits are combined with an extremely aggressive academic load, young girls simply cannot burn off the increased calories to maintain a healthy weight.

It is the most common female endocrine (hormonal) disorder and is characterized by multiple, abnormal ovarian cysts.

“Symptoms of obesity-linked PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) can vary widely from woman to woman, ranging from being a cause of infertility to excess weight gain or obesity. They can also include Hirsutism (excessive facial or body hair), Alopecia (male pattern hair loss), acne, skin tags, Acanthosis Nigricans (brown skin patches), high cholesterol levels, exhaustion or lack of mental alertness, decreased sex drive and excess male hormones like testosterone. Such symptoms have profound effects on the quality of life for these women.”

There are a number of interlinking factors that affect expression of the syndrome. A gain in weight is associated with a worsening of symptoms whilst weight loss will improve the disease profile and its symptoms. The main clinical features are menstrual cycle disturbance and an increase in male hormones (hyperandrogenism).

Several studies have shown that weight loss in women with’ PCOS’ improves the endocrine profile, menstrual cyclicity, rate of ovulation and likelihood of a healthy pregnancy.

In Western nations where obesity is increasing, there is going to be an infertility crisis (this is already showing up among the N.W.European nations, where there is a dramatic drop in birth rates as the ‘obesity pandemic’ spreads). A new study published in the medical journal The Lancet suggests that obesity is closely linked to PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Right now, PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility that affects 1 in 15 women around the world. The research suggests that if obesity continues to rise, infertility caused by PCOS will rise along with it. This is bad news for India, as the top 10-15% of the ‘socio-economic demographic’ of the large metro areas, are the only one having such high obesity rates. These, are also the people most responsible for the economy of India.

While weight loss in general has been shown to be of benefit to this condition, the use of a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) that is used during the Dr. Howard’s Way Diet Weight Management System, results in weight loss in a fast and safe way and has been shown to greatly reduce the symptoms of Obesity related PCOS. This may well be because of an increase of available micro nutrients and amino acids, combined with much higher levels of water consumption.