Can PCOS be treated? Dr. Havya Polarapur March 21, 2022

Can PCOS be treated?

If questions about PCOS keep haunting you, do not worry, you are not alone. According to PMC- NCBI, around 4%- 20% of women of reproductive age are affected with PCOS around the world. A statistical report by The Hindu says that about 20% of women in Indian population are reported to have PCOS. PCOS society of India estimated that one in 5 women in India suffer from PCOS. 

Let’s break it down to understand in more detail to be able to answer the question we began with! 

So, what is PCOS? 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that occurs in women due to various reasons. Women with PCOS secrete higher levels of androgen hormones or male hormones than the normal level. This hormonal imbalance can disturb the menstrual cycle leading to irregular periods. Not every woman with PCOS suffers from irregular periods though. The symptoms of PCOS can vary in each individual. 

And, what causes PCOS?

Experts say genetics as the major cause of PCOS. It can be transmitted from mother to daughter. That said, PCOS can also be a result of poor diet and lifestyle, leading to obesity which could also bolster the condition of PCOS. Various research studies show that most women with PCOS have resistance to insulin which means the body is not able to use insulin well. High levels of insulin may lead to high secretion of androgen levels further complicating the situation! 

Before learning more about PCOS, we’d like to emphasise that PCOS is not a disease but a lifelong condition that needs to be managed carefully!  

Let us also now discuss how PCOS manifests itself!  

A few common symptoms of PCOS 

Some women may have symptoms like sudden weight gain, hirsutism (unwanted male-pattern hair growth), anxiety and depression, acne, thinning of hair and skin tags (small pieces of skin that appear on the surface of the body).  

Some older women also suffer from infertility. According to the CDC (Centre for disease control and prevention), PCOS is one of the common causes for infertility in women. 

Sometimes these symptoms are obvious and sometimes unnoticeable. There are women who show no outward symptoms but still are diagnosed with PCOS. Even such women with no symptoms are also prone to risky health complications. 

If left untreated, these symptoms may lead to high-risk health complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.  

So, what’s the answer to our original question 

Can PCOS be treated permanently? The simple, honest truth is no. A permanent cure for PCOS is not yet known.  

But, hold your horses!  

Even though PCOS isn’t curable, its symptoms can be managed effectively by bringing changes into the lifestyle. Workouts with proper guidance and a few changes in our everyday diet can largely help dealing with the symptoms of PCOS. There is evidence to suggest that many women are managing PCOS effectively through lifestyle changes.  

So, take a deep breath! Relax! And know that leading a healthy life is absolutely possible by handling your symptoms of PCOS, albeit with advice from health experts and professionals!  

Tips to help you start managing PCOS! 

  • Research studies say that 75% of women with PCOS, who reduced their weight, showed improved androgen level. Exercising every day can even help managing irregular periods in women 
  • Home workout and yoga can greatly assist in keeping PCOS in check.  Yoga experts can guide you through the right asanas which can aid in weight loss during PCOS 
  • A brisk walk for at least 30 minutes in a day or an intense physical activity is also found to improve the symptoms of PCOS.  
  • One of the best ways to deal with PCOS is choosing your food wisely. A low-calorie, low-fat and high-protein diet is the preferred diet for women with PCOS 
  • Processed food, white sugar, refined flour must be avoided when you have PCOS as they may directly affect the blood glucose level 
  • Seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflowers seeds are rich in fibre and anti-oxidants which help in losing body weight 

It is worth noting that while natural remedies can improve the symptoms of PCOS, some women may require medication under the supervision of a physician to manage the symptoms and avoid health complications. 

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