Dr. Shayesteh: Polycystic ovary syndrome and weight gain

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormone imbalance in women.

The disorder affects one in 10 women in the United States. In PCOS, a woman’s ovaries produce too much of the male hormone testosterone, which prevents ovulation and release of the eggs.

Instead of releasing eggs, a cyst builds up. Although the exact cause is not known, research has shown that insulin resistance is a major contributing factor.

Insulin resistance means a person’s body is unable to make insulin, which helps carry sugar into the cells. When that happens, their blood sugar rises and to compensate, the body makes even more insulin.

Dr. Shayesteh said the insulin goes to the ovaries, causing them to make more testosterone. The syndrome usually leads to weight gain, primarily in the abdominal region.

He said the syndrome usually shows up after menstruation begins and can be caused by genetics, but insulin resistance is the most common precursor. The doctor said most women with PCOS are at higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS are acne, facial hair, hair loss, irregular periods and sometimes infertility.

There is no cure for PCOS, but lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, exercise and reduced stress, can reverse the symptoms.


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