Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (Insulin Resistance)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which is Insulin Resistance) is an endocrine disorder with the primary defect being higher than normal levels of insulin in your blood. PCOS can be a genetic disorder and inherited or can be acquired through diet and lifestyle choices. It is not limited to women who are overweight and tends to get worse in perimenopause and menopause, as insulin resistance increases with age.
PCOS often goes undiagnosed in women lacking many of the signs of PCOS, as only 50% of women have outward signs. It is common to see scalp hair loss, acne, hirsutism (unwanted hair growth on the chin or neck) and increased belly fat, but these do not have to be present to be diagnosed with PCOS. Many women have great difficulty losing weight and many also report a strong craving for carbohydrates and sugar. This is due to insulin resistance and can be managed with diet, nutrition and when needed, medication.
Many women with PCOS additionally have high cholesterol, some measure of infertility, heavy periods and ovarian cysts but again, it is not always the case. Some women will have high DHEA-Sulfate levels on labs and some will show higher than average levels of testosterone. Treatment is rarely directed at lowering testosterone but instead, lowering hypersensitivity to testosterone.
It is important to treat PCOS for many reasons. With PCOS, there is a four-fold increased risk of both uterine (endometrial) cancer and breast cancer and an increased risk of both Alzheimers, Heart Disease, Diabetes and Osteoporosis. The miscarriage rate for women with untreated PCOS is approximately 50%. With proper treatment, these risks can be lowered by up to 80% and infertility related to PCOS can be improved.
We’d love to speak with you to help you find the best way to address your concerns of a previous diagnosis of PCOS or to help you find out if you have PCOS. In most cases, a simple blood test will help us as we work with you to customize the best way to help you with your goals of addressing PCOS and Insulin Resistance.