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Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS)

What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (say "pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm") is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause upsetting changes in the way you look and problems with your periods. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS) affects up to 1 in 10 women, and often the symptoms begin in the teen years. Treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.

What are hormones, and what happens in PCOS?
Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes, including growth and energy production. Often the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.

For reasons that are not well understood, in PCOS the hormones get out of balance. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another. This makes a vicious circle of out-of-balance hormones. For example:

The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making more androgens. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, gain weight, and grow extra facial and body hair. The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn't use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them.

The most common symptoms are:
-Acne
-Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
-Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
-Thinning hair on the scalp.
-Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than 9 periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
-Fertility problems. Many women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
-Some women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. But this doesn't always happen, and the cysts are not harmful.

What causes PCOS?
The symptoms of PCOS are caused by changes in hormone levels. But experts are not sure what causes the hormone changes.

PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family have it.

How is PCOS diagnosed?
To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will:

Ask questions about your past health, symptoms, and menstrual cycles.
Do a physical exam to look for signs of PCOS, such as extra body hair and high blood pressure. The doctor will also check your height and weight to see if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Do a number of lab tests to check your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormone levels. Hormone tests can help rule out thyroid or other gland problems that could cause similar symptoms.

You may also have a pelvic ultrasound to look for cysts on your ovaries. This test is not always done, because many women with PCOS do not have cysts.

How is it treated?
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and weight control are key treatments for PCOS. Medicines to balance hormones may also be used or programs to reduce Androgenic hormones; specifically testosterone or DHEA. Balancing bloodsugar and improving insulin resistance. Geting the weight off. But most importantly, getting treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and can help prevent possible long-term health problems like Diabetes and Heart disease.

The first step in managing PCOS is to get regular exercise and eat a heart-healthy diet. This can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It can also help you lose weight if you need to.

Try to fit in moderate activity and/or vigorous activity on a regular basis. Walking is a great exercise that most people can do.

Eat a heart-healthy diet
In general, this diet has lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It also limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods. If you have blood sugar problems, try to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal. A nutritionist can help you make a meal plan.
Most women with PCOS will benefit from losing weight. Even losing 10 lbs may help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle. PCOS can make it hard to lose weight, so work with your doctor to make a plan that can help you succeed.

It is important to see your doctor for follow-up to make sure treatment is working and adjust it if needed. You may also need regular tests to check for diabetes,Insulin Resistance, high blood pressure, Infertility and other possible problems.

It may take a while for treatments to help with symptoms such as facial hair or acne. In the meantime:

Over-the-counter or prescription acne medicines may help with skin problems.
Waxing, tweezing, and shaving are easy ways to get rid of unwanted hair. Electrolysis or laser treatments can permanently remove the hair but are more expensive. Your doctor can also prescribe a skin cream that slows hair growth for as long as you use it regularly.
It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to other women who have PCOS. Ask your doctor about local support groups, or look for an online group. It can make a big difference to know that you are not alone.


Recommended Lab Tests: Female Hormone Panel (click here for more info) Glucose Intollerance, Cholesterol & Triglycerides, Thyroid panel.

All lab tests can be done through the mail in the privacy of your own home, except blood tests, we send you to a lab to have your blood drawn for these. After you pay for the test we mail you the kit, the results take two weeks, the test results will be mailed to us and we will call you to go over the results, its that easy! All tests include the consultation for the report of findings.

Click on area of interest on the right for more information.

Teresa Rispoli has her Ph.D. in Nutrition, is a licensed Acupuncturist and clinical researcher. She has been in practice for well over 25 years. It is through her clinical practice that she has gained insights into chronic health conditions. If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms that come and go you owe it to yourself to find out why. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

Your happiness is a reflection of your health call today For an appointment, contact her office at (800) 956-7083 or (818) 707-3125.

We also offer Functional Laboratory tests that can be done through the mail in the privacy of your home to help determine why you are having these symptoms. For more information on these click on lab tests.

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Call 818-707-3126 to set up a nutritional consultation so that a comprehensive strategy of lifestyle, nutritional support can be implemented to aid you in the direction of wellness.

We also offer Functional Laboratory tests that can be done through the mail in the privacy of your home, to get to the root of your health concerns. Just choose lab tests and click on test of interest.

Click on Related Articles or Products to the right for more information.

Teresa Rispoli is a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition, a licensed Acupuncturist and Aesthetician, and clinical researcher. She has been in practice for well over 27 years. It is through her clinical practice that she has gained insights and solutions into chronic health conditions.

If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms yourself to find out why. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

Remember that the body can heal itself if given the proper nutrients with the right environment.

Dr. Rispoli will help guide you to make the right choices for your individual needs. Teresa Rispoli will work with you to teach you which program is right for you so you can make informed decisions regarding your health.

Dr. Rispoli has a PhD. in Nutrition, a Master in Naturopathy and Oriental Medicine and is a Licensed Acupuncturist. She is the founder and Director for Complete Health. She will find the root of your health issues, from a Functional Health perspective, and personalize a health building program to help you experience vibrant health.

Schedule your Wellness Consultation TODAY with Dr. Rispoli

Call 818-707-3126.

Yours For Inner Health and Outer Beauty,
Teresa Rispoli, DCN., LAC.

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