is polycystic ovary syndrome
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.
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
are hormones, and what happens
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
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:
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.
Symptoms tend to be mild at first.
You may have only a few symptoms
or a lot of them.
common symptoms are:
-Weight gain and trouble losing
-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
-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
The symptoms of PCOS are caused
by changes in hormone levels. But
experts are not sure what causes
the hormone changes.
seems to run in families, so your
chance of having it is higher if
other women in your family have
is PCOS diagnosed?
To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will:
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
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
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 blood sugar and improving
insulin resistance. Getting 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.
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.
to fit in moderate activity and/or
vigorous activity on a regular
basis. Walking is a great exercise
that most people can do.
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
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.
may take a while for treatments
to help with symptoms such as facial
hair or acne. In the meantime:
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.
Lab Tests: Female
Hormone Panel (click
here for more info) Glucose Intolerance,
Cholesterol & Triglyceride's, Thyroid
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.
on area of interest on the right
for more information.
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.
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.