If you want the facts on PCOS :
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Menstrual disorders: PCOS mostly produces oligomenorrhea (few menstrual periods) or amenorrhea (no menstrual periods), but other types of menstrual disorders may also occur.
- Infertility: This generally results directly from chronic anovulation (lack of ovulation).
- High levels of masculinizing hormones: The most common signs are acne and hirsutism (male pattern of hair growth), but it may produce hypermenorrhea (very frequent menstrual periods) or other symptoms. Approximately three-quarters of patients with PCOS (by the diagnostic criteria of NIH/NICHD 1990) have evidence of hyperandrogenemia.
- Metabolic syndrome: This appears as a tendency towards central obesity and other symptoms associated with insulin resistance. Serum insulin, insulin resistance and homocysteinelevels are higher in women with PCOS.
PCOS is a heterogeneous disorder of uncertain etiology. There is strong evidence that it is a genetic disease. Such evidence includes the familial clustering of cases, greater concordancein monozygotic compared with dizygotic twins and heritability of endocrine and metabolic features of PCOS.
The genetic component appears to be inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with high genetic penetrance but variable expressivity in females; this means that each child has a 50% chance of inheriting the predisposing genetic variant(s) from a parent, and if a daughter receives the variant(s), then the daughter will have the disease to some extent. The genetic variant(s) can be inherited from either the father or the mother, and can be passed along to both sons (who may be asymptomatic carriers or may have symptoms such as early baldness and/or excessive hair) and daughters, who will show signs of PCOS. The allele appears to manifest itself at least partially via heightened androgen levels secreted by ovarian follicle theca cells from women with the allele. The exact gene affected has not yet been identified.
The clinical severity of PCOS symptoms appears to be largely determined by factors such as obesity.
I have taken the pill. I have taken metformin. It didn't work. What did work, is a low GI Diet.
The glycemic index is a useful aid for diabetics and other people who wish to control their blood glucose levels. A diet based on foods with low glycemic response has been associated with diabetes management, improved blood lipids (cholesterol), reduced risk of heart disease, and weight management[unreliable source?]. Not only will foods with a low glycemic index take longer to digest (therefore prolonging satiety) they will also maintain blood glucose levels at a relatively constant state. Foods with a high glycemic index not only digest quickly, but they also can cause extreme fluctuations in blood glucose.
There are some specific factors to consider in foods that can indicate their glycemic index: Low glycemic foods contain fat, protein, fiber, whole grains, raw starches, legumes, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. High glycemic foods contain refined grains, refined sugars, and increased amylopectin: amylose ratio.
There are other factors that contribute to a food's glycemic index, such as plant variety, ripeness, food processing, cooking method, and the other foods served with it.
There are criticisms of the glycemic index, including how impractical it is. The preparation and combination with other foods can alter its glycemic index. There is no requirement to display the glycemic index of a food product, and it is not always easy to predict the glycemic index of certain foods. Switching from a high glycemic index diet to a low glycemic index diet can be made relatively easy. Switching white bread and pastas to whole grain, eating breakfast cereals from oats, bran or barley, adding more fruits and vegetables when cooking, and reducing potato consumption can all aid in lowering glycemic index.
So to sum things up. Even if you don't have PCOS, and you want to lose weight, especially if you have insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, I recommend the following steps.
1. Go see a doctor. Have you hormone levels checked. Have your thyroid checked to rule that out. You may need to get an ultra sound. It is not fun, but it can confirm the severity of your condition.
2. Eat low GI. I do 6 days on and 1 day off. Try and eat organic whole foods as much as possible. Always keep healthy food stocked in the house. Never let yourself go hungry. Hunger is the enemy. It is all about regulating your insulin levels, which will in turn regulate your hormone levels and control the never ending cycle of the PCOS nightmare.
3. Be patient. My doctor describes PCOS like a freight train. You have to stop it before you can reverse it. At first your weight loss may be slow, don't give up. The first week I started my low GI diet I gained 5 lbs. Then it was a slow 1 lb per week. But, I didn't give up, and now I have lost almost 70 lbs.
There is absolutely no cure for PCOS. There isn't a magic pill you can take. You have to change the way you eat for the rest of your life, or you will be plagues with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, infertility, hair loss, acne, depression and so on. PCOS will not go away on its own. You must change the way you live. Should you choose to do the work, not only can you manage your PCOS, but you can live a very healthy and happy life.