Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that becomes apparent during adolescence with a variety of hormonal and metabolic symptoms. Patients with PCOS may present with abnormal ovulation, infrequent or delayed menses, many cysts in the ovaries (when a scan is done), symptoms of excess male hormones productions, metabolic abnormalities and or combinations of these problems.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrine disorder, affecting 10% of women of reproductive age, yet it is frequently overlooked[i].
On pelvic ultrasound, 90% of women with biochemical features of PCOS will have characteristic changes; however only 20% to 30% of women without hormonal disturbance due to PCOS will have similar ultrasound features[ii]. Ultrasound is not the only the way to diagnose PCOS. Patients are diagnosed with PCOS if they have two or three criteria which include a history of delay menses, biochemical evidence of androgen (male hormone) excess and/or ultrasound features of PCOS.
PCOS also has notable metabolic problems, including an elevated risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease especially as the patient get older in their 40s. PCOS is associated with reproductive problems and is the most common cause of infertility[iii]
All available treatments in traditional medicine is geared towards this one simple goal: If the hormone levels can be controlled, the ovaries will function normally but this does not work for a number of reason. Current care:
Exercise: Because many of patients with PCOS obese, losing 5 -10% body mass is associated with significant improvements in clinical metabolic and hormonal markers. The challenge is; many women are often frustrated by repeated failed attempts to lose weight. Therefore this method is only good in theory.
Medications: Medications like Birth control pills, Metformin, Eflornithine; Clomiphene, Statins; Spironolactone, Sibutramine, Injectable Gonadotrophins may be used and the list goes on.
Surgery: These include Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling, Electrocautery or a Laser to destroy parts of the ovaries. The goal of the surgical approach is based on the belief that these ‘destruction’ of the ovaries can trigger ovulation.
We at Zenith; understand the role the gut plays in the development of insulin resistance which drives PCOS. It is this aberration in glucose metabolism that is responsible for the development of the components of the syndrome, including menstrual irregularity, excess male hormones and the development of multiple small ovarian cysts[iv].
Despite all these medical armamentarium, the medical community generally believed PCOS cannot be cured unless with the IVF and the pregnancy rates is around 20%.
Our thorough clinical assessment is critical both to confirm the diagnosis and to identify risk factors for long-term health maintenance. The information we gathered helps our clinicians prioritize integrative approaches when creating a management plan by elucidating the primary metabolic targets. Treatment plans should take into equal consideration each woman’s unique concerns, such as weight management, resolution of acne, or infertility.
Zenith Medical Centre offers a Functional approach that looks in a comprehensive way to seek the root causes. When the root causes are resolved, the endocrine system corrects itself and the symptoms will resolve.
Come in today and speak to us about PCOS.
[i] 1R. Azziz, K.S. Woods, R. Reyna, et al.: The prevalence and features of the polycystic ovary syndrome in an unselected population. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 89:2745-2749 2004
[ii] 5R.N. Clayton, V. Ogden, J. Hodgkinson, et al.: How common are polycystic ovaries in normal women and what is their significance for the fertility of the population?. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 37:127-134 1992 6
[iii] Boyle J, Teede HJ. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: An Update. Aust Fam Physician 2012; 41: 752-6.
[iv]Sutandyo N. Nutritional Carcinogenesis. Acta Med Indones-Indones J Int Med 2010; 42(1): 36-42.
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