Know about the common cause of obesity in women

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Most people believe that they can cut away the extra weight easily, considering the only requisite being workout. But a majority of women cannot remove that flab despite strenuous workouts and strict diet. Imagine the plight! Gluttony is not the only cause of weight gain in women. A major cause remains a condition called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. The rate with which this condition is taking a toll would surprise you. But guess what, it can be cured. Yes, there are chances for you to lose that annoying belly fat. Here is a complete guide to PCOS.


1.     What is PCOS? What causes it?

This is a rather complex issue. PCOS is basically an endocrine condition which is found in women in their child bearing ages. The basic pathology is development of small cysts in enlarged ovaries. A rough estimated prevalence of this condition is believed to be 4- 18%, and believe me when I say that this is going up and up and up. Now PCOs and Obesity don’t always go hand in hand. However it is believed that 50% of women who have PCOS are obese, and they typically have this obesity around their abdomen. Obesity and PCOS are a vicious cycle, meaning obesity causes PCOS, which in turn causes obesity.

The cause of this remains particularly the abdominal fat which is associated with insulin resistance. This insulin resistance causes an increased release of insulin from the pancreas. These increased levels of Insulin in turn shoots up the release of Androgen hormone in women. This is not appropriate because Androgen being a male hormone causes abnormalities like excessive hair on body and menstrual abnormalities. Other factors which might lead to PCOS are genetic factors, and inflammation.

2.     What are the classical symptoms of PCOS?

  • Weight gain despite diet control and workout
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Troubles getting pregnant.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles (women might not even get their periods for 2-3 months at a stretch)
  • Scanty or excessive bleeding during periods
  • Excessive hair growth on face
  • Depression
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea.


3.     How dangerous can this condition be?

A low self esteem due to incessant acne and abnormal weight gain is just a beginning of this condition. It is a serious condition with complications stretching even up to Hypertension, Diabetes, Infertility, Heart Disorders, Endometrial Cancer, miscarriage, low birth weight baby, increased cholesterol levels.  


4.     How is PCOS diagnosed?

The blood investigations include the following:

  • Leutinizing Hormone levels (LH) Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) ratio
  • Prolactin levels
  • Blood Glucose Levels
  • Lipid
  • Thyroid Function Tests.
  • An Ultrasound may be required to confirm the diagnosis.


5.     Is it curable?

Definitely yes! As stated earlier as well, PCOS is a common condition and can be treated on timely diagnosis.

  • Start by efforts to reduce weight. Follow a diet plan. Eat healthy. Avoid excessive fats, junk food, sweets. Maintain a workout regime. Yoga, gym, walking, aerobics- whatever suits you. Stop taking elevators. Go for the stairs no matter what.
  • Your doctor would prescribe medications like Oral Contraceptives, Metformin to control the hormonal imbalance. The duration of this treatment is quite variable. Some people respond quickly and the body returns to normal in 6 months, while others may take as long as 2 years to completely get back to normal. Some people cannot really accept the length of treatment and quit in between or are cavalier in taking medications. This might even cause an exacerbation of the disease. Keep patience. Visit your doctor timely and most importantly, DO AS THE DOCTOR TELLS.
  • Although excessive facial hair will stop appearing using the medications. However, some physical aids might be needed, which include razors, plucking or even Laser.

The first step to cure is prevention of disease. Women please make sure you avoid excessive eating, especially the ones who have a tendency to out on weight quickly. It is not necessary that the four people sharing the same pizza would gain the same amount of weight. Some might put on 4 kg, others might not. Know your body and know what works for it. It is also recommended to maintain physical activity regularly.

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