Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop several other, more severe medical issues. In addition, PCOS can have various symptoms and associated health issues, and controlling the illness can be difficult.
The good news is that controlling your symptoms and receiving the proper care will also aid in the prevention of many of these linked disorders.
Health Conditions Associated With PCOS
Other health conditions linked to PCOS include: In additional insulin resistance and excessive levels of androgens (commonly known as male-type hormones) are
- Insulin Resistance
- Prediabetes & type 2 diabetes
- Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Endometrial cancer
- Sleep apnoea
- Mood Disorders
- Pregnancy complications
- Gestational diabetes
Insulin is a hormone that aids in transferring glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into cells for use as fuel.
High insulin levels can make you hungrier and make you gain weight. In addition –
- Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are two major health problems resulting from too much glucose and insulin in the blood.
- Insulin resistance is linked to acanthosis nigricans, which are patches of thickened, black, velvety skin – a symptom of PCOS.
- The ovaries produce more androgens when there is an excess of insulin in the body.
- Unusually high androgen levels bring on many signs and symptoms of PCOS.
Insulin resistance affects more than fifty percent of women with PCOS.
Prediabetes & Type 2 diabetes:
The risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is four to seven times higher in women with PCOS. The pre-type 2 diabetes stage is known as prediabetes.
Additionally, diabetes is more likely to strike women with PCOS earlier in life—for instance, in their 30s and 40s. These factors also raise the risk:
- Being obese or overweight
- Being resistant to insulin
- Having a type 2 diabetic member of one’s close family
With the support of a healthy lifestyle, you may help lower your risk of having diabetes, so talk to your doctor about it.
Pregnancy-related diabetes is more likely to occur in women with PCOS (gestational diabetes). In addition, being overweight when pregnant raises your risk.
Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure:
A variety of conditions are included in cardiovascular disease:
- Coronary artery disease –
The coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked in this situation. Heart attack, heart failure, or arrhythmia can all result from coronary artery disease.
- Atherosclerosis –
Build up high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as “bad” cholesterol. Conversely, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol, are characteristics of women with PCOS.
- High blood pressure and Cardiomyopathy –
The risk of stroke can rise with high blood pressure. A stroke can result in significant disability or even death.
The risk of cardiovascular disease in women is raised by several PCOS-related variables, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.
The “metabolic syndrome” is more prevalent in women with PCOS.
The following disorders make up the metabolic syndrome; they frequently occur together and raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease:
- Decreased tolerance to glucose (indicating the beginnings of insulin resistance)
- Obesity and high blood pressure in the abdomen
- Elevated cholesterol levels.
When a person is obese, their body stores fatter than is usual for their height and body type.
- Obesity in women with PCOS can be brought on by metabolic dysfunction (issues with how the body stores and uses energy), imbalanced hormone levels, increased fat deposition brought on by elevated insulin levels, or a combination of these factors.
- Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are just a few significant health issues resulting from obesity.
- Most PCOS patients are overweight.
Endometrial cancer is not brought on by having PCOS; instead, the risk of endometrial cancer may be raised by having extremely few periods.
- Regular periods aid in preventing excessive uterine lining thickness (womb). Having irregular periods might cause the womb to fill with aberrant cells.
- It’s critical to experience at least four cycles annually to prevent a build-up that could contain aberrant cells.
- Period regularity can be increased by taking the oral contraceptive pill. Talk to your doctor if you have fewer than four periods each year.
Regular periods can also be achieved with adequate physical exercise and healthy body weight.
Women with PCOS may be more prone to developing sleep apnea, also known as sleep-disordered breathing, especially if they are overweight or insulin resistant.
- While you sleep, the obstruction of the upper airway causes sleep apnoea.
- A neck with too much fat might partially obstruct the airway, changing breathing patterns while you sleep.
- This results from sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and a lower quality of life.
Sleep apnoea can be helped with treatments. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about how this may impact you.
Women with PCOS are more likely to experience mood disorders like despair, anxiety, bingeing, or eating out of control. Specific PCOS characteristics may influence the higher risk of mood disorders. For instance:
- Mood problems are associated with abnormal androgen and hormone levels.
- Both inappropriate hormone levels and mood disorders are associated with obesity.
According to studies, people with PCOS who are also obese are at an even higher risk for mood disorders.
There may be an elevated chance of specific health issues emerging during pregnancy for a woman with PCOS if she becomes pregnant. These may consist of –
- Gestational diabetes
- Gestational hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pre-eclampsia can harm the mother and the unborn child and is typically characterized by high blood pressure and high protein levels in the mother’s urine.
- The baby may be little or large for its gestational age due to the preterm (early) birth.
It’s crucial to let your pregnant healthcare provider know if you have PCOS. Should these situations materialize, they will need to keep an eye on them and handle them.
Too much glucose in the blood is a typical symptom of gestational diabetes, also known as diabetes during pregnancy.
- Due to their insulin resistance, women with PCOS are more likely to get gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you are overweight when pregnant, this risk rises.
- When their blood glucose levels return to normal following the birth of their child, women typically recover from gestational diabetes.
- Monitoring and prevention are crucial because they still have an increased risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes after giving birth.
Maintaining a healthy weight, staying as physically active as possible, and eating a balanced diet are all key ways to lower your risk throughout pregnancy.
Diagnosis for PCOS Associated Conditions:
- Doctors use blood tests to check for most of these conditions
- Your blood pressure is also generally measured to check for these conditions
- Doctors most often use the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test or the A1C test to diagnose prediabetes
- Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed using the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test.
- Your blood pressure is generally measured to check for these conditions
- A monthly full body check-up is recommended as a precautionary measure
Treatment for PCOS Associated Conditions:
- Exercise for PCOS and eating healthy is probably the best way to combat most of these conditions.
- Especially performing regular exercise for PCOS is essential for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. Talk to your primary health care provider before starting or changing your exercise program to ensure that your activities are safe.
- Weight loss & maintaining a diet is essential. Weight loss results in better blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure control. If you’re overweight, you may begin to see improvements in these factors after losing as little as 5% of your body weight.
But sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough. For example, if diet and exercise don’t help, your doctor may recommend medication or other treatment methods.
If PCOS-related health concerns are of concern to you, it can be useful to:
- As a first step, regulate the PCOS symptoms you are experiencing.
- Study your hazards and be aware of them.
- Keep in touch with your doctor for any symptoms you experience.