Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex endocrine disorder that impacts women during their reproductive years. In women with PCOS, there is an elevation in insulin levels and androgens, which are male-type hormones, resulting in a disruption of hormonal equilibrium. The imbalance affects the reproductive organs responsible for producing progesterone and estrogen, which regulate the menstrual cycle in women. The elevated production of male hormones in women with PCOS not only makes conception more challenging but also causes irregular menstrual cycles.
What causes PCOS?
Dr Shweta Wazir who is a Senior Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Gurgaon said, “PCOS may lead to formation of small sacs of fluid develop along the outer edge of the ovary called as cysts. The small fluid-filled cysts contain immature eggs called follicles. The follicles fail to regularly release eggs.”
She further went on to list down the following which has an effect on PCOS:
Hormones: Hormones impact numerous bodily processes, including growth, energy, sexuality, reproduction, digestion, and temperature, are influenced by them. It is believed that PCOS is brought on by excessive levels of androgens (male-type hormones), which are produced as a result of altered ovulation due to elevated insulin levels in the body. Numerous symptoms, including irregular periods and problems with the skin and hair, are brought on by these hormones. The ovaries frequently operate correctly when hormone levels are under control, and symptoms could become better.
Genetics: PCOS cannot be attributed to a single gene, numerous genes are most likely involved. Up to one-third of women with PCOS are thought to have a parent, aunt, sibling, or child who also has the condition. Some ethnic groups may have higher levels of this.
Androgens: Both males and women typically have androgens, however women have significantly lower levels. Androgen levels are higher in many PCOS patients. In addition to irregular periods and acne, this might result in symptoms including excessive body hair growth and scalp hair loss. Underdeveloped eggs may also result from higher amounts of androgen in women.
Obesity: Women of all weight ranges may experience PCOS. However, being overweight can result in an increase in the hormones that cause PCOS symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS may improve as a result of weight loss by restoring hormone balance.
Common PCOS Symptoms:
According to Dr Shweta Wazir, ” Some women begin to experience symptoms right before the beginning of their period, while others don’t find out they have PCOS until they’ve put on a lot of weight or struggled to conceive.”
Listing down the most typical signs of PCOS, she said:
- Irregular Periods: The uterine lining cannot shed every month if there is no ovulation. Some PCOS sufferers have fewer than eight periods or none at all.
- Heavy Bleeding: For some women with PCOS they may be heavier than usual since the uterine lining has had more time to thicken up.
- Acne: Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and lead to breakouts on the face, chest and upper back.
- Excess Facial and Body Hair: In excess of 70% of affected females develop hair on their face, body, and even their back, abdomen, and chest (11). We refer to excessive hair growth as hirsutism.
- Male Pattern Hair Loss: The scalp’s hair may thin over s period of time leading to male pattern hair baldness.
- Weight Gain: Up to 80% of PCOS-afflicted females are obese or overweight.
- Dark and Patchy Skin: In body creases, such as those on the neck, dark patches of skin can develop.
“PCOS cannot be prevented, however there are easy steps you may take to decrease your symptoms. For example, keeping a healthy weight, working out frequently, and eating a balanced diet will help you avoid the affects of PCOS. Oral contraceptives are frequently used by doctors to treat PCOS because they regulate menstrual periods and help lower testosterone levels but many women find the side effects unpleasant,” she further added.
PCOS From The Ayurvedic Point Of View:
In the rich tapestry of Ayurveda, which has its roots deeply embedded in India’s heritage, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is perceived not just as a medical condition but as a manifestation of elemental imbalances. At the heart of Ayurveda lies the concept of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These are the energies that govern our physiological and psychological well-being.
Dr. Kriti Soni, Head of R&D, Kapivasaid, “PCOS, from the Ayurvedic lens, is often linked to an imbalance in the Kapha dosha. This imbalance can lead to the accumulation of ‘Ama’ or toxins, which might disrupt the body’s hormonal harmony. Such disruptions can manifest as the symptoms commonly associated with PCOS.”
“To address this, Ayurveda emphasizes holistic well-being. A balanced diet, rich in fresh produce and whole grains, can help regulate these imbalances. Additionally, practices like Yoga and Pranayama, which have been part of our culture for millennia, are recommended to restore balance and vitality,” she further added.
Additionally, Anjenay Agarwal who is an Ayurveda expert and Director of Royal Bee Natural Products Pvt Ltd. said, “Lodhra, Anantmul, Gokhru Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, Ashok, Kalimusli Shivlingi, Punarnava, Asgandh, Daru Haldi, Mulethi, Nagarmotha, Gorakhmundi, Shatawar, Kuteri, Nilofar, Majith, Rakht Chandan herbal formula addresses hormonal imbalances and health problems. These herbs are beneficial to women who are experiencing Menstrual Disorders, Menopause, Hormonal Imbalance, Postpartum Imbalance, and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).”
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