Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an insulin-resistant disorder with resulting elevated male hormones. Many fluid-filled cysts may be present in the ovaries, but
some women do not have multiple cysts. In this disorder, excess circulating insulin
and luteinizing hormone increase the production of male hormones that can
cause acne and coarse facial hair growth in women.
Affecting up to 10 percent of the U.S. population, PCOS is the most common hormone dysfunction among women in their reproductive years. Because eggs are frequently not released, fertility is a problem. If pregnancy does occur, it often ends with a first trimester miscarriage or is associated with gestational diabetes. The condition seems to run in families, with 20 percent of mothers and 40 percent of sisters of those with PCOS also demonstrating varying degrees of the syndrome. With the approach of menopause, androgen production declines, and there is a more normal pattern of menstruation. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to cancer of the uterine lining. Women with PCOS are also at increased risk for Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
PCOS usually presents with coarse hair growth on the face and chest, and higher levels of male androgenic hormones, caused when the pituitary gland releases an excess of luteinizing hormone. Acne and oily skin are also evident. Ovaries may be enlarged and contain multiple cysts, however cysts may not occur at all. Symptoms often become apparent in puberty, when menstruation begins. Irregular menstrual periods with excess bleeding may occur, or PCOS can cause a lack of periods altogether.
Although historically considered a gynecological problem, research now shows that PCOS is associated with hyperinsulinemia (production of too much of the hormone insulin) and impaired glucose metabolism. Perhaps not surprisingly, more than 65 percent of women who suffer from PCOS are obese. Reports indicate that early pubarche (breast budding and pubic hair growth) is linked to ovarian hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance, suggesting another hormonal trigger. Doctors typically try to determine if a tumor is responsible for the production of male hormones. Thyroid and prolactin abnormalities should also be investigated as possible causes of amenorrhea (lack of period).
Since the extra weight seems to be an important issue, those with PCOS should work toward losing excess weight gradually, using proper nutrition and exercise. Doing so will also lessen the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
PRESCRIPTION FOR HEALTH
|ESTROsmart||2 capsules at breakfast, 2 at dinner||Important for healthy metabolism of estrogen; eliminates excess and harmful estrogens; prevents abnormal cell growth|
|GLUCOsmart||1-2 capsules daily||Restores ovulation, normalizes males hormones, controls insulin, stops belly fat|
|Bsmart||3 capsules||Reduces PMS symptoms; improves mood and reduces anxiety|
|ESTROsmart Plus||2 capsules of each daily||Helps to regulate ovulation. Specifically for women with irregular or absent periods.|