Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Can Be Extra Stressful To An Affected Teen But There Are Ways To Deal With It

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can cause a lot of distress, especially among younger women, but there are ways to deal with it.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is mostly diagnosed in girls and women aged between 15-44 years of age. It could even start during puberty. Though the cause has not been pinpointed yet, it is known to occur in females with a hereditary tendency to obesity, or if any other member in the family, mostly on the maternal side, has been diagnosed with PCOS.

It causes hormonal levels to go out of balance, causing a disturbance to estrogen and progesterone levels in a woman’s body. These uncontrolled levels affect her ovaries, causing an unusual growth of ovarian cysts, leading to irregular menstrual cycles, also having an effect on the woman’s appearance. Her fertility can be affected, and she can be more prone to cardiac diseases. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is also linked to the development of several other medical conditions such as insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Excess insulin is thought to affect a women’s ability to ovulate due to its effect on androgen (male hormone) production. In addition to the inability to ovulate, an advancement in androgen can cause a girl/woman to experience excessive hair growth and weight gain.

PCOS can be regarded as a premetabolic syndrome condition dealing with risks for cardiovascular disease. Its pro-inflammatory markers are early features of atherosclerosis (a hardening or narrowing of blood vessels/arteries, disturbing the flow of blood in the body) and can be used as surrogate indicators of future coronary artery disease in women with PCOS.

There are four main subtypes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

  • Classical PCOS – Increased androgen with cysts on their ovaries.
  • Hyperandrogenism and irregular menstrual cycles, but no cysts on their ovaries.
  • Polycystic ovaries with irregular menses, but no increase in androgen levels.
  • Polycystic ovaries and hyperandrogenism, but regular menstrual cycles.

Embarrassing for teen girls

It can be quite embarrassing for teenage girls or even younger women suffering from PCOS and related problems at a younger age, who might not know the exact cause of their problems.

Here I would like to take my example, having been a patient of PCOS for last six years, and having undergone some related problems of PCOS.

I wasn’t able to understand what was wrong with me, as no-one in my family has this problem. I was obese even though I was a very active teenager. It took me time to understand my mood swings and depression that would last for a long time. And for a teenager, it can be a big deal when their parents start about their ‘churning wheels in her mind’, and ‘exactly what’s the reason behind her depression’. I could better understand feelings of girls specially older girls going to school or college and feeling embarrassed, as the obvious symptoms of PCOS can be excess hair growth on the face or acne problems, unusual weight gain, leading to lower self esteem and a depressed state of mind.

So what are the usual symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

  1. Acne
  2. Weight gain
  3. Extra hair on the face and body
  4. Thinning of hair on scalp
  5. Irregular periods
  6. Fertility problems
  7. Depression and anxiety

Dealing with PCOS

Going to doctor or consulting a gynaecologist proves to be a great help (specially as they tend to bring their patients into a comfortable zone), and knowing and discussing about treatments with them. The treatment could include, other than medication and counselling, vigorous activity or exercise, eating heart-healthy foods, and quitting smoking or alcohol (if any PCOS sufferer does it).

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Some effective home remedies

There are some home remedies that could be beneficial, along with a proper diet:

  1. Fenugreek seeds (helps to improve glucose tolerance of body, helping in weight loss)
  2. Cinnamon (stabilizing blood sugar levels)
  3. Flax Seeds, Omega-3 (reduces the androgen levels)
  4. Tulsi (also helps in controlling androgens)
  5. Bitter Gourd (stabilizing weight and removing toxins)
  6. Amla (rich in anti oxidants, helps improving fertility in women)

Some foods that are extremely helpful in controlling the depression:

  1. Dark Leafy Greens (helps to control brain inflammation with Vit. A, C ,E and K)
  2. Walnuts (Presence of Omega-3 fatty acids reduces depression symptoms)
  3. Avocados (contain healthy fats needed for brain to run smoothly)
  4. Mushrooms (chemical properties opposing insulin)
  5. Onions (contain high concentration of anti-inflammatory flavonoids and anti oxidants, benefits the mood)
  6. Tomatoes (contain folic acid which helps to fight depression)
  7. Apples (contain anti oxidants helps to repair oxidation damage and inflammation at cellular level)

Treatment of depression caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is essential, needing awareness and a lot of patience. Treating PCOS requires a commitment to major lifestyle changes, but it is something that a women can do to bring her natural life back on track.

Image source: shutterstock

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