What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that occurs when the ovaries develop several small cysts. Ovaries typically produce both male and female hormones but those suffering from PCOS may develop a hormonal imbalance resulting to an abnormal production of excess male hormones. Women who suffer from the disorder start experiencing symptoms like acne, excessive hair growth on their face and body, extra fat deposits in the lower abdomen, irregular periods and weight gain.

PCOS may lead to a number of side-effects including low self-esteem, depression and high stress levels. These can be particularly difficult to carry for those who are currently in their teenage years. More often than not, PCOS also leads to infertility. Those who do manage to get pregnant, however, have a higher chance of miscarrying as they are unable to produce enough hormones to support their pregnancy.

The body may also have a problem utilizing insulin – this is called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood sugar levels will go up. Thus, if not managed earlier, health complications like diabetes can manifest.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age

Women's Health - Source: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

How is PCOS diagnosed?

To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will:

  • Do a physical exam to symptoms of PCOS such as high blood pressure and excessive body hair. The doctor will also check your weight and height to see if you’re on the healthier side of the spectrum.
  • The doctor will ask questions about your past symptoms, especially those concerning abnormalities in your menstrual cycles.
  • The doctor may also do a number of lab tests to check your blood sugar, insulin and other hormone levels. These tests will rule out other gland problems that could cause similar symptoms.

60% of women with PCOS are Overweight

Legro RS, Castracane VD, Kauffman RP. - Detecting insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome: purpose and pitfalls. Obstet. Gynecol. Survey 59, (2004)

How is PCOS treated?

Women with PCOS are encouraged to add moderate to vigorous activities activities to their schedules. It is also important to eat heart-healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits and a selected range of meats.

An activity that is heavily discouraged is smoking as women who smoke have higher androgen levels that can contribute to existing PCOS symptoms.

Lastly, most women who are suffering from PCOS can benefit from losing weight. Losing as little as 10 lbs (4.5 kg) can help put your hormones back in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle.

Women who suffer from PCOS can benefit from a healthy diet...

WebMD - Source: http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview#1

If you’ve already been diagnosed with PCOS and you feel that losing weight will help you with your internal battles, it’s probably time to consider a healthy lifestyle transformation.

The Cohen’s Lifestyle Program is a safe and rapid weight loss program that uses nutrition to achieve good health and overall well-being. A personalized Eating Plan – based on one’s biochemistry profile – is created for each client to ensure that their individual nutritional needs are addressed while losing weight. Aside from the Eating Plan, clients are guided through a Refeeding Program that helps stabilize their weight, while the Management Guidelines transition them into maintaining their healthy weight through healthier eating habits.