** Previous post : PCOS : An Introduction **

It’s been a while since some kinda’ life changing stuff got in the way and took center stage on the blog but let’s just jump right into it, shall we?

THE SYMPTOMS (in no particular order)

  1. Insulin resistance
  2. Small cysts on ovaries
  3. Irregular periods
  4. Infertility
  5. Anxiety and Depression
  6. Weight gain
  7. Acne
  8. Excess facial and/or body hair
  9. Male pattern hair loss

I ONLY HAVE THE CYSTS : WHAT IS PCO?

You can have Polycystic Ovary (without the Syndrome) which basically means “many cysts on the ovaries”. In Greek, “poly” means many or lots of.

On a personal note, I know PCO is common in runners and/or athletes and in theory women who don’t have the syndrome are easier to treat because they don’t have the hormone imbalance or insulin resistance (although they can get things like high blood pressure, acne, excess hair – all the good stuff!). Most notably it seems for PCO sufferers that they don’t ovulate and therefore pregnancy is an issue. From my research it looks like cysts can clear up on their own if exercise is toned down or increased (depending on the individual situation) or by other means such as The Pill or naturopathy intervention.

In all honesty, I don’t know a whole lot about PCO and this small piece of information is just what I’ve read or heard of from other people who were found to have it. Surprisingly there wasn’t much information out there on Dr Google and it seemed to get lumped in with PCOS. I’d love to know more about it so please leave a comment if you have any inside knowledge.

This series will be primarily focusing on PCOS (although some of the same symptoms do apply).

THE CAUSE

As I mentioned in my introductory post, there are many theories as to the true cause of PCOS but the bottom line is that no one really knows. From my many years of research the syndrome appears to be heredity and passed down from your mother. It is also more likely to run in sisters.

* Obviously, many women have benign cysts and/or one or two in their lifetime but it doesn’t mean they necessarily have PCOS.

There seems to be two major factors with PCOS that could be the cause and that is insulin resistance and too many male hormones swimming around those big ol’ veins. It all seems to be intertwined and thus far no definite reason as to what causes what and in which order has been discovered.

For example, it could be the blood sugar issues that help the ovaries create more male hormones, or it could be the pituitary gland that produces a hormone called “LH” (Luteinizing hormone) that causes it.

WHAT IS LH & WHY DOES IT MATTER?

To put it simply, and as I understand it, LH is the hormone that is responsible for men being able to produce sperm and women being able to ovulate. It has an important role for each gender, like specifically stimulating testosterone for men or helping to produce progesterone which is a hormone required to support early pregnancies for women.

USEFUL LINKS

Because I am not a doctor, and don’t want to give the impression that I know everything, I thought I’d share some links I found interesting when doing my research.

Hormone Levels and PCOS

As the series continues I will add more links I think could be helpful or relevant to the subject matter.

MY SYMPTOMS

As I mentioned in my previous post I pretty much had/have everything (go me!) except for acne and male pattern baldness. I’ve used the contraceptive pill and been prescribed medication to help with my insulin resistance but I have to admit I felt my best when exercising several times a week. I’ll go more into individual management over the course of the series.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are a fellow PCOS Princess or have been diagnosed with PCO, so please don’t hesitate to send me a message or leave a comment.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Katie

Disclaimer : I am not a doctor and I do not intend for any of this and/or future posts to be read as medical advice. I’m happy to talk about PCOS from a personal point of view but anything more than that is out of my comfort zone. If you have any concerns about your individual situation then I respectfully suggest you seek medical advice.

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