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Article: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome | Hormonal Imbalance | Irregular Periods

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome | Hormonal Imbalance | Irregular Periods

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Author:

Dr. Veena (Ayurvedic Physician)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a variable disorder, marked especially by amenorrhea, hirsutism, obesity, infertility, and ovarian enlargement. It is usually initiated by elevated levels of luteinizing hormone, androgen, or estrogen, resulting in an abnormal cycle of gonadotropin release by the pituitary gland. The disease is also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Polycystic Ovary Disease.

The incidence of this disease is not common, occurring between the ages of 14 to 30 years. Pelvic examination typically shows a normal or bulky uterus with bilaterally firm enlarged ovaries.

Women with PCOS have many cysts in their ovaries, hence the name Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Diagnosis is typically made when a patient presents complaints of hirsutism, oligomenorrhea, or amenorrhea. Pelvic ultrasound is a major diagnostic tool.

PCOS affects about 1 in every 10 women and can occur in girls as young as 11 years old.

Causes:

The exact cause is unknown, but the following factors may contribute:

  • Prolactin: A hormone that stimulates the breast glands to produce milk may become increased.
  • Increased Levels of LH (luteinizing hormone)- Increased levels of Testosterone: While primarily a male hormone, small amounts are also present in women.
  • Genetics - Excess Insulin may affect the ovaries by increasing androgen production, which can interfere with ovulation.

These mechanisms are interrelated; it is not known which, if any, is primary. PCOS probably represents the common endpoint of several different pathologies.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of PCOS include menstrual irregularities, androgen excess, multiple cysts in the ovaries, heavy menstrual periods, excessive hair growth on the neck and face, acne, darkening skin, mood swings, and thinning hair on the scalp. For hirsutism, most patients resort to cosmetic measures such as shaving, bleaching, and waxing. Electrolysis and laser treatment are effective for small areas such as upper lip and chest hair, albeit expensive.

Diet and exercise play important roles in managing PCOS. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating well can help alleviate symptoms.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Obese women should manage their weight.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon powder on breakfast and food items.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Evening primrose oil contains GLA and linolenic acid, useful for regulating hormones.
  • Basil leaves: Eat 5 to 10 daily.
  • Take 1 teaspoon of flaxseed with water daily.
  • Follow a low carbohydrate diet.
  • Exercise regularly to reduce blood sugar levels.
  • Reduce salt intake.

Herbal Remedies:

  • Cabbage and cauliflower contain Diindolylmethane, which can help reduce testosterone levels and excessive hair growth.
  • Garcinia cambogia (Brindall-Berries) is useful for obesity.
  • Fresh pomegranate fruit rind is advisable for prolonged bleeding during menstruation.
  • Vitamin B supplements play a role in treating PCOS symptoms:
  • B6 helps maintain hormonal balance.
  • B2 helps convert fat and sugar into energy.
  • B5 helps control fat metabolism.

Avoid:

  • Avoid sleeping after lunch/daytime.
  • Avoid sweets, especially artificial sweeteners.

Herbs Useful for PCOS:

  • Maca helps relieve PCOS symptoms like acne, hirsutism, irregular menstrual cycles, and insulin resistance.
  • Gymnema can help reduce sugar levels.
  • Fenugreek can be used to treat PCOS.

Granthokta Products:

Pharmacopoeial Ayurvedic Products like Kumari Asav, Pushayanug Churna, Phalkalyan Ghrit, Ashkarishta are advisable, but consult an Ayurvedic physician before use.

It's important to consult with an Ayurvedic physician before using any of the aforementioned natural/home remedies.