Women have been known to record their PCOS symptoms for a very long time, and yet, there is still a lot of light that needs to be shed on the chronic illness so that the quality of life in patients can be improved. The reason patients and doctors struggle with diagnosing and treating PCOS is due to the multiple effects it has on the body and no particular reason to call it a cause. Studies show that every symptom can present to us a different new clue that might change how we look at treatment and care for women with PCOS.
After years of research and documenting cases, a review literature suggests that there could be a few causes of PCOS that affect the body, and they are:
You inherit your genes from your parents and it makes up almost 99% of how your body is formed and what it is made of. You may develop PCOS if you inherit the risk for it from your family. Not only is it true for PCOS, there are other metabolic abnormalities that you might have the risk of developing if your family members have it.
However, you should know that there is no single gene that is linked to PCOS. Because of the complex nature of this chronic illness, there are multiple genes that work in a delicate manner, and abnormalities in these mechanisms can lead to the multiple symptoms we see in women with PCOS. Your genes may also malfunction and affect the levels of your hormones and cause insulin resistance.
There are many studies that confirm that insulin resistance occurs in women with PCOS, even if they do not have an increase in their weight. This can mean that weight and its fluctuations may not be the only reason behind the problem of insulin resistance in women with PCOS.
More testosterone, more insulin resistance:
You may want to understand that insulin resistance means that your body is not able to send enough energy to your cells to carry out daily activities. Because of this, your insulin levels may increase so that it can send more energy to your cells and power up your body. These high levels may not be good for other parts of your body, such as your ovaries. This imbalance can cause your ovaries to stop working and the amount of male hormones (androgens) may increase in the body of a woman with PCOS. This can, in turn, stop the egg in your ovaries from ovulating properly according to its cycle.
Because of these disturbances in the menstrual cycle, women with PCOS often deal with irregular periods, irregular ovulation, subfertility in addition to their other symptoms. All these imbalances have their own effect on the body, like the increase in the levels of androgens can cause hormonal acne and an increase in hair growth on the face and body (hirsutism). The insulin resistance, on the other hand, may show up as hyperpigmentation and a stubborn increase of weight in women with PCOS. These multiple symptoms may make the quality of life worse for a woman with PCOS if these are not managed properly.
Hormonal imbalance and the entire body:
Now, after knowing more about how insulin resistance and androgens have caused an imbalance in the body, you may think that they are responsible for only the symptoms that are listed above. In reality, these hormones are present in your blood, and interact with tissues directly around your body. That is why, you should know more about the effects it might have on your body that you may not have thought was because of PCOS. When you are a woman with PCOS, adequate care and support is a must because the risk to your body is not limited to your reproductive system. You might be more at risk of heart problems or diabetes if your PCOS is not diagnosed and managed early on in your life. A good lifestyle and better choices in health can help you overcome almost all symptoms of PCOS.
Because of how diversely PCOS affects women, the care and support that is required should also be holistic in nature. Your treatment plan should treat your metabolic, reproductive and psychological complications and reduce risks for any long-term complications.
The various symptoms of PCOS can be overwhelming to experience, but when you know the underlying reasons for it, it is easier to cope and you understand the treatment plan in a better manner. Every woman and her PCOS story are unique and so is yours! But that does mean that you are alone, it is only that your treatment plan that might depend on your body, but your experiences are legitimate and real.