For some women, hormonal changes can hide signs of a problem.
A lot of times, inconveniences such as acne, mood swings, and period irregularities are dismissed as a natural part of womanhood. But they can also be signs of an underlying hormonal imbalance.
Nearly 15% of women are living with a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a metabolic and hormonal disorder that can cause small cysts to grow on the ovaries. While the cysts are not harmful, they lead to hormone imbalances. PCOS can affect women as early as their adolescent years and continue throughout menopause.
If you’re putting up with any of the following conditions, you could be living with PCOS.
Irregular periods: Do you have menstrual irregularities, such as the absence of your period for several months at a time or very heavy, prolonged periods?
Skin trouble: Do you deal with acne, oily skin, changes in coloration, and darkening and thickening of skin?
Fertility changes: Have you had trouble getting pregnant or experience infrequent ovulation?
Weight struggles: Do you gain weight or have difficulty losing weight, regardless of diet and activity level?
Hair problems: Do you have thinning hair or hair loss on your head or have excess hair growth in unwanted places, including your face?
Take charge, feel better
Working with your doctor is the best way to manage PCOS, but there are a few steps you can take on your own:
Eliminate processed foods: Cut out refined carbohydrates—think white bread and pastries—along with fried or sugary foods to reduce inflammation.
Manage stress: Practice daily, intentional stress management. Be sure to get enough sleep.
Take your vitamins: Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3s, among others, can help improve some symptoms and help balance hormone levels.
Exercise: Light exercise can help your body avoid insulin resistance without worsening your symptoms.
Listen to your body. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, there is good news! Kettering Health Network’s women’s health services offer a comprehensive pathway for women with PCOS of all ages, including consultation, treatment, ongoing management, and necessary referrals.
You are our priority
Kettering Health Network is making a commitment to women. We’ve designed the Healthy Women program to educate and empower women. Healthy Women offers events and resources throughout the region that help women and their families live their best lives. Sign up today.