PCOS and Thyroid Health

 In Dr Nikita Interview, Gynaecology, Health Tips

PCOD is one of the most common problems faced by women of reproductive ages. Let us all first know that what is PCOD/PCOS. The full form of PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. As the name suggests it is a condition in which there are bilateral cysts formation on the outer edges of the Ovaries. These cysts are not directly linked with the PCOS. which means a woman with cysts may or may not have the symptoms of the PCOS. But Mostly woman who were diagnosed with PCOS had the cysts formation, However there no scientific evidence that these cysts are responsible for PCOS/PCOD.

Thyroid problem:

Thyroid is one of the largest endocrine gland located below the larynx (Adam’s Apple) of the neck of a human body.  Thyroid gland secrets hormones which helps in growth and development through the rate of metabolism( Process of expending energy to maintain the living state of cells). There are 2 types of problems related to thyroid Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. As the name suggests Hypo means decrease and hyper means increase in the production of hormones by the thyroid gland. 

Studies have shown that Hypothyroidism is related to PCOS. Hypothyroidism is the reduction in the production of the thyroxin hormone. Thyroxin is produced by the Thyroid Gland that is primarily responsible for regulation of metabolism. They act to increase the basal Metabolic rate affect protein synthesis, help regulate long bone growth and neural maturation, and increase the body’s sensitivity to catecholamines. The thyroid hormones are essential to proper development and differentiation of all cells of the human body

Young female doctor examining her patient

Young female doctor examining her patient

Relation between PCOS and Hypothyroidism

Studies have shown many cases in which a woman with Hypothyroidism was diagnosed with PCOS as well.

Both PCOS and Hypothyroidism creates hormonal imbalance in a woman’s body leading to various problems. Both the diseases shows similar symptoms and were found to co exist.

PCOS and Hypothyroidism are heredatery diseases, Which means, women who have this problem in their family need to be extra cautious and get regular check ups done. Both the conditions have similar symptoms. And studies have shown that obese women are more prone to get these problems. Obesity apart from other metabolic diseases like Diabetes, is also found to be associated with PCOS and Hypothyroidism.

Effects of PCOS

# Insulin Resistance: The body creates resistance against insulin so the production of insulin increases.

# Increased insulin level triggers increase in the male hormones (Androgens).

# Increased Androgens lead to increase in the bodily and facial hairs.

# Thinning of scalp hair

# Acne

# Weight gain

# Fewer Periods (Less then 9 periods in an year)

# Lack of Periods (Amenorrhea)

# Heavy Bleeding during menstruation

# Infertility

Effects of Thyroid

# Weight Gain( Only in case of Hypothyroidism)

# Acne

# Cramps (Muscle cramps)

# Tiredness (Feeling sluggish all the time)

# Thinning of Scalp hair

How to Treat the problem:

PCOS It has been seen that eating a healthy diet and following a moderate level excercise program helps in improving the condition. Even a modest reduction in weight for instance 5 % reduction can also be very helpful. In overweight women, the symptoms and overall risk of developing long-term health problems from PCOS can be greatly improved by losing excess weight. Weight loss of just 5% can lead to a significant improvement in PCOS.

You can find out whether you’re a healthy weight by calculating your Body Mass Index(BMI) which is a measurement of your weight in relation to your height. A normal BMI is 18.5-24.9. Use formula weight in Kg/Height in Meter Square. Also you can calculate your BMI on internet as well just type BMI calculator and you should find a list of websites.

You can lose weight by exercising regularly and having a healthy balanced diet. Your diet should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, (at least, whole foods (such as wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereals and brown rice), lean meats, fish and chicken. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a dietitian if you need specific dietary advice. 

Eating a low fat diet with a mix of fruits and complex carbohydrates helps in fighting with PCOS as well as Thyroid problem In severe cases women are given artificial hormones to neutralise the hormonal imbalance (Eg. Birth control pills, Artificial Thyroxine etc) It has been seen that symptoms of PCOS can come and go anytime, so women need to get regular check ups done or see a doctor in case any of the above symptoms are observed.

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