September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month. This is a variable disorder that is marked especially by amenorrhea, hirsutism, obesity, infertility, and ovarian enlargement and is usually initiated by an elevated level of luteinizing hormone, androgen, or estrogen. This imbalance can result in an abnormal cycle of gonadotropin release by the pituitary gland. The abbreviation PCOS, is also called polycystic ovary disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, polycystic ovary disease, Stein-Leventhal syndrome.
In simpler terms, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). PCOS can cause problems with a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and her appearance.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 women of childbearing age suffers from PCOS. The condition currently affects up to 5 million women in the United States. Many women have never heard of PCOS or are aware that they may be experiences this disorder.
Symptoms of PCOS
Symptoms of PCOS may begin shortly after puberty but can also develop during the later teen years and early adulthood. Often symptoms may be attributed to other causes or go unnoticed, and because of this, PCOS may go undiagnosed for some time.
Women with PCOS typically have irregular or missed periods because of not ovulating. Although some women may develop cysts on their ovaries, many women do not.
Other symptoms include:
- Weight gain. About half of women with PCOS will have weight gain and obesity that is difficult to manage.
- Fatigue. Many women with PCOS report increased fatigue and low energy. Related issues such as poor sleep may contribute to the feeling of fatigue.
- Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism). Areas affected by excess hair growth may include the face, arms, back, chest, thumbs, toes, and abdomen. Hirsutism related to PCOS is due to hormonal changes in androgens.
- Thinning hair on the head. Hair loss related to PCOS may increase in middle age.
- Infertility. PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility. However, not every woman with PCOS is the same. Although some women may need the assistance of fertility treatments, others are able to conceive naturally.
- Acne. Hormonal changes related to androgens can lead to acne problems. Other skin changes such as the development of skin tags and darkened patches of skin are also related to PCOS.
- Mood changes. Having PCOS can increase the likelihood of mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
- Pelvic pain. Pelvic pain may occur with periods, along with heavy bleeding. It may also occur when a woman isn’t bleeding.
- Headaches. Hormonal changes prompt headaches.
- Sleep problems. Women with PCOS often report problems such as insomnia or poor sleep. There are many factors that can affect sleep, but PCOS has been linked to a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, a person will stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep.
Cystic Acne Treatment
Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome is individualized to treat prevailing signs and or symptoms and generally focused on correcting irregular bleeding from the uterus, restoring fertility, improving the skin manifestations of androgen excess (hirsutism, acne, hair loss), and preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. More recently, attention has also focused on improving the quality of life in PCOS women who have body image concerns.
A Healthy diet is key. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods; such as bread, bagels and chips, may trigger acne. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse. What you consume internally makes a huge impact on treating PCOS acne outbreaks. Further study is needed to examine why this happens or whether acne patients need to follow specific dietary restrictions.
Turmeric, ginger and boswellia are three natural herbs that contain anti-inflammatory properties which help to heal the cystic acne. So, take these three herbs in your known forms to get rid of the problem.
Avoid drinking and smoking habits as this will make the cystic acne worse and will likely reduce the change of curing the acne.