Current estimates are that 10 to 20 percent of women have PCOS, and I would guess that among young women the number is even higher, qualifying this as an epidemic.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a serious medical disease with significant implications for a woman’s health and well-being. Many women with this disease have difficulties becoming pregnant. If not treated properly, there is an increased risk of miscarriage.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are at increased risk of becoming diabetic while pregnant and are at increased risk of becoming diabetic later in life. They are more likely to have high cholesterol and are also at increased risk of having heart disease.
The PCOS Cycle
Any hormone problem that interferes with normal ovulation results in what is known as a “polycystic” ovary, which, regardless of the cause, will produce increased amounts of androgen. Conversely, increased androgen production interferes with normal ovulation. Evidence has also pointed to obesity as part of the androgen excess syndrome; overweight women produce increased androgens even if they have no underlying abnormality in the adrenal gland. It is not known for certain whether obesity is a cause or an effect or simply a part of PCOS.
Moreover, increased insulin found in women with PCOS stimulates ovarian androgen production; increased androgen production contributes to insulin resistance. Yet increased androgen production also leads to an increased body weight (obesity), which in turn contributes to insulin resistance. Women with PCOS who are not overweight also frequently have insulin resistance.
PCOS is an inherited, autosomal dominant trait, meaning if a woman has PCOS, it should be looked for in her mother, sisters and daughters. And, since it is autosomal dominant, male relatives can also carry the gene and can transfer the problem to their daughters. Having PCOS puts women at an increased risk of developing diabetes, coronary artery syndrome, lipid disorders (such as elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure) and possibly breast cancer.
By far the biggest lifestyle contributor to PCOS is poor diet. Young women with PCOS tend to eat far too much sugar and highly refined carbohydrates. These foods cause an unhealthy rise in insulin levels. Insulin stimulates androgen receptors on the outside of the ovary, causing the typical PCOS symptoms of excess hair (on the face, arms, legs), thin hair (on the head), and acne. Eventually, this type of diet will cause obesity, which will cause insulin resistance (the inability of the cells to take in insulin), which will aggravate the PCOS even more. The androgens also play a role in blocking the release of the egg from the follicle.
Women, who have a high number of dysfunctional follicles to begin with, due to xenobiotic exposure in the womb, will have worse problems if their diets are high in sugary foods and low in nutrition. Since this is exactly the type of diet favored by teens and young women, it’s easy to understand why there is so much PCOS in that age group. Fifty years ago, the average person age one pound of sugar a year. Today the average teenager today eats one pound a week! Potato chips, corn chips, pasta and white rice are all highly refined carbohydrates that also act on the body much the same as sugars do.
When you look at the whole picture of PCOS, you can understand why the hormone-blocking and insulin-lowering drugs don’t work for very long. These approaches don’t address the underlying cause of the problem. They only suppress symptoms. Improvement is only temporary and both types of drugs have terribly unpleasant side effects.
By the same token, you can’t just take progesterone, and you can’t just cut out the sugar. You need a holistic treatment customized to your body type and physical make-up. And that’s possible only in the PCOS treatment through authentic Homeopathy.