Medical Barriers: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Today’s post is another excerpt from “Best Weight: A Practical Guide to Office-Based Weight Management“, recently published by the Canadian Obesity Network.

This guide is meant for health professionals dealing with obese clients and is NOT a self-management tool or weight-loss program. However, I assume that even general readers may find some of this material of interest.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrinopathy, affecting between 6% and 10% of premenopausal women. It is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of developing various cardiovascular risk factors. Many women with PCOS (between 38% and 88%) are overweight or obese.

The etiology of PCOS is complex and multifactorial. There is much evidence, however, to suggest that adipose tissue plays an important role in the development and maintenance of PCOS, which is often accompanied by hyperinsulinemia.

There is a close correlation between adiposity and symptom severity in women with PCOS, and even modest reductions in weight generally bring significant improvement in menstrual regularity, fertility, and hyperandrogenic features.

Treatment involves metformin to treat PCOS-related hyperinsulinemia, which can help reduce symptoms and restore regular menstrual cycles.

© Copyright 2010 by Dr. Arya M. Sharma and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. All rights reserved.

The opinions in this book are those of the authors and do not represent those of the Canadian Obesity Network.

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