Symptoms of PCOS

insulin-resistance-pcosThe severity of PCOS symptoms appears to be largely determined by factors such as obesity. Even though the name suggests that the ovaries are the cornerstone of disease pathology, cysts are a symptom instead of the cause of the disease. Some symptoms of PCOS will persist even if both ovaries are removed; the disease can appear even if cysts are absent.

The most common immediate symptoms are anovulation, excess androgenic hormones, and insulin resistance. Anovulation results in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, and ovulation-related infertility. Hormone imbalance generally causes acne and hirsutism. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among those affected.

Common symptoms of PCOS include the following:

  • Menstrual Problems: These can include few or no menstrual periods or heavy, irregular bleeding.
  • Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinemia: Failure of normal levels of insulin in the blood to produce normal biological responses and an unusually high level of insulin in the blood respectively.
  • High Levels of Masculinising Hormones: The most common signs are acne and hirtuism but may produce heavy and prolonged menstrual periods, increase hair thinning or diffuse hair loss and other symptoms.
  • Infertility: This generally results from chronic annovulation (lack of ovulation)
  • Metabolic Disorder: A disorder of energy utilisation and storage. This appears as a tendency towards central obesity and other symptoms associated with insulin resistance.
  • Hirsutism: Excessive hair growth on a woman’s face or body
  • Sleep Apnea: A temporary cessation of breathing during sleep
  • Skin Tags: Skin growths that look like small, soft balloons of hanging skins
  • Darkened Patches of Skin: Usually under the arms, in the groin area, or the back of the neck
  • Obesity/Weight Gain or Difficulties Losing Weight
  • Hair loss from the scalp
  • Multiple Follicles (Cysts) on the Ovaries
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Pelvic and Lower Abdominal Pain
  • Depressions/Depression with anxiety and/or Mood Swings
  • Fatigue
  • High Cholesterol and High Triglycerides
  • Acne and Oily Skin
  • Increase in stress levels
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