5 Common Questions About PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes (and Their Answers!)
Diabetes and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) are conditions that go hand in hand. Both conditions involve insulin resistance and hormone imbalances.
What many women may not know is the exact link between these two conditions or how they affect each other. When one condition affects your body, it can cause a domino effect on all of your organs, which includes the reproductive system and ovaries.
Not to mention, both of these conditions - including diabetes- have very serious health effects if gone untreated for too long.
Here are five common misconceptions about PCOS and diabetes:
1.) They Are Two Separate Diseases With No Link Between Them
Many people believe that Type 1 Diabetes is completely separate from Type 2 Diabetes. The truth is, both are related and have the same effects on the body. The same goes for PCOS and diabetes. Both conditions affect insulin resistance in your body, even though they appear to be very different diseases.
2.) Only Women Can Get PCOS
This is a huge misconception about PCOS. Many people think that this condition affects only women, when in actuality it can affect men too. Studies show that approximately 5%-10% of all people with polycystic ovary syndrome are men. That's why it's important to get checked by your doctor regularly if you exhibit any type of irregular menstrual cycle or hormone imbalance, because it could point towards PCOS.
3.) PCOS And Diabetes Are Only Found In Women Over 30 Years Old
This is simply not true, as both Type 1 and 2 diabetes can affect young adults as well. In fact, over the last 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase of type 2 diabetes in adolescents. Type 1 Diabetes used to be called Juvenile Diabetes until researchers found that this disease was occurring in adults too. The same can be said about PCOS. Many women still have children after being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome because it doesn't necessarily affect your ability to conceive or carry a child full term.
4.) You Get PCOS From Your Mother Or It Is Genetic
There are definitely some cases where PCOS can run in the family . The truth, however, is that there are many other factors that contribute to polycystic ovary syndrome. In fact, it's been found that obese women have a greater risk of developing PCOS because their bodies produce androgens in larger quantities.
5.) Only Women That Don't Exercise And Eat Junk Food Get PCOS
There is definitely some controversy surrounding whether genetics play a role in polycystic ovary syndrome; however we do know for sure what makes this condition worse - obesity. When you put on extra weight around your midsection , you're more likely to produce too much insulin. Once your insulin levels become too high, you can develop Type 2 Diabetes and PCOS.
This is why it's so important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly . You don't want to put on extra weight, but you also need to exercise. Some studies have shown that just moderate physical activity such as walking can help manage PCOS symptoms.
There are many misconceptions about diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, especially after the age of 30, be sure to see your doctor right away: unwanted hair growth or loss of scalp hair; irregular menstrual cycle; infertility;very dark urine; sudden weight gain; increased thirst and hunger ; fatigue ; cuts/bruises that take longer than usual to heal.
Now that you know the truth about these two conditions, spread it around to your friends and family members so they can get checked out before any major problems occur.
How to treat diabetes and PCOS
To help treat both diabetes and PCOS, doctors usually recommend eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
A healthful diet consists of:
- colorful fruits and vegetables
- sources of lean protein, such as chicken breasts, turkey, low fat dairy, and fish
- sources of healthful fat, including olive oil, nuts, and seeds
- whole-grain foods
People with PCOS and diabetes should limit their intake of foods such as:
- processed meats
- trans fats
- simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, white flour, white bread, white pasta, and white rice
- fast food and other processed foods
- low fat foods that substitute sugar for fat
People with diabetes or prediabetes and PCOS also benefit from getting more exercise. An increase in physical activity can help a person lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It can also help the body process and use blood sugar, or blood glucose.
As the body starts to process more blood glucose, it may also produce enough insulin to meet a person’s needs. As the body regulates blood glucose levels naturally, a person with diabetes may be able to take less medication.
Treatments for type 2 diabetes can include medication that helps the body’s insulin work more effectively and lower levels of blood glucose. A doctor may also recommend insulin injections.
Treatment for PCOS typically involves using birth control pills. These can help regulate the menstrual cycle and hormone levels, reducing PCOS symptoms.
Metformin is a common treatment for type 2 diabetes. It may also help treat PCOS symptoms because it reduces insulin resistance.
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