How Much Do You Really Know About PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes?
How much do you really know about PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and diabetes? Because these two disorders often appear together, they can be challenging to tell apart. This article will break down some important differences between the two diseases and discuss how these conditions can impact a woman's fertility .
This is what you need to know:
Each of these illnesses has specific symptoms that can help with diagnosis, however some women may experience symptoms for both illnesses. With PCOS and diabetes, there are several different factors that contribute to the development of each illness. These factors include obesity, heredity, stress level, lifestyle choices such as exercise or sleep habits, etc. addition to these factors which cannot always be controlled, insulin resistance is one of the main characteristics that set PCOS and diabetes apart.
Insulin resistance occurs when normal amounts of insulin are not enough to produce a response in cells throughout the body. It is important for glucose (a form of sugar) to enter cells so it can be converted into energy which helps sustain life. Insulin enables this process by acting like a key - without insulin, glucose cannot get inside these cells . People with PCOS often suffer from insulin resistance due to hormonal imbalances . The excess level of male hormones associated with this condition causes many women's bodies to become resistant to insulin . This causes blood sugar levels to rise which, over time, may lead to type 2 diabetes. Although insulin resistance is a hallmark sign of PCOS, there are other symptoms associated with this syndrome.
Another common characteristic of PCOS is a high level glycemic index diet . Women with this condition often have higher levels of sugar in their blood at any given time and an increased appetite which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, women may also experience irregular periods as well as excessive hair growth on the body and face (hirsutism) as a result of high insulin levels .
What about diabetes?
This illness occurs when your body does not produce or use insulin effectively, typically due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin , although some forms of type 2 diabetes can develop even with a functioning pancreas . It is also known as a "sugar" disease because in addition to glucose problems, people with diabetes may experience high levels of sugar in the urine. Women with diabetes often have more frequent urination and intense thirst due to excess sugar being filtered from the blood into their kidneys.
The most common form of diabetes is type 2, however both forms can affect fertility . In women with PCOS, insulin resistance makes it difficult for the body to use insulin effectively meaning that cells cannot absorb glucose properly which can lead to an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes over time. Overweight men and women are at higher risk for insulin resistance along with other health complications such as heart disease and stroke.
Because PCOS and diabetes share similar symptoms, it is important for a woman to see a doctor if she thinks she may have one or both of these conditions. A diagnostic test such as a glucose tolerance test can help with the diagnosis, however doctors will also consider other factors such as family history and lifestyle habits when making their diagnosis.
If you are diagnosed with either condition, it is important that you maintain a healthy weight , exercise regularly, avoid smoking and overindulging in alcohol. In addition to maintaining a proper diet and exercising regularly, medication is another option for women who suffer from PCOS or diabetes. The good news is that certain types of birth control pills can be used to treat acne which is a symptom of PCOS , as well as help regulate a woman's period. In many cases, the symptoms associated with the two conditions can be managed .
Women who are trying to conceive should speak with their doctor about which medications they can take since some oral contraceptives may not be safe for use during pregnancy, and others may need to be stopped before becoming pregnant or at least temporarily suspended until after pregnancy has been achieved. It is important that both women and men living with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels by checking it regularly throughout the day. Diabetics monitor their blood sugar so they can identify any changes in their condition and respond accordingly. Managing one's diet along with insulin therapy is usually recommended for people dealing with diabetes .
If you are trying to conceive, but have been diagnosed with PCOS or diabetes it is important that you speak with your doctor about the possible risks and treatments available to you.
– A recent human clinical trial found that acetyl-L-carnitine supplementation for twelve weeks significantly reduced the body mass index (BMI) of overweight women with PCOS . Metformin plus L-carnitine was even more effective than metformin alone at improving insulin sensitivity, reducing serum glucose concentrations.
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