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September is PCOS Awareness Month: 30 Facts About PCOS

30 Interesting Facts About PCOS

1. Women with PCOS have higher rates of anxiety and depression than women without the syndrome.
2. Worldwide, PCOS affects 6% to 10% of women, making it the most common endocrinopathy in women of childbearing age.
3. Elevated insulin or insulin resistance are not part of the diagnostic criteria for PCOS but are seen in the majority of women with PCOS.
4. The diagnotic criteria for PCOS states that a women has PCOS if she has at least 2 of the following 3 criteria: a. Irregular or absent periods, b. blood tests or physical signs that show high androgens, c. Polycystic ovaries
5.The United States spends an estimated $4 billion annually to identify and manage PCOS.
6. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea due to the influence of androgens affecting sleep receptors in the brain.
7. Women with PCOS can have monthly menstrual cycles and still have PCOS.
8. Despite its name, not all women with PCOS actually have cysts on their ovaries.
9. Characteristics of PCOS were first described in 1935 by researchers Stein and Leventhal.
10. There are at least 10 different phenotypes associated with PCOS.

11. Both myo-inositol and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) have been shown to improve fertility and metabolic aspects of PCOS.
12. PCOS is the most common cause of ovulatory infertility.
13. Know your numbers: women with PCOS have a 70% prevalence of elevated triglycerides and low HDL ("good" cholesterol). Changes to diet and lifestyle can improve levels.
14. In PCOS, there is a rapid conversion from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes. For this reason, the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society recommends yearly blood screening.
15. Women with PCOS have more testosterone and can build muscle easier than women without the syndrome.http://www.pcosnutrition.com/links/blogs/rev-up-your-metabolism.html
16. It is important if you are taking metformin or oral contraceptives to also take a B12 supplement as the drug can interfere with absorption of the vitamin. A lack of B12 can cause permanent and serious problems.
17. The cysts typically seen in PCOS are actually the result of a hormonal imbalance, not the cause of the syndrome.
18. One of the earliest signs of elevated androgens in adolescents with PCOS is acne.
19. There is a lack of evidence that supports a very low carb or gluten free diet as an effective eating plan over other diets for women with PCOS.
20. Fish oil improves almost every aspect of PCOS from improving hair quality to mood.
21. Eating protein and/or fat-containing foods every 3 to 5 hours throughout the day may help to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent cravings in PCOS.
22. Regular exercise is an effective way to improve insulin levels in PCOS.
23. As women with PCOS get older, they are likely to experience more regular menstrual cycles.
24. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS at middle age is 6.8 times higher than that of the general female population. http://1.usa.gov/12IroEW
25. A number of studies demonstrate that modest weight loss of 5-10% of initial body weight improves metabolic, physiological and psychological aspects of PCOS.
26. The optimal treatment for PCOS is a multifactorial approach involving diet and lifestyle modification and medications.
27. Women with PCOS have a higher incidence of gestational diabetes, miscarriages, preterm deliveries, and stillbirths. http://bit.ly/z0sh7X
28. It is estimated that 50-70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
29. Vitamin D, a hormone and a vitamin, has been shown to play a role in insulin resistance and egg development.
30. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to numerous chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. With treatment, these conditions can be prevented.

COMMENTS (10)

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I have PCOS, with as few as 3 periods a year and was ovgerwieht.my doc perscribed me metformin 750 mg 2 times a day, and told me i needed to diet and exercise. the pill alone i dont think will help you loose weight. i think you have to exercise. i know it just helped me not crave sweets like i use to.anyways, the first month of taking it i had a period. the second month, missed my period. thrid month took a pregnancy test and it ended up positive!I have no insulin problems, so dont let that other post scare you.because i had none, and it still helped me. as a matter of fact all my lab work was normal , and i thought the doc was crazy for putting me on metformin. but after years of trying it worked on the second month!the side effects are kind of crappy at first. but it is so worth it. they will eventually go away!!good luck. and i hope this helped!

Posted by: Marcia | October 21, 2012, 1:29 pm

Angela,

I have had your workbook and following the website since they first started talking about PCOS and most doctors didn't know what it was somewhere between 1998-2000.

I can't afford your new book right now, but if have so many new questions I would love to be able to sit and ask you about. You have helped me immensely over the years. I need help now with newer symptoms possibly from the PCOS, however as the the first fact says I have had depression and anxiety also for a long time, and this is the worst episode of major depression I have ever had and I just started more intense therapy for that. I now believe the I was in denial that the depression was making the PCOS symptoms worse and not the other way around.

My hope is that by treating the depression and anxiety will get me back on track managing the PCOS. I still have questions and would like some guidance, but this might not be the time.

Two main questions are regarding preion medications besides Metformin and birth controll pills are there? Secondly, how do you find an endocrinologist who is current on the information? I will admit I put other health issues over following up closely with the second doctor. I live in Pittsburgh if you have any recommendations.

Diet and supplements have really helped the most . There are some new things you have listed I haven't tried. As I get older the symptoms have changed and I have had trouble changing with them.

Thank you for all of your information and advocacy. This is more a letter than a comment.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Posted by: Jennifer Marie Grover - Haller | September 23, 2013, 11:23 pm

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