Health Problems Of The Young: PCODDr. Nitin Gupte
Obesity And PCOD In Young Ladies
Today millions of girls and young ladies are suffering from PCOD (polycyclic ovarian disease) or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
Its exact cause is not known.
But it is now recognised that the two main features of PCOD or PCOS are over production of androgens by the ovaries and insulin resistance. Indians are also known to be more susceptible to insulin resistance. So the incidence of PCOD is higher in Indian women.
Oligomenorrhoea, hirsutism and obesity together with enlarged polycystic ovaries are the diagnostic features of PCOD or PCOS.
Many young ladies between 15 to 25 years of age suffer from delayed periods or total absence of periods, weight gain, excessive facial hair growth and pimples. Most of them could be suffering from PCOD.
PCOD is a hormonal disorder affecting 8 to 20 percent of all women. Many ladies develop PCOD in young age and continue to suffer from it permanently.
In this condition the ovaries are enlarged and develop multiple fluid filled sacs or cysts leading to hormonal imbalance, including raised levels of androgens and insulin. In most cases the periods are delayed or altogether absent. Weight gain, excessive facial hair growth and pimples are other features of PCOD.
About a third of ladies with PCOD suffer from infertility. PCOD is the commonest cause of infertility because it can prevent ovulation.
Other associated health risks of PCOD are high blood pressure, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Women who conceive in spite of PCOD have a higher incidence of miscarriage, gestational diabetes and hypertension, preeclampsia and premature delivery.
The diagnosis is confirmed by abdominal sonography and hormonal study.
Taking hormones to regulate periods does not improve PCOD. Many girls take hormones off and on in three month cycles, but that does not help as the cycles become irregular on stopping hormones.
The first line of treatment of PCOD must always be weight reduction.
Beginning to exercise and losing weight usually corrects the cycles and reverses PCOD. Here both a good workout and weight loss seem to influence reversal of PCOD.
Many girls will tell you that their periods are regular when they have some form of exercise like walking, cycling, dancing or sports like tennis and they become irregular when they stop exercising for a while. These are principally cardiovascular exercises.
Here it must be understood that the term exercise mentioned above doesn’t include heavy weight training or exhaustive floor exercises which are commonly being sold to you by gyms and slimming centers. In fact heavy weight training can disturb your hormones and you may land into PCOD. Many girls experience delayed periods when on heavy weight training.
So if you are a young girl gaining weight apparently without reason and the periods are getting delayed regularly, consult a gynaecologist. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, start exercising regularly and take steps to lose weight if already overweight.
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