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Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)

Also known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), PCOD is characterized by hormonal imbalance and high levels of male hormones in females.

The common symptoms of PCOD include:

  • Multiple cysts in the ovaries
  • No ovulation
  • Irregular periods
  • Headaches
  • Acne / pimples
  • Hirsutism (excessive growth of hair on face and body)
  • Baldness (Hair on the scalp becomes thin and falls out)
  • Skin pigmentation in the creases of the neck, groin, and under the breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Heavy bleeding during period
  • Infertility
  • Depression and anxiety

If left untreated, PCOD may result in 

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Increased risk of endometrial cancer and sometimes breast cancer

Based on these symptoms, your gynaecologist may recommend the following tests:

  • Blood glucose
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Serum androgens
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis

The treatment of PCOD/PCOS mainly focuses on managing these symptoms such as:

  • Achieving normal blood glucose levels to prevent diabetes
  • Restoring fertility
  • Prevent hirsute
  • Prevent acne
  • Regularizing menstruation
  • Achieving ideal body weight
  • Medications such as progesterone pills, LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues, etc are recommended to treat hormonal imbalance and restore regular menstrual cycle.      

Lifestyle changes including exercise, positive attitude, balanced diet, weight loss, etc, can go a long way in regulating your periods, improving PCOS symptoms, reducing blood glucose, and cholesterol levels thereby lowering the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, etc. 

According to research studies, a low-carbohydrate diet or a low glycaemic index (low-GI) is helpful to regulate the menstrual cycle.

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