Many teens and women are fighting a constant battle with the scale.Whatever they do they still can’t lose weight and if they do lose it, it’s hard to keep it off….
Eventually they start accepting the way they look and lose hope in losing weight, well they can’t spend all our lives dieting, right? They get depressed and feel that they are a failure.
Why is it so darn hard to lose weight for some people ? Is it because their will power isn’t strong enough or is there an underlying cause for this ?
Should we just give up on trying?
Surprisingly 1 in every 10 females suffer from a metabolic condition called PCOS( polycystic ovary syndrome) 70 percent of which are not diagnosed until they have difficulty conceiving a baby!
Why is it so important to diagnose this condition early?
It not just about being”curvy” and not being able to fit in the beauty criteria put by the society.
If PCOS it is not diagnosed early it can lead to infertility. More than half the women with PCOS get diabetes and are at a greater risk of having high blood pressure.
These women also often have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol which raises the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Depression and anxiety are also common among women with PCOS.
When do I suspect having PCOS and when do I seek medical help?
Unexplained weight gain which is difficult to control , irregular periods ,unsightly facial hair , acne, thinning hair,dark patches of skin…
What caused it ?
More doctors are thinking that the primary cause of PCOS is a poor diet composed mainly of refined and processed foods along with a sedentary lifestyle , resulting in weight gain. This leads to insulin (the hormone secreted by the pancreas responsible for the metabolism of glucose in our blood and storage of glucose as fat) dysfunction.
The production of insulin in this condition is in excess so the storage of fat is high; also many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, meaning that your body needs more insulin than normal to deal with sugar in your blood stream, and again more fat storage!
Insulin causes the ovaries to make male hormones (androgens) which in turn prevent the ovaries from producing female hormones and making eggs normally.Women with PCOS have also been found to have a slower metabolic rate.
So in order to lose weight they need to cut on their calories. To make things worse women with PCOS do not feel as full or satiated after meals because of the lack of the hormones involved with appetite control such as ghrelin, and leptin.
How PCOS is diagnosed?
Doctors typically diagnose PCOS in women who have at least two of these three symptoms :
- high androgen levels
- irregular menstrual cycles
- cysts in the ovaries
What is the treatment?
Traditional drugs such as birth control pills or metformin are commonly prescribed are just symptomatic treatment which mask the symptoms, but they don’t address the root cause of PCOS — namely insulin dysfunction, inflammation and excess androgens.
Treatment should have a more holistic approach. By changing the whole lifestyle including: the eating habits, staying active, and replacing lost nutrients with high-quality supplements and foods. This will normalize insulin levels and this will drop the androgen levels regulating the menses.
Even a moderate weight loss of 5% to 7% of total body weight can show significant improvement in symptoms. In fact, weight management is preferable as a first-line treatment in adolescents, because it targets both irregular periods and long-term risk factors associated with PCOS.