PCOS is a disease of the endocrine, that is, hormonal system of the body, affecting an ever increasing number of females, from 11 to 45 yrs age group.
Presently PCOS is a major cause of Infertility.
PCO and PCOS are two different entities, the former refers to Ovaries being enlarged with trapped ovum (female egg), and the later is the full-fledged syndrome affecting the whole body.
PCOS is associated with / is a risk factor for-Diabetes, Infertility, Endometrial Cancer, Breast Cancer, High Cholesterol Level, Heart Disease, Stroke, Psychological Disorders like Depression, Increased risk of Diabetes & Miscarriage during Pregnancy, etc.
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. It’s just a disturbance of the HPO Axis- the Hypothalamus- Pituitary- Ovarian Axis.
HPO Axis maintains the hormone balance of the female body.
In PCOS, the levels of female hormones are reduced, while those of male hormones are increased.
This leads to REDUCED or NO EGG FORMTION, thus swelling & cysts (large no. of immature eggs) in the ovary.
These are also insulin resistance, leading to Diabetes like state and obesity.
Increased male hormones lead to VIRILISM.
Multiple Follicles seen in the ovary, termed as POLYCYSTIC OVARY.
Signs & Symptoms
Most common symptoms are changes in menstrual cycles. There may be AMENORRHOEA or absence of menses, seen mostly in young girls.
OLIGOMENORRHOEA or Delayed menses, the cycles may vary from 40 days to 3 or 4 months.
Occasionally there may be HYPERMNEORRHOEA or frequent menses.
Menstrual flow may be heavy, particularly if they come after several months gap.
Cycle may or may not appear, but there is no or very less OVULATION i.e. EGG FORMATION in the ovaries.
Signs & Symptoms
OBESITY particularly CENTRAL OBESITY is associated with PCOD.
Insulin resistance is seen, causing High Blood Sugar.
HIRSUTISM or male like hair growth is seen. Coarse hair may appear on face, breasts, abdomen etc.
ACNE may appear fresh or may aggravate.
Thickening & darkening of skin around armpits, groins or chest may be seen, known as ACANTHOSIS NIGRICANS.
Depression, low self esteem is common.
Infertility due to ANOVULATION i.e. no egg formation in the ovaries.
Hair fall & thinning, male pattern hair loss.
DIAGNOSIS & INVESTIGATIONS
To confirm the diagnosis a detailed history, esp. family history is must. Many times PCOD is inherited, and may be seen in first degree relatives.
Clinical examination, showing swelling in the ovaries, excess hair growth etc.
Lab tests & Investigations include-
Hormone assays- FSH, LH, Prolactin, Estradiol, Testosterone.
Blood sugar & Glucose Tolerance Test ( GTT).
Thyroid Function Tests
Ultrasound (sonography) of the pelvis.
Treatment of PCOS is directed towards managing the symptoms. Since the cause is not known, there is no definitive treatment.
However weight loss of about 10 % of body weight may bring about ovulation, regular cycles and regulates hormonal levels, as fatty tissue interfere with the formation of female sex hormones.
Conventional medical treatment involves use of Oral Contraceptive to regulate cycles and reduce the unwanted hair growth and hypoglycemic agents to control blood sugar. Hormonal preparations to induce ovulation, especially the patient are trying to conceive.
Dietary changes to manage obesity and optimize nutrition and are advised.
Exercise to promote weight loss, regulate hormonal activity & reduce depression, anxiety etc.
Counseling is advised to help deal with symptoms particularly low self esteem, mood swings, depression, anxiety etc.
Like any other illness PCOS causes lots of mental stress, which may aggravate the symptoms further, so stress management by way of medical help, self help, social support is very important part of the management.
Alternative therapy like Homeopathy provides safer solutions to PCOS & related Infertility.
HOMEOPATHY FOR PCOD-
These are some of the commonly used remedies with their indications, prescribed for PCO and PCOD.
Since a homeopathic ( especially constitutional ) remedy is prescribed on the basis of a totality of symptoms that includes the temperament , behaviour and attitudes of patient besides the physical symptoms/complaints, the symptoms mentioned here are mostly related to the mental state. It is obvious that the patient has the usual symptoms of PCO, which I haven’t unnecessarily described again.
Suits an anxious, awkward, passionate female, who is prone to emotional outbursts. Anxious temperaments make her a busy bee. Tenderness & severe pain in the lower abdomen is also noticed along with a tendency to retain water in general, causing puffy swellings.
Full of fears- a calcarea lady has numerous fears, ranging from rats to financial ruins. She may be an anxious, hypochondriac with a fear of cancer or infectitous illness. Earthy, hardworking, contentious individuals, who are usually constipated, very delicate, sensitive to cold & wet weather.
Reserved and too proper in nature. Get offended easily and the reserved displeasure or anger may even lead to physical symptoms like colic or suppressed menses.
Very restless, hurried, anxious females. Always lean, inspite of hogging day and night. Feel hungry all the time, which is also a sign of anxiety, besides an over active thyroid gland, for which this remedy is quiet resourceful.
Shows an array of mental and emotional symptoms. Passionate, talkative, energetic, temperamental, delusional, dominating, aggressive, anxiety and a number of fears. Prone to having difficulty in sleeping, breathing, with palpitations.
Nervous, timid & lacking in confidence. However sometimes they may show a false ego or be boastful.
Lean, flatulent, usually looks older then age, many times there is lack of development of breasts.
Reserved, closed, proper and well behaved females. Fear of being hurt in relationships or a history of being hurt is always there with brooding about the same. Often suffer from migraines, constipations & allergies. Prone to depression.
Emotional, attention seeking, jealous female. Many times fears men& marriage. Tendency to gastric upsets easily, espcially after eating fat containing food.
Mild and sensitive natured female who is nervous yet quiet obstinate at times. Refined & with intellectual inclinications.Concentious nature leading to anxiety.
Low self esteem & lack of identity. Prone to having delusions & odd opinions about self. Suspicious and mistrustful. Tendency to warts, growth, “sycotic” affections.
HOMEOPATHY combined with dietary & lifestyle modifications renders excellent outcomes in cases of PCOD.
Hope readers find this useful!