PCOD is a common disease that afflicts millions of women every year. Read on to find out more about it.
Poly-cystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a common disease that, as the name suggests, refers to the enlarging of the ovaries with multiple small cysts on the outer edge. These cysts are just premature eggs that could not be released by the ovary. There is no ‘one size fits all’ for PCOD. It causes different effects on different bodies. Having mentioned this, it is also noteworthy that PCOD is the most common cause of female infertility in the world today. In India, there are more than one million cases of PCOD detected every year and the condition is increasingly on the rise. It can be easily detected with an ultrasound test.
Every human body releases a healthy combination of male and female hormones depending on the sex of the person. However, an excess of androgen or male reproductive hormone secreted by the female bodies is the major cause of PCOD. If the female members of a family suffer with ‘type 2’ diabetes or PCOD, then the female offspring has a fifty percent greater chance of suffering from it.
Generally, if the body is resistant to insulin, it will lead to a high level of insulin left unused in the body which can be another cause of PCOD. It can be a result of genetic factors or overweight or both. Skipping meals or staying physically inactive can become a cause of PCOD as it not only spoils the immune system of the body but also fluctuates the weight of the body that has an effect on the insulin. High levels of mental or physical exertion are also major contributors to it.
There is no fixed duration for PCOD. It can last for years or even a lifetime. However, with proper medication, it can be cured within six to seven months as well.
The first major symptom of PCOD is the stopping of or irregularity or excessive flow of blood during menstruation.. Doctors say that if a woman has 8 or less menstrual cycles in a year, she should go for an ultrasound test for PCOD. Since ovulation is affected due to PCOD, women may run the risk of miscarriage or difficulty in conceiving naturally. This however does not imply that PCOD necessarily leads to infertility in all women.
People afflicted with PCOD often go through Hirsutism which refers to an excessive growth of facial and body hair due to increased levels of androgen. These hairs are thicker and darker than the usual hair and are often found on the chin, cheek, belly or breasts. However, they might also face hair fall or thinning of the scalp hair. PCOD is also responsible for causing an increase in the size of the oil producing glands, thus making the skin oily. This leads to a major issue of acne that is difficult to clear and may leave marks. PCOD may cause anxiety and depression in women not only due to an imbalance of the hormones but also because of the loss of self esteem due to such symptoms.
There are various kinds of treatment for PCOD. Therefore one can use allopathic, homeopathic and even Ayurvedic treatment for the same. The treatment may involve the consumption of contraceptive pills. Regular exercise may help the sufferers of PCOD manage their weight. Doing yoga is will ameliorate the disease with the additional benefit of bringing down the anxiety levels. A sleeping pattern is important because the body and mind needs enough rest during this time.
A balanced diet goes a long way. However, this means something different for people with PCOD. . To cure oneself of off it, one would be required to have more fruits and heavy vegetables. Kiwi is one fruit that works the best. Some foods need to be avoided, for example, sweets, rice, dairy products etc. If a person with PCOD smokes, she must try to quit, as smokers tend to have higher levels of androgen.
There are several associations trying to create awareness about PCOD, often using teal as the colour of their campaign. The one at the forefront is PCOS Awareness Association (PCOSAA). There is an urgent need of awareness regarding the same so that women become alert to the rising numbers and understand that they are not alone. They should be encouraged to talk about it freely without any taboo, so that a woman can be cured before it is too late.
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