Hello all, in last week’s Hitopchaar post I talked about a MBBS doctor having Hypothyroid, PCOD and High prolactin. After that I got many queries regarding PCOD and its causes, symptoms, treatment etc. So here is all the information that you should have..
PCOD ( Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease) is now called as PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). But I will still be using PCOD in this blog because the general people are still familiar with the term PCOD.
Commonly seen in – Women age group – 15 – 40 years.
Signs and symptoms –
- Irregular periods (Early or late)
- Heavy flow or less flow in periods
- Weight gain
- Facial hair
- Dark Pigmentation of skin
- Swelling of face, legs
Why is this PCOD getting so common?
PCOD has become quite common in last few years. The exact cause is not yet known. But these are possible factors which have contributed to the rise of PCOD.
- Irregular sleeping pattern – during college, office work, late night binge watching.
- Excessive work stress/ mental exhaustion – office, career, house, relations.
- Irregular food habits – unhealthy food, junk food, poorly prepared home food, stale food, no fixed timings, crash diets, processed food, high sugar based food.
- Weight gain/ obesity
- Smoking/ hooka
- Misuse/ frequent of Emergency contraceptive pills
What happens in PCOD –
(How does PCOD develop – little difficult to understand for a common person, but I have tried to explain it in simple terms. It is important to understand how it develops, because PCOD is a lifestyle disease. Along with medicines, change in lifestyle helps control PCOD faster)
Every female has two organs (glands) in their body called as Ovaries. They release female hormones and also produce the egg (Ovum). In normal circumstances the Ovaries produce one egg per month, and release a variety of female hormones. The hormones are released in exact amount required at the exact time and day. The egg is then released which comes out of the body through menstruation (menses/periods). This cycle is called as the menstrual cycle. It repeats every month – another egg is formed and released. This happens for approximately 30 years continuously of a female’s life for all 12 months of the year.
The female Hormonal system is a beautifully designed, but very sensitive machine (mechanism). It deals with a 5-8 hormones which have to be released at a particular time in a particular amount – so as to get this menstrual cycle running smoothly.
For example – the hormone LH (Luteinizing Hormone) has to be released exactly on the 13th or 14th day of the cycle – which releases the egg, if it is not released on time, the process is disturbed.
Another example is – the female hormone – Estrogen is released in the extremely small concentration – 100 picograms/ml of blood (Approximate value) which is equal to 1 drop of water in 4 Olympic sized swimming pools!!! (Approx value) If this minute amount of hormone becomes slightly high or slightly low.. (e.g. if u add 2 drops in this 4 swimming pools instead of 1) the whole process gets disturbed badly and the egg is not released on time. This egg remains as an immature cyst in the ovary, similarly if many such cycles are disturbed there are many cysts which develop in the ovaries.. leading to Poly-cystic Ovarian disease.
This fine balance of hormones is disturbed by the above mentioned causes – irregular sleep/eating/alcohol/ misuse of contraceptive pills that is why PCOD is quite common today. That’s why PCOD is also called as a life-style disease – like Blood pressure, Diabetes, Obesity. It is in a way in our hands to make sure one doesn’t suffer from this disease; therefore the awareness is so important.
Questions from the patients/ general public –
- Is PCOD hereditary?
Ans – No. There are no such studies which show that PCOD is hereditary.
- What is the difference between PCOD and PCOS?
Ans – PCOD is Poly cystic Ovarian Disease. PCOS is Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome. There is no major difference between the two. For a normal person, it is difficult to understand the different terms. I have tried to simplify the answer here, even if you don’t understand it, it is okay.
This is a new name given for the disease. Previously it was thought that in PCOD only the ovaries get affected, rest of the body was normal, therefore it was called as a disease. Syndrome is a group of symptoms which form a large picture, and affects multiple organs. Later it was seen that in PCOD – a number of hormones, glands, organs are getting affected, it is a much complex disease pattern, therefore it now called as Syndrome.
- Why is it so difficult to lose weight with PCOD?
Ans – PCOD slows down the metabolism of the person; it becomes difficult to burn fat with simple exercises. The insulin hormone also doesn’t function the way it should, which leads to more hunger and more fat deposition.
- Can I cure myself of PCOD with weight loss?
Ans – This is a wrong notion that weight loss can cure PCOD. A PCOD person tends to gain weight that is why doctors advise diet and exercise to keep weight under control. Like a doctor advises healthy food, soups, ORS for a person in fever, that doesn’t mean only soups and ORS can cure fever, they are supportive treatment, and medicines will be required for fever.
So I have seen many females trying to cure themselves off PCOD by trying to lose weight and doing crash diet. Please you are wasting crucial time, because firstly as time increases PCOD might increase more, and secondly crash dieting might worsen your PCOD. It is best to consult a doctor and follow his advice, rather than trying things by yourself.
- What life style changes would you advise for a PCOD person?
Ans – Have proper time for everything – Eating time, sleeping time. Exercise regularly. Decrease your stress of office, career, family etc. Stop alcohol, smoking etc. Do not rely on Emergency contraceptive pills, use regular precautions,
You may also like to read –
Dr. Hitesh P. Fariya
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