PCOD: symptoms, causes, diet and treatment for PCOD

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Many people are confused about PCOD and PCOS. First let me clear the confusion.

Both disorders are related to ovaries. PCOS is POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME, which means endocrine system disorder. Whereas, PCOD is POLYCYSTIC OVARY DISEASE which is a condition developed after hormonal imbalance. 

Let us talk about PCOD today.

PCOD is caused in 1 woman out of 10 women and can be hereditary or by ecological and environmental factors. It affects 5% to 20% and happens to ladies from the age of 16 to 40. Because of this small cysts are formed in ovaries. When a woman has insufficient ovulation and miss cycles of menstruation, PCOD can be the major suspected cause. In this condition, the hormones get out of control and it can also make it difficult for the woman to conceive a child. There is no such treatment for PCOD but things are done for reducing it to get worse. It can further transform into obesity, diabetes, kidney diseases, high cholesterol level, and heart diseases

Picture taken from freepik

In this condition, cysts are formed on the ovaries which affect fertility.

Which hormones get imbalance?

In this condition, the body starts to release different hormones and some hormones are limited which makes this condition to make women infertile or lose the ability to ovulate or get the menstrual period. The hormones that play a role are:

  • Androgens: they are called male hormones. But women also have this hormone. In PCOD/PCOS condition, the release of this hormone gets high.
  • Progesterone: in this condition, this hormone has a low level and this results in missing cycles. 
  • Insulin: This hormone manages the sugar level in the bloodstream. In this condition it is also affected.

Signs and symptoms

The common symptom for PCOD/ PCOS is irregular, missed, or prolonged menstrual period. It is followed by the following symptoms and signs:

  • Hair loss
  • Hair production on unwanted places like face and other body parts.
  • Acne
  • Dark skin
  • Unintentional weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Depression 
  • Abdominal and pelvic pain
  • Irregular spotting during menstrual cycles
  • Difficulty in conceiving a baby
  • Infertility (lack of ovulation) 
  • Fertility problems (trouble getting problems)
  • Hirsutism 
  • And other metabolic disorders

What causes PCOD?

Causes of developing PCOD can be family history, which means if your sister mother or any other female in your family had it so you can also develop it.

Second is insulin imbalance can also affect your menstrual cycle, ovulation, and can cause PCOD.

The third is production of male hormone, ANDROGEN, which makes the ovaries unable to ovulate and affect the function. It can also be caused by taking several medications in prenatal period.

Sometimes PCOD is caused by obesity and certain metabolic issues.

Diagnosis for PCOD

The most common and specific diagnosis for PCOD or PCOS is ‘Pelvic Ultrasound’. 

The gynecologist will start from family history, physical exam then prescribes you to do an ultrasound of pelvis and abdomen to see the cysts in ovaries and the condition of the uterus, whether there is a tumor or not. 

Followed by ultrasound, the physician also gives a blood test, urine test, thyroid hormone test. Serum androgen and other hormonal tests are also given to confirm the diagnosis of PCOD.  

In some cases, cysts are not formed and in some cases they are cysts but it is not because of PCOD. So, blood tests confirm it.

Treatment for PCOD

The start of treatment begins with changes in lifestyle and diet. 

It is followed by medications that help in managing:

  • The control of hormones
  • Insulin and other factors.

Then the physician focuses on:

  •  Obesity and metabolic problems 
  •  Hirsutism problems
  •  Acne.

Losing weight can help in the management of many things like it can help with insulin problems, can reduce cholesterol level, can manage imbalance hormonal changes, and most of the time help with infertility. Reducing stress also helps in maintaining hormonal balance and in PCOD many women suffer from stress and anxiety.

How can diet help in the management of PCOD?

To make a diet plan for getting rid of PCOD and maintaining natural menstrual and ovulation, you should add all the healthy and if you are obese then weight losing things in your diet. All natural, cholesterol, and fat free ingredients should be added. You have to eat healthy and nutritious things which include vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, milk, fresh juices, whole grain resources. 

Lacks vitamins can also help in causing PCOD. So, for preventing PCOD, you should take a good amount of vitamins like vitamin D play a role in development and growth in metabolism, and can help restrain ovulation.

Women should avoid having processed and junk foods. They are advised to take the low carb diet and rich in fibers. Limit eating sugar and sweet thing and start having enough proteins, iron, vitamins, healthy fats, and fermented foods. Women should avoid sugary beverages, white bread items, and refined carbohydrates. 

Reducing inflammation can help in prevention.

Having turmeric can also help in PCOD/ PCOS. Curcumin in turmeric is anti-inflammatory and helps in reducing inflammation and increases insulin sensitivity. It naturally cures both PCOS and PCOD.

Exercises useful for PCOD

Reducing weight by exercising help in treating PCOD. Exercises keep our metabolic system healthy and active. It protects us from many diseases. 

Exercises which can be useful for PCOD are:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Breathing exercises
  • Aerobics
  • Zumba 
  • Yoga

These exercises are great to practice during PCOD period and for reducing stress. They give good results in weight loss and as well as reducing metabolic disorders and helps in diabetes management. It also helps in maintaining proper hormonal balance.

What are the complications of PCOD?

If not treated well, PCOD can be complicated into such serious and life threatening issues:

  • Risk of endometrial cancer.
  • Permanent infertility. Early treatment of PCOD/PCOS gives a chance for getting pregnant and preventing infertility.
  • Risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and long lasting obesity.
  • High risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Long term metabolic complications.
  • Increased risk of gestational diabetes and miscarriages in the early weeks of pregnancy and other complications throughout 9 months. Women who is pregnant with having PCOD are at high risk of having complications in delivery.

Surgical procedures for PCOD

Women who had developed this condition can be normal by having surgical and medical treatments. They can get pregnant normally and can prevent infertility and other complications.

  1. CYST ASPIRATION: in this procedure, the doctor removes the cysts from the ovaries and helps to inhibit infertility and improves ovarian health. This procedure can only be done if the cysts are not cancerous and can be seen through an ultrasound.
  2. HYSTERECTOMY: It is known as the removal of the uterine system. Sometimes only the uterus is removed and sometimes all the organs like ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix. Sometimes the uterine system is removed but the cervix is left which is supracervical, which is characterized as incomplete or partial surgery. This procedure cause long term infertility and the woman can never conceive a child. This procedure is more common than cyst aspiration. 

This is only done when all other treatments are failed and to save one’s life. 

Before you leave!

Hey ladies! If you’ve such symptoms or have PCOD then rush towards your doctor and get treated at the right time before it gets too late. You know all complications and risks now.