One of the most prevalent conditions that make weight loss a challenge is polycystic ovary syndrome – a.k.a. PCOS
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a weight gaining condition as a result of a hormonal imbalance that affects young women and teenagers. Despite its prevalence, there is no single set of symptoms females experience that belong to PCOS exclusively. As such, there are two main groups of signs that can point to PCOS if diagnosed correctly.
The first group correlates with hormone levels and includes symptoms such as:
- Building muscle or gains weight – especially in the buttocks, thighs, and calves
- Acne or bumps on the face, chest, back, arms, legs, and armpits.
- Abnormal hair growth on the face, chin, lip, nipple(s), belly, or back.
- Thinning head hair
- Irregular menstruation
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Low back pain
- Headaches or migraines
- PMS and mood changes
- Ovarian cysts
- Stretch marks developed as a teen (breast, butt & thighs)
- The ability to get pregnant while on birth control
- Elevated sex drive
Quite often, birth control is used to helps balance hormones and may or may not ease these symptoms. However, itis NOT appropriate treatment. Birth control is a solution that is not as enduring or effective as one would hope. Plus, progestins (i.e. birth control) – “fake” progesterone hormones – can cause issues like weight gain, acne, hair loss, and other issues that can be devastating.
The second set of symptoms commonly seen are a product of insulin resistance – a trait associated with PCOS about 90% of the time:
- Arm numbness or tingling while lying down or blow drying hair
- Tenderness in the feet when standing, after sitting, laying down, or driving.
- The ability to go all day without eating with zero physical side effects
- High tolerance of caffeine and over the counter medications,
- Skin tags around the neck, armpits, or under the bra line
- Constant carbohydrate cravings (sweet or salty)
- Adema (ability to retain water through the day regardless of activity)
- The average diet and exercise can cause weight gain
Those with PCOS often experience a combination of symptoms from both groups, which is why proper diagnosis from our clinic and a thorough analysis of medical history, physical examinations, blood and hormone tests, and all the symptoms makes a difference.
Living With PCOS
While PCOS is a condition with many variables, there is a solution available. Getting diagnosed with PCOS is not as challenging as it use to be, but our team will get to know you and your symptoms well enough to design a plan that delivers the results you want so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping this lifestyle is critical, as PCOS is roughly 90% genetic and becomes harder to mend as it passes to each generation.
The best course of action? Talk to Medical Weight Loss & Hormone Clinic about your symptoms, we will find a solution. With healthy weight loss, it is entirely possible you can live a more comfortable life, have children, and be the best version of yourself!