Sure Slim

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - PCOS

PCOS is a condition that happens in women, starts at puberty and affects 5-10% of the population. The exact cause is unknown but the ovaries enlarge and contain multiple cysts that secrete excess male hormones e.g. testosterone. This produces hirsutism (excess facial, chest and abdominal hair), alopecia (thinning of the scalp hair), acne, irregular menstrual bleeding, infertility, recurrent spontaneous abortion and depression. It also causes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity (in 50% of cases) which can lead to premature heart disease.

If you are concerned about similar symptoms, your GP can make the diagnosis with a blood test and an ultrasound scan. Once diagnosed, medications can be used to settle the irregular periods, acne and hirsutism.

However, the most successful therapy for PCOS is weight loss which brings about a global improvement in cardiovascular risks, insulin levels and menstrual patterns.

Weight loss should be gradual and should be achieved through lifestyle modification that includes intake of low glycaemic index carbohydrates (wholemeal grains and fibre), reduced intake of fats and simple sugars and gentle exercise. These are all components of the SureSlim program. Successful weight loss also has the benefits of reducing depression, improving body image and restoring a sense of control.

Dr Martin Denby

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