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How can I tell if I have polycystic ovary syndrome, and how is it treated?

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:12pm

The symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are fat stored in the belly, dark facial and body hair, infertility, acne and irregular periods. A woman is born with about 4 million eggs. Each month one egg ripens and pops off the ovary into the uterus. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have eggs that remain on the ovary to form cysts. PCOS is diagnosed with a sonogram of the ovaries. The symptoms are caused by high blood insulin levels.

Your pancreas releases insulin when your blood sugar level rises. Anything that prevents blood sugar levels from rising too high lowers insulin and treats PCOS. When these women are given metformin (Glucophage), a diabetic medication, and placed on a diabetic diet, their periods become regular, they lose weight, their acne and facial hair disappear and they become fertile. Women with PCOS should avoid refined carbohydrates (any foods made with flour, white rice or milled corn) and added sugars. Don’t avoid fruits or root vegetables, but eat them only with other foods to slow the rise in blood sugar. If you think you may have PCOS, take this information to your doctor.

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