Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS refers to a condition when a woman has a number of small cysts in the ovaries. Besides unpredictable hormonal behaviour, this condition can trigger diabetes, infertility, acne and excessive hair growth. PCOS is fast becoming one of the most common problems faced by young women across the world. According to a latest study, women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are four times at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (Type-2 diabetes) and are also prone to be diagnosed at an earlier age with the blood-sugar condition.
The findings showed that in women with PCOS, diabetes is diagnosed four years earlier. The average age for women with PCOS who received a diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes was 31 years. The average age for women without PCOS and diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes was 35 years, the researchers said.
"The increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in PCOS is an important finding," said one of the researchers Dorte Glintborg from Odense University Hospital in Denmark.
"Diabetes may develop at a young age and screening for diabetes is important, especially in women who are obese and have PCOS," Glintborg added.
Women who have PCOS produce slightly higher amounts of testosterone and other androgen hormones than average. Although these reproductive hormones are typically associated with men, women also have small amounts.
The elevated levels of these hormones in women with PCOS can contribute to irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, weight gain, acne or excess hair on the face and body.
For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the team analysed two populations with PCOS: 18,477 pre-menopausal Danish women with a diagnosis of PCOS and a local sub-group of 1,162 women with PCOS who were examined at Odense University Hospital in Denmark.
Further, body mass index, insulin and glucose levels, and triglycerides were positively associated with development of Type-2 diabetes, whereas a higher number of births were negatively associated with the development of Type-2 diabetes, the researchers said.
While there's no permanent cure for PCOD but the symptoms can be managed. With the right diet and adequate exercise, a few women have reported remarkable improvement as far as the condition is concerned. Here are certain dietary tips that can help too.
1.According to Dr. Gargi Sharma, dietician and nutritional expert, women with PCOD should include more of fruits and vegetables in their diet and avoid dairy-based products. Many health experts believe that dairy-based products can increase insulin levels which can aggravate acne and other symptoms.
2."Women with PCOS/PCOD have insulin resistance and therefore, the diet we advise them is what we'd give to a diabetic. It needs to be rich in fibre with no or limited carbohydrates and processed foods," says Dr. Shalini Singhal, founder and chief nutrition consultant at Diet and Wellness Clinic.
3.PCOS/PCOD patients should also avoid red meat and include more lean meat like fish in their diet.
4.PCOS/PCOD patients might experience water retention and the best way to beat that would be to eat small frequent meals and drink a lot of water through the day.
5.Ingredients like methi dana, flaxseeds and cinnamon may also help keep your hormones in control.