Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a common condition that can occur due to hormonal disorders in teenage girls and women. Women or girls with a higher level of androgens can develop this problem. PCOS is a common and curable condition, however the pandemic has led to reduction in the age of young girl getting diagnosed with PCOS at an early age of 12 years.
Here are some of the common reasons which can cause PCOS among young girls:
- Insulin resistance
- Higher levels of androgens
- Sedentary Lifestyle
Although PCOS is an endocrine-related disorder in women, the real cause can vary from patient to patient.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance, and the condition is likely to give rise to other health issues that can be stressful. Diseases like Diabetes, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, can develop with age and time if not addressed at the right time. PCOS also increases the risk of infertility at the later stage of life. Therefore, the condition should not be neglected.
Your child might be at the risk of PCOS if-
- She has frequent, irregular, prolonged, or absent periods
- Heavy or very light blood flow
- Excessive hair growth in different parts of the body
- Sudden weight loss, weight gain, or other weight problems
- Hair problems (thicker growth or thinning of hair)
- Dark skin patches in underarms, neck, or breast area)
These symptoms are overlooked during the development years as people think it cannot be a serious issue. PCOS at adolescent age does show symptoms, and if you see any change in the body that stays for more than a week, you should consult the doctor immediately for reassurance.
Diagnosis & Treatment methods
Since there is no definite test or medications for PCOS; a doctor is likely to ask you about the daily routine of your child, medical history, menstrual history, and some physical examination that can determine the condition. Blood tests are performed to determine blood androgen hormone levels as well as to rule out other illnesses with comparable symptoms. An oral glucose tolerance test may be useful for certain females to assess for increased blood glucose and insulin levels.
In case of any complications, you may also be recommended to get your child tested for:
- Screening for depression & stress
- Screening for sleep disorder
- blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol levels
Seven easy ways you can treat the condition PCOS at home:
Diet Changes: Humans are very much dependent on the energy from food. Food rich in fiber, whole food, and other essential nutrients not only improves the condition of PCOS but also helps in the overall development of the body in the growing age (12-15 years). A well-balanced diet should be composed of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Add iron and magnesium: If your daughter is experiencing heavy bleeding, eat food rich in iron to improve the deficiency. Spinach, dried fruits, cereals seafood, eggs, and broccoli are food rich in iron and should be included in her daily diet. Similarly, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat, and oats are rich in magnesium. It is recommended to consult your doctor before starting a specific diet.
Regular exercises: Active lifestyle can help in maintaining a healthy weight, helps in muscles growth, reduce stress, and helps in improving sleep. Overall a daily 45 minutes of outdoor activity, workout, or any physical activity helps fight PCOS.
Improve sleep cycle: As the old saying goes, "early to bed, early to rise" live by this quote. Maintaining a sleep cycle boosts the mood and keeps a child's brain and body healthy.
Reduce stress: Practice, routine exercise and encourage your child for more physical activity that can help them physically and relax their brain.
PCOS is a hormonal problem that can be cured through small efforts and changes. All you need to have is little patience and consistency to feel better again.
(Dr. Ranjana Becon, Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Manipal Hospital, Ghaziabad)
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