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Does Polycystosis Cause Weight Gain in Women?

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Reading time: 7-10 minutes

For:

  1. Women that keep gaining weight, although they keep eating healthy and don’t know the reason 
  1. Women suffer from Polycystosis (PCOS)
  1. The second half of a woman that suffers from PCOS.

Female Anatomy Is Different

Nowadays many people are struggling to lose weight, but male and female anatomy is different, especially when it comes to reproductive organs. Problem of weight is common in both sex, but women suffer from a few illnessess men don’t have to deal with. One of such illnesses that affect only women is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

What is PCOS?

 One of the serious problems that PCOS can cause is weight gain in women. The reason for this is different types of hormonal disorders. Many women do not know that PCOS is a chronic endocrine disorder and it’s not a surprise, because most of the women even don’t know whether they have PCOS or not. 

In women who have PCOS, the ovaries produce follicles, but the ovules do not mature. These immature follicles can become liquid-filled sacs that are called ‘’cysts”. If we consider Polycystosis in the term of hormonal disorder, then we will see that PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries produce a huge amount of androgens, male sex hormones that are usually presented in women in a small amount. 

Why Does Polycystosis Lead to Weight Gain? 

It occurred that many women who have PCOS also have insulin resistance (IR)  which leads to weight gain. Let’s explain what IR is in an easy way. Well, IR happens when the body has difficulty pulling glucose from the bloodstream and converting it to energy. Therefore, the body needs to produce more insulin in an attempt to maintain a normal blood sugar level. In this case, over time, the body starts to overproduce insulin to keep blood sugar level normal. High-level insulin is a large contributing factor to obesity. Unfortunately, when blood glucose levels continue to rise despite increased levels of insulin, type 2 diabetes develops. 

Moreover, high insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels lead to body hair growth, acne, irregular periods, and weight gain. 

Is There Any Genetic Connection to PCOS and Weight Gain?

Doctors don’t know the reason why PCOS appears in women, so doctors and researchers haven’t confirmed a clear genetic link of PCOS either. Of course, it is possible that it can be genetic. As for weight gain, in most cases, it occurs genetically. If you have a mother or a sister with PCOS or first-degree relatives with diabetes or glucose intolerance, this may mean you’re more likely to develop the condition. According to researchers,one-quarter of women with PCOS have mothers with the condition, and one-third have sisters with the condition. It’s also interesting that PCOS in women can be passed down from the father’s side too. 

What are the Risks Associated with PCOS-Related Weight Gain? 

It is not new that extra weight causes many other health problems. Women who are diagnosed with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including: 

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • HIgh cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Infertility
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Heart disease

How to Lose Weight in the Case of Polycystosis?

Medication Therapy

Losing weight is very important. It prevents you from so many diseases and at the same time makes you feel better. When you have PCOS, losing just 10% of weight can bring your periods back to normal. It for sure helps to relieve some of the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Weight loss improves insulin sensitivity and this reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other PCOS complications. 

So, the first step for losing weight is a visit to your doctor. The doctor will find out your BMI (Body Mass Index). After this, your doctor will prescribe several medications that are approved while PCOS, including:

  • Birth control pills
  • Anti-androgen medications
  • Metformin (Glucophage)

Anti-androgen medications block the effects of male hormones. Metformin is a diabetes drug, but it is also used in such cases when you do not have diabetes yet but have high levels of insulin. It helps to normalize your blood sugar level and to lose weight. It also reduces testosterone production. 

Healthy lifestyle for Losing weight

Besides taking medication, a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your weight under control. 

First, you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. 

Second, to sleep at least 8 hours and avoid stress, because when you put your body into consistent stress, you gain weight.

You will also need to work with your doctor to track your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. And last and the most important factor you need to take into account is a healthy eating habit. Here is what you should know about special eating habits during PCOS:

  • Eat a high-fiber, low-sugar diet. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid processed and fatty food to keep your blood sugar levels in check. 
  • Eat four to six small meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals.This will help control your blood sugar levels.

So, if a woman has weight problems there can be many factors that cause weight gain and PCOS is one of them. It’s very important to be diagnosed on time because further PCOS can cause infertility problems too. If you are interested in more details regarding women’s health or infertility, you can read our blogs, but if you think you need to talk to professionals, be sure to call us. You can always find someone in Be Parent who will answer all of your questions confidently!