PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, one of the most common female hormone disorders, as well as one of the most complex. PCOS presents in a variety of ways and is associated with an increase risk for obesity, diabetes, infertility, miscarriage, and depression, which makes it very important that women of all ages be educated about PCOS.
It has been called a hidden epidemic, and though the last 10 years have brought a better understanding of this disorder, it continues to be under-diagnosed and under-treated by many health professionals.
It is possible that up to 30% of women experience some symptoms of the disorder, and it is estimated to affect 5 to 10% of all women during their reproductive years. It is a lifelong, chronic condition, but with diagnosis and treatment, the long term effects can be minimized.
There may be a connection between food cravings or mood problems and the increased insulin and androgen levels of PCOS, therefore, anyone dealing with emotional eating issues should be aware of the signs and symptoms of this syndrome. An estimated 50 to 80% of women with PCOS are either overweight or obese, making it important to identify an underlying diagnosis of this syndrome for any woman struggling with weight issues.
Coming soon, Part 2: Next Post from Jennie, “What you need to know about PCOS” and Part 3: “What to do about PCOS”
Jennie Wade, MS, MEd, RD, LD